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Peer-Review Record

Status of Water Quality for Human Consumption in High-Andean Rural Communities: Discrepancies between Techniques for Identifying Trace Metals

J 2020, 3(2), 162-180; https://doi.org/10.3390/j3020014
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
J 2020, 3(2), 162-180; https://doi.org/10.3390/j3020014
Received: 13 February 2020 / Revised: 23 April 2020 / Accepted: 26 April 2020 / Published: 27 April 2020

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

I strongly recommend that authors get editing help from someone with full professional proficiency in English before submission. The language used is not sufficiently comprehensible and needs to be improved.

 

The authors didn’t present the data as the arithmetic means of triplicate assays and there was no error bar in all the data. Therefore, I am not sure that they have run their experiments in triplicates.

 

Line 21: Please spell out the full terms of ICP-MS and ASS. The first time you use an abbreviation, it's important to spell out the full term and put the abbreviation in parentheses. Then, you can use just the abbreviation in subsequent references after that.

Line 23: It is comparable to your last sentence by using time to evaluate the distance. It doesn’t make sense to use “700km by bus” without the speed.

Line 24: should be 16.4%

Line 38-39: Grammar mistakes. Please define “childhood wasting”. I am not familiar with this term.

Line 51-52: Please add citation of the Supreme Decree (DS) N°. 004-2017 Ministerio del Ambiente (MINAM) to this article.

Line 55: Please add citation of the DS N ° 031-2010-SA to this article.

Line 61: faecal is not correct. It should be fecal.

Line 66: What does DATASS stand for?

Line 67: There should have a space between Peru and [13].

Line 68: What does 88.8% refer to? It is kind of misleading.

Line 69: Inconsistent format. It should be 18,204 / 20,508.

Line 70: Typo. JASS does not stand for Sanitation Services Administrative Committees.

Line 71-72: You mentioned in Line 52 and 54 that limits of physicochemical, microbiological, parasitological inorganic, and organic parameters were established by DS N°. 004-2017 and DS N ° 031-2010-SA. But why do you say that there is little or no information related to the quality of physicochemical, parasitological, microbiological, and inorganic parameters here. How about organic parameters?

Line 75: grammar mistakes.

Line 86: There should have a space between , and comparing.

Line 87-92: Grammar mistakes.

Line 91-92: It is uncommon for a scientific article to quote a whole sentence like this.

Line 96: Grammar mistakes. What does “the development of the objectives” mean?

Line 97: How can you know the water consumption from those objectives? Is “water quality” the word you want to use?

Line 98: Grammar mistakes.

Line 115: Grammar mistakes.

Line 116-119: Grammar mistakes.

Line 121: You only showed the altitudes of spring sampling points. Where are the information of water reservoirs and households you mentioned in table 2?

Line 128 and 129: What does UNH stand for?

Line 130: Please add citation of EPA Method 300.0, MPN method, and ISO 17294-2: 2016 to your reference. Also, I believe it is “Sedgewick Rafter Counting Chambers” not “Sedgwick – Rafter CoNTUing Chamber”. I am also wondering why you didn’t measure the total hardness, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, the inorganic parameters for water reservoirs and households samples?

Line 148: 100 mL

Line 149: not faecal, should be fecal.

Line 150: 10-1, 10-2, 10-3

Line 151: 24 h, 35-37 °C

Line 154: 1 mL

Line 155: 24 h, 44-45 °C

Line 162: Where is Annex 2?

Line 163: delete y

Line 164: huevos de helminths???

Line 165: delete y

Line 166: 4 L and 10 L

Line 169: 1 L, HNO3. Is 1:1 a volume to volume ratio?

Line 170: grammar mistakes.

Line 173: where is Annex 3?

Line 177: what does INACAL stand for?

Table 4: 1. I am confused about “N: number of sampling parameters”. If it means the numbers of parameters you tested, there were some mistakes in your table. Take water reservoirs for example, there were more than five parameters shown in Table 3 as physicochemical parameters. According to Table 3, you tested turbidity, pH, temperature, conductivity, FRC, color for water reservoirs. The total parameters were six not five. 2. It showed that two microbiological and parasitological parameters were tested for water reservoirs and households at Antaccocha and Pampachara. Where were the other two parameters? 3. What does “-” mean? You calculated T from P × N. How can you get 16 when your P was 5? Also, how can you get 5 when P was 3?

Line 217, 218, 221, and 222: You should keep consistent with your units. Sometimes you use “L” and sometimes you use “l”. There were other mistakes like this in your manuscript, please pay attention on that. Grammar mistakes also have been found.

Line 225: grammar mistakes.

Parasite related with feces??

Line 240: feces, not faeces.

Line 242: not 6,5 mg/l. It should be 6.5 mg/L.

Line 269: please spell out “NTC” for the first time you use it.

Line 296: There were two dots in the title.

Table 5 and 6: Please keep consistent with the significant figures. It should be called “limit of detection”.

Table 7: Please keep consistent with the significant figures. For AN5, calculation mistakes. Delta of Al should be 3.47-0.6782=2.7918.

Line 409: I can’t find Annex 1 in the SI.

Line 424: non-completed sentence.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

Good and interesting work that could be useful for the scientific community. The work appears to be distinctive and was performed in challenging environments which adds to the overall novelty. The manuscript certainly requires additional clarification on methodology to aid the readers understanding. Additionally, a few text revisions and better summation of the work in final sections would strengthen the document.

Major comments:

  1. The methodology section requires some revisions. The authors need to cite published scientific protocols for the adopted methods. If the methods are new they need to clearly mention the rationale and motive for adopting such approach.
  2. Were the samples collected and analyzed in replicates (If not what statistical method was adopted for performing the studies)? Kindly specify the experimental and analytical replications adopted for this work.
  3. Section 4 (Discussion): The authors could add some solid bullet point conclusions to summarize the outcomes to aid the readers understanding. Also, some addition of future work or recommendations for policy makers would certainly add more strength and outreach (say something building upon line 397-400 or some other ideas that could be relevant).
  4. Table 7: A better comparative analysis could be performed by providing a known concentration of compounds (say all the tested ones at 1 mg/L) and then analyzing the precision and bias for both laboratories. This would certainly strengthen the manuscript and would therefore be a valuable addition.

 

Other minor comments:

Line 133: Specify JASS

Line 116-118: The statement could make a stronger appeal if it is supported by a reference. Is there a reference from literature that you could add?

Line 122: I would suggest to add a figure (map) representing the sampling points after Table 2 to aid the reader’s understanding.

Line 130: Add range of detection for each instrument in Table 1. This would strengthen the manuscript from statistical perspectives.

Line 136: Is there a typo with the term “Ta”?

Line 140-146: There are a few typos and the statements are not very clear. It warrants some revision to clarify the methods.

Line 148-150: Specify the temperature at which the samples were transported.

Section 2: Were these methods previously adopted in scientific literature? If so, add references. If not, kindly specify clearly the rationale for the adopted method 3 (and more importantly section 2.3.2/ 2.3.3 and 2.3.4).

Line 238: Add footnotes explaining the sample where these organisms were detected, specify the conditions and instrument used to aid the readers understanding.

Typos: Some places report concentrations/volumes in L while some in l. Consistency is important. Kindly revise.

Line 260-261: Specify the limit here.  The reader needs to go back and forth multiple times. This would simplify the reading.

Line 269-270: Were the authors able to do some statistical analysis to certify the difference? In general, it is always better to represent data as X ±y (units).

Line 282: Again, specify the regulation value (add reference if necessary).

Table 5: Title has typos. Also, I believe it would be better to represent the concentration as µg/L (instead of mg/L).

Line 302: Add a reference (if any).


 

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

  1. I am wondering if you can add a map to describe the location of the sampling points? It can be helpful to understand the connection and significance of the sampling points.
  2. Could you add more detailed information about the sampling methods, such as how to collect samples and how to keep them?
  3. Do you have replicates?
  4. 6-week data is not enough, it’s better to have a long-term observation.
  5. The data analysis is not strong enough. For example, you have concluded that “bacteriological attributed to weak or no water chlorination” in line 358. It’s better to show some data, like the concentration of residual chlorine and microbes.
  6. Line 369-391, to compare two methods, it’s better to use data analysis and show the “p-value”.
  7. It’s better to have a conclusion part.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

The grammar of this manuscript is improved, but the writing is still unsatisfactory. I recommend that authors get editing help from someone with full professional proficiency in English and proofread this manuscript carefully before submission.

 

Line 40: under five years.

Line 46: for accessing to water service

Line 47 to 50: grammar errors.

Line 64: sources

Line 78: grammar errors.

Line 87: grammar errors.

Line 99: compared

Line 103: made; concluded

Line 108: why did you only run the comparisons for springs? You mentioned that you also took samples in water reservoirs and households.

Line 112 to 115: personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to have this paragraph.

Line 121: is “m.s.n.m” an international unit? If it’s not, you should convert it to the international unit.

Line 123 to 124: you need to add references to support this point.

Line 128: indent the first line of this paragraph. Please keep consistency in the format.

Line 129: what does () mean? Did you want to refer to Table 1 here?

Line 132: are the places

Line 136: grammar errors.

Line 138: what time was less than half a day? Traveling time? Please define it.

Table 2: please add the LOD (limit of detection) or LOQ (limit of quantification) for each parameter in this table. Please also add references for the protocol to detect protozoa and parasitic helminths.

Line 155 to 169: I think it is redundant to have these two paragraphs because most of the information was already mentioned in Table 2. Please rewrite this section without repeated information.

Line 161: indent the first line of this paragraph.

Line 172: grammar errors.

Line 176: what medium did you use? Please define the medium or the recipe of the medium. Did you only use the BRILA broth to detect both total coliforms and fecal coliforms? I am confused about this part. If you only used the BRILA broth, why did you mention “a medium containing lactose”?

Line 177-178: grammar errors. Please define the medium.

Line 185: As the description of Appendix B, it is a data file with water quality results. Why did you refer a data file in Material and Method?

Line 192 to 207: repeated information.

Line 215 to 222: personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to have this paragraph.

Table 3: What does “-” mean? I am still confused about this part. It seems that you calculated T from P × N. How can you get 16 when your P was 5? Also, how can you get 5 when P was 3?

Line 247: showed

Line 248: some parameters? Please define the numbers of parameters.

Line 317: showed

Line 328: please provide enough information on your caption of Table 4. “Inorganic parameters” is not sufficient as a caption of the table.

Line 337: How about AN2? As can be seen from Table 4, the concentration of Mo at AN2 was also higher than the regulation. Why did you ignore this value?

Line 343: it should be Table 4.

Line 346: grammar errors.

Line 348: showed

Line 357: please rewrite the caption of Table 5.

Line 359 and 360: No 1 and 2 showed in Table 5. Please proofread your manuscript carefully.

Line 362: grammar errors.

Line 363: Please spell out the abbreviation the first you use it. I suppose that SD stands for standard deviation.

What do you mean to calculate maximum SD based on the quantification limit? SD is a measure of the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of values.

Line 366: grammar errors.

Line 391: grammar errors.

Line 402: grammar errors.

Line 459: sampling points

Line 460: water reservoirs. It should be A1, not A8.

Author Response

We appreciate your comments on the manuscript. It has helped us improve significantly. Hopefully the answers will help clarify doubts about the manuscript.

We mention that the level of English of the manuscript has been revised again by a professional with full English proficiency. As a result, grammar errors have been corrected.

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

The authors have answered most of the questions effectively and made the appropriate changes. 

Author Response

The authors have answered most of the questions effectively and made the appropriate changes.

 

We are glad that our review has addressed the reviewer's comments.

We mention that the level of English of the manuscript has been revised again by a professional with full English proficiency.

Reviewer 3 Report

Many thanks for the correction. The article has been significantly improved. 

Author Response

1.0 Many thanks for the correction. The article has been significantly improved.

We appreciate your comments on the manuscript. Thanks to this, it has been significantly improved.

We mention that the level of English of the manuscript has been revised again by a professional with full English proficiency.

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