ANALYSIS OF SELECTED PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN DRINKING WATER SAMPLES COLLECTED FROM COTTON TREE COMMUNITY, ROBERTSFIELD HIGH WAY, LIBERIA
Sampson K. P. Chea, Jacob Kolawole*, Ginny Campbell, Farkollie Sumo and Rafael Ngumbu
Access to safe drinking water is a daunting challenge for most residents of sub-Saharan Africa, especially West Africa. Liberia being a West African nation, the availability of safe drinking water is a very serious issue in the water and sanitation and health sector. Montserrado County, one of the political sub-division of Liberia in which the capital, Monrovia, is located has been experiencing serious problem with safe drinking. Residents are often compelled to obtain drinking water from several sources including hand-dug wells, bore-holes, public water supply and even local streams. In this study, the physical and chemical quality of four drinking water sources, used by residents of Cotton Tree Community located on the Robert’s international Airport high way, were assessed to determine their safety for human consumption. The levels of Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Chromium, Zinc, Phosphates, Nitrites, Nitrates and Sulfates were determined using a DR/890 Spectrophotometer (Hach) with appropriate reagents and standards. Turbidity was measured with formazin standards. The pH of the samples was recorded. At all four sampling points, the pH, turbidity, Lead, Zinc and Sulfate levels were all below Ministry of Health (MOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) permissible limits. High concentrations of Nitrate, Phosphate and hexavalent Chromium were recorded at all sampling points. Nitrite and Mercury levels were higher than MOH WASH and WHO limits at two points, while Cadmium concentrations were within permissible limits at all points except one. The results obtained in this study indicate that the water from the studied water sources is not suitable for human consumption based on some of the selected parameters and may pose a potential health risk to consumers. There is thus a need for urgent intervention in order to remedy the situation.
Keywords: Safe drinking water, Sub-Saharan, Turbidity, Spectrophotometer.
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