Drinking Water Quality Mapping Using Water Quality Index and Geospatial Analysis in Primary Schools of Pakistan

Ahmed, Jamil and Wong, Li Ping and Chua, Yan Piaw and Channa, Najeebullah (2020) Drinking Water Quality Mapping Using Water Quality Index and Geospatial Analysis in Primary Schools of Pakistan. Water, 12 (12). ISSN 2073-4441, DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123382.

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Primary school children in the developing world often lack potable water, which may result in a high burden of water-related diseases and poor school performance. The present study aimed to characterize the drinking water quality in primary schools of Pakistan. We used a multistage random-sampling method to select 425 primary schools from selected districts of Sindh province. Standard methods were used to characterize water quality. The results were compared with maximum acceptable values recommended by the Pakistani National Environmental Quality Standards (Pak NEQS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water quality standards. Groundwater (62%) and surface water (38%) were identified as two major drinking water sources in the selected schools with varying levels of water quality. Among all parameters, dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, and nitrate remained within WHO and Pak NEQS water quality standard limit, while total dissolved solids (TDS) (33%), electrical conductivity (EC) (46%), chloride (34%), turbidity (27%), and hardness (11%) samples exceeded standard limits. All dissolved salts had moderate to strong positive correlations with TDS and EC values. Based on a water quality index (WQI), 74% of primary schools had access to excellent or good quality drinking water compared to 26% of schools that had access to either poor, very poor or unsuitable drinking water. Among all three regions, more schools from South Sindh had either poor, very poor or unsuitable drinking water (33%) compared to the Central (25%) and North zones (15%). Hence, water from these locations is unfit for human consumption and these schools need better water quality management plans to stop the spread of water-related diseases in primary school children.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: WQI; Water quality; Physicochemical parameters; Primary school children
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
R Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine > Social & Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 02:42
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 02:42
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/36196

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