Microbiological water quality along Vaal Gamagara’s potable water distribution system
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Safe drinking water is essential to all life forms. Thus analysis for microbiological parameters is critical as this assists in declaring the fitness of potable water for human consumption, among other sustainable and “green uses”. The aim of this paper is to investigate the microbiological quality of potable water along Vaal Gamagara Water Treatment Plant’s (VGWTP) distribution system. A total of 10 samples were collected weekly along the system. The samples were col-lected from January to December 2013 in order to analyze for Escherichia coli (E.coli), total coliforms (TC) and Hete-rotrophic plate counts (HPC). The results showed that only 0.1% and 0.4% of samples analyzed were positive for E. coli and total coliforms, respectively. However, HPC results showed that 40% of the samples analyzed from June to December 2013 had higher counts than the recommended standard limit. The chlorine residual showed an increase from June to December 2013. An assessment of the results indicated that the integrity of the system was compromised for the research period. Water quality failures in a distribution system are unacceptable because they threaten human health and sometimes result in loss of life. Thus the assessment called for an urgent need to boost chlorine residual especially at points further away from the treatment plant. This was envisaged to provide a safety net for microbial compliance while the system was critically and continuously monitored, and further investigations were performed. Studies on chlorine decay were recommended as a priority in order to optimize disinfection and maintain good quality drinking water throughout the system.
Mokhosi, A. and Dzwairo, B. 2015. Microbiological water quality along Vaal Gamagara’s potable water distribution system. Environmental Economics. Vol 6 (1) : 152-158