Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering
Articles Information
Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering, Vol.2, No.5, Oct. 2016, Pub. Date: Nov. 2, 2016
An Assessment of the Mhlambanyoni Spring Water Quality at Sigombeni, Swaziland
Pages: 40-45 Views: 486 Downloads: 174
Authors
[01] Bruce Roy Thulane Vilane, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus, Swaziland.
[02] James Dlamini, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus, Swaziland.
Abstract
Springs are favoured water sources as they often produce high quality water, are inexpensive to protect and do not require a pump to bring the water to the surface. However, spring water may be rapidly contaminated when it emerges. An experiment was designed to assess the water quality of the Mhlambanyoni spring at Sigombeni. It had one treatment; the Mhlambanyoni spring water with three replications. The SWSC treated tap water was used as a control. The WHO water quality guideline values were used for comparisons. The grab sampling technique was used to collect nine water samples during the wet season in January 2016 and nine samples during the dry season in November 2015. In each period, three samples were used for physical analysis (pH and turbidity), another three for microbiological analysis (Total Coliforms and E. coli ) and the other three for chemical analysis (nitrates and hardness). The physical analysis results reflected that the Mhlambanyoni spring water had the pH for the wet season; dry season and the SWSC treated tap water (control) were 7.31, 7.20 and 6.8, respectively. The seasonal turbidity of 0.87 NTU in the dry season and 0.67 NTU in the wet season was significantly different. The microbiological analysis results reflected that the E. coli for the Mhlambanyoni spring water for the dry and wet season had means of 240.3 counts/100 ml and 844 counts/100 ml, respectively. On the other hand the Total Coliforms were 2402 per 100 ml, 5475 per 100 ml and no coliforms for the dry season, wet season and SWSC tap water, respectively. The dry and wet seasons were significantly different (P < 0.05). The chemical water quality (nitrates) for the Mhlambanyoni spring water had mean values of 0.43 mg/L and 0.87 mg/L for the dry and wet seasons, respectively. The dry and wet seasons were significantly different (P < 0.05). The results reflected that the spring water was soft as evident from the hardness which had mean values of 43.5 mg/L in the dry season and 567.6 mg/L in the wet season. The E. coli values were above the WHO water quality guideline value of 0 counts/ 100 ml, while the mean nitrate values were within the WHO water quality guideline value of 50 mg/ L. It was concluded that the domestic water from the Mhlambanyoni spring was not suitable for human consumption due to the microbiological quality (Total Coliforms and E. coli) that was above the WHO water quality guidelines. It was recommended that the water from the Mhlambanyoni spring should be boiled first before it is used for consumption due to the contamination.
Keywords
Assessment, Spring, Water Quality, Mhlambanyoni, Sigombeni, Swaziland
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