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Toxicology Unit, Emergency Hospital, Mansoura University, Mansoura35516, Egypt
Received Date: February 11, 2013; Accepted Date: May 14, 2013; Published Date: June 04, 2013
Citation: Mandour RA (2013) Drinking Water Toxicity in Health and Diseases. Air Water Borne Diseases 2:107. doi:10.4172/2167-7719.1000107
Copyright: © 2013 Mandour RA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The quality of the drinking water is a universal health concern. This paper is an attempt to clarify concerns about the quality and safety of drinking water quality both tap and mineral on health of the people living in Dakahlia Governorate-Egypt. Drinking water samples were collected from 14 different locations of Dakahlia Governorate representing 73 samples and 7 samples of mineral water. These samples were analyzed for physicochemical and bacterlogical parameters. The found values of physicochemical and bacterlogical parameters were compared with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Egyptian Minstry of Health (EMH) water quality standards.
Study of all these characteristics and correlation studies indicate that in some of the studied areas water was polluted and not suitable for drinking purpose. The drinking water of these areas needs some degree of treatment before consumption and prevention steps to be taken from contamination.
Drinking water; Physicochemical parameters; Bacterlogical parameters; Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS)
Water is a chief natural resource essential for the existence of life and is a basic human entity. The quality of drinking water is vital concern for mankind since it is directly linked with human health. According to WHO, nearly 80% of all the diseases in human beings are caused by water [1,2]. Chemical contaminants of drinking water are often considered a lower priority than microbial contaminants, as adverse health effects from chemical contaminants are generally associated with long-term exposures, whereas the effects from microbial contaminants are usually immediate. Nonetheless, chemical in water supplies can cause serious problems . Trace metals function mostly as catalysts for enzymatic activity in human bodies; however, their accumulation in the human body causes harmful effects . Availability of safe drinking water is very important. To ensure this, reliance has to be placed on regular bacteriological analyses to assess portability and to determine the best course of action for protecting the population against waterborne diseases [5,6]. Several outbreaks of gastroenteritis and hepatitis , giardiosis and cryptosporidiosis  in communities with water meeting current regulations  have been recorded.
The current study was carried out to evaluate the physiochemical and bacteriological characteristics of drinking water used for human consumption and to what extent the people of Dakahlia Governorate suffer from community health problems.
It is one of the most densely populated governorates in Egypt. It is the fourth Governorate in area after El-Sharqia, El-Behera and Kafr el-Sheikh governorates. It is bounded and then crossed by Damietta Nile branch, dividing it into two parts where Talkha, Bilqas and Sherbin districts in the western side and the other districts, eg; El- Mansoura, El-Manzala, El-Sinbillawin in the eastern side, (Figure 1).
Dakahlia governorate, in general, is a flat area, triangular in shape with apex in the south and base in the north. It lies between latitudes, 30°30-–31°30- N and longitudes 31° 15-–32° 00- E. It is characterized by a gentle slope to the north. Elevation varies from about 12 m above sea level (a. s. l) in the south to less than 1 m a. s. l. in the north near the sea shore. The cultivated lands possess a network of irrigation and drainage canals related to Damietta branch. It contains some localities less than one meter a. s. l, particularly in the north including Manzala coastal lagoon . High coastal sand dunes protect some localities, but others are flooded by winter surges. The coastal belt can be subdivided into the following three geomorphic units; the extensive back-shore flats, the flooded low lands and the coastal dunes .
Water Resources and Hydrogeology
The water resources in the governorate comprise surface and ground waters. The surface water is mainly the River Nile flowing in Damietta branch and its distributaries irrigation canals. The southern part of governorate is supplied by groundwater (Mit-Ghamr, el- Sinbillawin and Aga), and the rest of the governorate is supplied by regional and municipal systems which rely on surface water. Abd el- Daiem , stated that about 40 MCM/Y* is used from the main aquifer in Dakahlia Governorate. This amount of water is used for drinking and domestic use at the southern sector of the governorate, particularly at Mit-Ghamr, Aga and El-Sinbillawin districts. This amount of water represents 25% of the used water supply for the whole governorate. However, the gradient of the surface water of the Nile River is toward the north.
Abd el-Daiem et al.  reported that at Mit-Ghamr, the surface water level is almost +9 m where it is about +6 m for the surrounding groundwater level, here-in there is downward movement of the surface water to recharge the groundwater from the influent stream in this sector. At Mansoura, the surface water level in the Nile branch is +1.8 m, while it is about +4m in the near-by water wells, where the river is recharged by groundwater and becomes effluent stream in that sector and the Nile branch downstream of Mansoura behaves as a drain. The groundwater slopes towards the north and the direction of flow from the southern recharge area of the Damietta branch and El-Rayah El- Tawfiky to the northern discharged area. The Quaternary succession in the northern Nile Delta area in particular could be subdivided into two water-bearing units according to the stratigraphic succession [13,14]. These two units are mostly separated from each other by a sticky and almost continuous clay layer near the bottom of Bilqas Formation (Holocene) at top. The top unit of Bilqas Formation is considered as an aquitard (semi-previous layers), whiles the lower Mit-Ghamr Formation, and so called sub deltaic layer of  is considered as the main aquifer of the Nile Delta. The latter consists of a thick sand and gravel of Pleistocene age with thickness generally decreasing southward but with average thickness more than 700 m in the area of Dakahlia, dominated by permeable sands and gravels with minor clay lenses [13,14].
Seventy three water samples were collected from 14 different locations of Dakahlia governorate as well as seven different types of mineral water were purchased from local markets, table 1. Heatsterilized bottles of 500 ml capacity were used and the methods of sampling were developed from the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality . Flaming the mouths of taps, and allowing water to run for 1-2 min was done before running it into the bottle. The bottles were delivered to the laboratory and kept in refrigerator at 4°C until the time of analysis.
|No||District||Surface drinking water||Drinking groundwater (Wells)||Total No of samples|
|Total No of Units||10||21||20|
|Mineral water samples||7|
|Total No of Samples||20||21||25||73|
Table 1: Localities of the different drinking water samples in Dakahlia governorate.
The physiochemical obtained data on analysis of the collected water samples were tabulated in (Tables 2-6). Table 2 represents analysis of drinking water samples of the main surface water stations. Table 3 represents the polluted drinking water samples of compact units. Table 4 represents the polluted drinking water samples of groundwater. Table 5 represents the results of different types of mineral water. Table 6 represents the polluted drinking water samples by some heavy metals which exceed than the permissible limits of [3,16].
|NO||District / samplename||pH||EC µm/cm at 25 °C||TDSppm||THppm||Cl2 ppm||Cl-ppm||SO4- -ppm||Alkal.Ppm|
|WHO (20011)||6.5 – 8||1000||500||5||250||250|
|EMH (2007)||6.5 – 8.5||1000||500||5||250||250|
Table 2: Results of Physiochemical analyses (mg / l) of the main surface drinking water stations.
|NO||District / sample name||pH||EC µm/cm at 25 °C||TDSppm||THppm||Cl2 ppm||Cl-ppm||SO4- -ppm||Alkal.Ppm|
|VIII||Minyet el-nasr district|
|IX||Temy el-amdid district|
Table 3: Results of Physiochemical analyses (mg / l) of the surface drinking water compact units.
|NO||District / sample name||pH||EC µm/cm at 25°C||TDSppm||THppm||Cl2 ppm||Cl-ppm||SO4- -ppm||Alkal.Ppm|
|II||1-Network of Mit-ghorab||7.85||376||245||135||0.05||41||48||133|
|3-Network of Mit-nagy||7.94||828||538||160||-||53||81||160|
|4-Network of Tafahna el-Ashraf||8.14||522||340||140||1.1||42||63||145|
|6-Network of El-Maasara||7.94||389||258||130||0.09||32||40||132|
|7-Network of Mit-Mohsen||8.32||566||268||145||0.12||40||51||148|
|9-Mit-ghamr well after Cl2||7.88||437||284.1||52.9||0.71||33.33||152||160|
|10-Network of Mit-ghamr||7.93||396||257.4||38.5||0.53||18.54||138||170|
|14-Network of Sampomakam||8.1||326||212||132||0.12||40||51||128|
|15-Mit-el ezz well||7.91||410||266.5||128||0.11||38||66||120|
|17-Sahragt el-kobra well||7.82||455||295.7||160||0.43||33||140||140|
|18-Miyet Sammanoud well before Cl2||8.24||1111||722.1||153.8||-||151.7||132||250|
|19-Miyet Sammanoud well after Cl2||7.86||1163||755.9||205||0.77||151.7||142||300|
|20-Network of Miyet Sammanoud||7.92||1128||733.2||192.3||0.59||150.2||120||245|
|22-Mit EL-Amil well||8.54||937||609||140||-||43||58||150|
|23-Aga el-gadida well after Cl2||8.26||761||494.6||50||0.62||112||32||205|
|24-Network of Aga el-gadida||8.28||766||497.9||78||0.52||105||18||205|
Table 4: Results of Physiochemical analyses (mg / l) of the drinking groundwater samples.
|District / sample name||pH||EC µm/cm at 25 °C||TDS ppm||TH ppm||Cl2 ppm||Cl- ppm||SO4- - ppm||Alkal. Ppm|
Table 5: Results of Physiochemical analyses (mg / l) of the different types of mineral drinking water.
|NO||District / sample name||Cd||Cu||Zn||Cr||Ni||Pb||Mn||Fe||Co|
|Permissible limit of WHO (20011)||0.003||2.0||3.0||0.05||0.07||0.01||0.4||0.3||0.05|
|Permissible limit of EMH (2007)||0.003||2.0||3.0 .||0.05||0.02 .||0.01||0.4||0.3||0.05|
|4-Network of Shoha Station||0.0||0.014||0.116||0.008||0.022||0.016||0.010||0.023||0.0|
|9-Main station 1||0.001||0.001||0.001||0.006||0.008||0.002||0.0||0.001||0.001|
Minyet el-nasr district
Temy el-amdid district
|22-Network of Mit-ghorab||0.002||0.0||0.060||0.004||0.012||0.001||0.001||0.0||0.001|
|23-Network of Mit-nagy||0.002||0.0||0.005||0.0||0.017||0.003||0.033||0.012||0.002|
|24-Network of Tafahna el-Ashraf well||0.002||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.007||0.001||0.001||0.003||0.001|
|25-Network of Mit-Mohsen well||0.005||0.0||0.002||0.003||0.011||0.0||0.001||0.002||0.002|
|27-Mit-ghamr well after Cl2||0.003||0.001||0.012||0.001||0.014||0.002||0.014||0.011||0.001|
|29-Mit-el ezz well||0.0||0.027||0.032||0.004||0.021||0.001||0.0||0.008||0.0|
|34-Aga el-gadida well after Cl2*||0.006||0.0||0.001||0.002||0.020||0.002||0.0||0.002||0.001|
|35-Network of Aga el-gadida||0.005||0.001||0.002||0.001||0.021||0.001||0.004||0.005||0.001|
Mineral drinking water
Notes: highlight values: abnormal values
ppm: Part per million = mg/L, EC: Electrical conductivity µm/cm: µmohs/cm, TDS: Total dissolved salts,
TH: Total hardness, Cl2: Chlorine, Cl–: Chloride, SO42–: Sulfate, Alkal: Alkalinity
Cd: Cadmium, Cu: Copper, Zn: Zinc, Cr: Chromium, Ni: Nickel, Pb: Lead, Mn: Manganese, Fe: Iron, Co: Cobalt
Table 6: Results of heavy metals (mg / l) of some different drinking water samples
The tabulated and represented data are showing that pH of the drinking water samples in Temy el-amdid district; Abo-dawoud compact unit, Table (3) and Mit-ghamr district; Network of Tafahna el-Ashraf well, El-Maasara well, Network of Mit-Mohsen well, Atmeda well and Network of Sampomakam well and Aga district; Miyet Sammanoud well before chlorine addition, Ikhtab well, Mit EL-Amil well, Aga el-gadida well after chlorine addition, Network of Aga el-gadida well and Tanamil well, table 4 are higher than the safety base line value according to . Each of Cd, Ni and Pb ions are greater than their safety base line values, table 6 according to [3,16]. In El-Mansoura district; Network of Shoha compact unit shows high values of Ni and Pb and in Talkha district; Mit-antar and Demera compact units show high values of Cd and Pb and in Sherbin district; Network of main station1shows high values of Cd and Ni and in Bilqas district; main station, network of main station and El-satamony compact unit show high value of Cd and In El-Gamalis district; network of main station shows high value of Cd and Ni and In Nabaru district; Nabaru compact unit shows high value of Pb and In Miyet el-nar; Mit asm compact units shows high value of Cd and In Mit-ghamr district; Network of Tafahna el-Ashraf well, Atmeda well, Damas well show high value of Cd as well as high value of Pb in Damas well and Sahragt Elkobra well, Mit-el-ezz well shows high value of Ni and In Aga district; Ikhtab well, Mit-el-amil well, Aga el-gadida well after chlorine addition and network of Aga el-gadida well show high value of Cd as well as high value of Ni in network of Aga el-gadida well.
The great difference between the assayed concentrations and the acceptable limits may be ascribed to the geological characteristics of the studied area or to the unbounded amounts of phosphates fertilizers and so many types of pesticides used in the agriculture activities may also led to the high concentrations of Cd and Ni in drinking water in this area. The contamination of water is directly related to the degree of contamination of our environment. Rainwater collects impurities while passing through the air. Streams and rivers collect impurities from surface run off and through the discharge of sewage, industrial and agriculture effluents. These are carried to the rivers, lakes or reservoirs that supply our drinking water . In general, a strong relationship between contaminated drinking water with heavy metals and chronic diseases such as renal failure, liver cirrhosis, hair loss and chronic anemia has been identified . These diseases are apparently related to the contamination of drinking water with heavy metals. Renal failure is related to the contamination of drinking water with Cd and Pb. Hair loss to the contamination with Ni and chronic anemia to the contamination with Cd. In addition, examples of chronic health effects include cancer, birth defects, organ damage, and disorders of nervous system and damage of immune system . Cadmium appears to accumulate with age progress especially in the kidney and it is considered as carcinogenic.
It was reported that  the geochemical implications of Cd in human health related to bone and renal failure in populations drinking contaminated water. Toxicity of nickel is enhanced in presence of some other metals in drinking water. Hair loss and derma toxicity in hypersensitive are related to contaminated drinking water with nickel. High concentration of lead in the body can cause death or permanent damage to the central nervous system, the brain and kidney . The damage commonly results in behavior and learning problems. Such problems are hyperactivity, memory and concentration problems, high blood pressure, hearing problems, headaches, slowed growth, reproductive problems in men and women, digestive problems, muscle and joint pain. Lead is considered the most health threat for children
Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites are the most common and widespread health risk associated with drinking water. The elimination of all these agents from drinking water has a high priority. The provision of a safe supply of drinking water depends upon use of either a protected high-quality ground water or a properly selected and operated series of treatments capable to reduce pathogens and other contaminants to the negligible health risk . The results revealed that samples of Network of Shoha Station, Mitghorab well, El-Rahmania well, Mit-el ezz well and Miyet Sammanoud well before addition of chlorineall contain high numbers of Total count of Bacteria and exceed the permissible limit recommended by . Many researchers got the fact that such high records of diarrheic cases and renal colics and failures were associated with water treatment and distribution system deficiencies [23-25]. Natural untreated water is a good source for pathogenic bacteria; Aderson  found that the lack of chlorination supply has been blamed for the rapid spread of cholera in Peru. Payment et al.  in an epidemiological study confirmed that tap water is a significant source of gastrointestinal illnesses (14-40%).
The data obtained in this study support the need for monitoring drinking water especially groundwater and compact units that will be consumed by the people of Dakahlia Governorate. Different types of mineral water are good, no pollution either physiochemical or bacteriological and safe for drinking purposes. In conclusion, the obtained results suggested a recommendation for the new treatment and distribution systems of investigated suspicious water is needed to prevent human illness.
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