Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering, Vol.2, No.6, Dec. 2016, Pub. Date: Jan. 9, 2017
Water Quality Assessment Upstream of the Great Usuthu River in Swaziland
Pages: 57-65 Views: 112 Downloads: 45
Bruce Roy Thulane Vilane, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus, Swaziland.
Lungelo Tembe, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus, Swaziland.
Rivers are the most important sources of surface water. However their quality is a function of the catchment activities. A study was conducted to investigate river water upstream of the Great Usutu River in Swaziland. The study was an experiment with one treatment; the Great Usutu river water, with two replications. World Health Organization water quality guidelines for domestic water use were used as a control. Water samples were taken from three samplings stations or sites, at Bunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu. The sampling took place in February 2016, which was a rainy season. The samples were collected in the morning and taken for testing Physical (turbidity and pH), Microbiological (E. coli) and chemical (nitrates, hardness and phosphorus) quality on the same. Data analysis was conducted using one-way ANOVA utilizing SPSS computer software (version 20). The results indicated that the physical water quality (mean turbidity) at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu were 265.5 NTU, 209.5 NTU and 129.5 NTU, respectively. The turbidity levels were above the WHO guideline value of 5 NTU, while the mean pH levels at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu were 7.43, 7.27 and 7.90, respectively. The pH levels were within the WHO water quality guidelines value of 6.5-8.5. The microbiological water quality in terms of the mean E. coli at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu were 2538.0 counts/100 ml, 2015.5 counts/100 ml and 1521.5 counts/100 ml, respectively. The river was contaminated with E. coli given the fact that the WHO water quality guideline value for domestic water use is 0 counts/100 ml of E. coli. The chemical water quality in terms of the mean nitrates at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu was 0.02 mg/L, 0.06 mg/L and 0.18 mg/L, respectively. The nitrates in the river water were within the WHO water quality guidelines for domestic use (10 mg/L). The mean hardness on the other hand was 240 mg/L, 950 mg/L and 1100 mg/L at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu, respectively, while the mean river water phosphorus was 1.40 mg/L, 1.70 mg/L and 2.81 mg/L at Bhunya, Lamgabhi and Mhlabubovu, respectively. It was concluded that the river water upstream of the Great Usuthu River was polluted on the basis of the microbiological quality (E. coli) and chemical (hardness, and phosphorus) reflected above.
Assessment, Water Quality, Upstream, Great Usuthu River, Swaziland
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