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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering
Title An Assessment of the Mhlambanyoni Spring Water Quality at Sigombeni, Swaziland
Author(s)
Volume 2
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 40-45
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.

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