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Groundwater’s physicochemical and bacteriological assessment: Case study of well water in the region of Sedrata, North-East of Algeria

Malek, Amina, Kahoul, Mohamed, Bouguerra, Hamza
Journal of water and land development 2019 v.41 no.1 pp. 91-100
Clostridium, Streptococcus, aluminum, ammonium, anthropogenic activities, aquifers, calcium, case studies, chlorides, coliform bacteria, culture media, drinking water, electrical conductivity, fertilizers, groundwater, hardness, iron, livestock products, magnesium, manganese, nitrates, nitrites, pH, phosphates, pollution, risk, sulfates, sulfites, temperature, turbidity, water supply, wells, Algeria
Drinking water is a possible source of humans’ illness when it contains chemicals and microorganisms especially from anthropogenic activities. The water supply from groundwater remains very important in Algeria. To assess the quality of groundwater in the region of Sedrata, analyses were carried out on 26 wells belonging to two neighbouring areas: one urban and the other rural. A study of physicochemical parameters has focused on the measurement of in situ temperature, electrical conductivity, pH and turbidity. Then the following parameters were analysed: hardness, and the elements: Ca²⁺, Mg²⁺, SO₄²⁻, PO₄³⁻, Cl⁻, NO₂⁻, NO₃⁻, NH₄⁺ as well as metal trace elements Fe²⁺, Mn²⁺, Al³⁺. The samples taken for the bacteriological study were filtered and introduced into growth medium for the research and enumeration of total germs, faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci and sulphite reducing Clostridium. As a result, the contamination of the studied waters is almost general. Some of the most important obtained values are ranging from 4.8 to 76 mg∙dm⁻³ for nitrates, the recorded values for mesophilic germs vary from 1 to 1100 CFUs∙cm⁻³. Agricultural activity and livestock products on the one hand and the use of fertilizers on the other hand are the main sources of physicochemical and bacteriological pollution. Contaminated wells should be treated as soon as possible to limit contamination before spreading in the deep aquifers. In the future, it will be necessary not only to assess the health risks related to the level of contamination of these waters, but also to proceed with their treatment before supplying them to consumers.