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Publication Detail
Arsenic and other drinking water quality issues,Muzaffargarh District, Pakistan
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Nickson RT, McArthur JM, Shrestha B, Kyaw-Myint TO, Lowry D
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    55, 68
  • Journal:
    Applied Geochemistry
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Notes:
    Imported via OAI, 7:29:00 12th May 2005
In 49 samples of groundwater, sampled in Muzaffargarh District of south-western Punjab, central Pakistan, concentrationsof As exceeded the World Health Organisation provisional guideline value, and United States EnvironmentalProtection Agency (USEPA) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), of 10 ug L-1 in 58% of samples and reached up to906 ug L-1. In this semi-arid region canal irrigation has lead to widespread water-logging, and evaporative concentrationof salts has the potential to raise As concentrations in shallow groundwater well above 10 ug L-1. In fact, in ruralareas, concentrations stay below 25 ug L-1 because As in the oxic shallow groundwater, and in recharging water, issorbed to aquifer sediments. In some urban areas, however, shallow groundwater is found to contain elevated levelsof As. The spatial distribution of As-rich shallow groundwater indicates either direct contamination with industrialor agricultural chemicals, or some other anthropogenic influence. Geochemical evidence suggests that pollutant organicsfrom unconfined sewage and other sources drives reduction of hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) releasing sorbed As toshallow groundwater. The situation is slightly less clear for seven wells sampled which tap deeper groundwater, all ofwhich were found with >50 ug L-1 As. Here As concentrations seem to increase with depth and differing geochemicalsignatures are seen, suggesting that As concentrations in older groundwater may be governed by different processes.Other data on parameters of potential concern in drinking water are discussed briefly at the end of the paper.
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