Assessment of Groundwater Quality in Areas Surrounding Thundulu Phosphate Mine, Phalombe District, Malawi
Keywords:Physico-chemical, Groundwater, Phalombe, Borehole, Electrical Conductivity, Turbidity, Phosphate
Water is one of the renewable resources essential for sustaining all forms of life and quality of drinking water is very fundamental for human health. Human activities such as mining act as sources of water contamination which consequently lead to ecological, environmental and health problems. To the best of our knowledge, no study has been conducted around the Thundulu Phosphate Mine to establish the quality of drinking water. In this regard, this study was carried out to evaluate the physico-chemical water quality parameters of areas surrounding the Thundulu Phosphate Mine in Phalombe District. Groundwater samples from the villages surrounding the Phosphate Mine were collected both during the wet and dry seasons for analysis of physico-chemical water quality parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, fluoride, iron, calcium and magnesium). The study also investigated microbiological water characteristics mainly Escherichia coli and faecal coliforms. Results showed that pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, calcium and magnesium complied with the national and international standards set by Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and World Health Organization (WHO). As regards to microbiological characteristics, it was revealed that water from three sources (B2, B3 and B4) was contaminated with Escherichia coli and faecal coliforms.
Keywords: Physico-chemical, Groundwater, Phalombe, Borehole, Electrical Conductivity, Turbidity, Phosphate.