International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2570

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical and microbial investigation of drinking water sources from Kohat, Pakistan

Naeem Khan1*, Syed Tasleem Hussain1, Javid Hussain1, Nargis Jamila2, Shabir Ahmed1, Riaz Ullah3, Zain Ullah4,
  1Department of Chemistry, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat-26000, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. 2School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, 11800, Malaysia. 3College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 4Department of Chemistry, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. 5UNICEF, UNOCA Compound, Jalalabad Road, Kabul, 54, Afghanistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 June 2012
  •  Published: 05 July 2012



Safe drinking water is one of the basic human rights and essential need for healthy life. In Pakistan, the quality of drinking water is not being managed properly and various studies provide evidence that most of the drinking-water supplies are contaminated. In this study, 60 drinking water samples from both urban and rural areas of district Kohat were analyzed chemically and microbiologically, to find out their suitability for drinking purposes. Fifty-four samples were collected from hand pumps, streams, tanks, wells and tube wells, at 15 main population zones selected. Six bottled water samples were also taken from the open market for analysis. These were investigated for various chemical previous termparameters including sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), sulfate (SO42-), phosphate (PO4-3), nitrate (NO3-), and nitrite (NO2-), using standard methods of analysis recommended by American Public Health Association (APHA). Microbiological analysis was also carried out for Escherichia coli, to find out any fecal contamination. The results of parameters showed variations from the WHO and Pakistan standard values for drinking water (Table 1). The Kand NO2 of 3%, SO42− of 7%, Naof 9% and NO3 of 16% samples were found to be higher than the WHO/Pakistan recommended values for drinking water.  E. coli were found present in 70% of samples. From the results it was confirmed that majority of water sources are not safe to drink. Therefore, proper measures by the concerned authorities are required, to avoid health hazards.  


Key words: Drinking water, Kohat, chemical, Escherichia coli, American Public Health Association (APHA).