The Usage Of Underground Water Biology Essay

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The present use of groundwater is very small amount compared to the total availability of its sources due to our reliability heavily on surface water. The important role of groundwater as a supplementary source of water supply has increased in recent years. The demand for groundwater will be more increased due to problems of surface water potential resulting from rapid socio-economic and industrial development of the nation. in present and near future. As such, it is important that our groundwater be protected from any source of pollutants that will affect its quality.

Groundwater provides drinking water for about one-fourth of the world's people. It is widely available and is renewable source of water as long as the water is not withdrawn faster than it is replaced and as long as the aquifers do not become contaminated (Miller, 2005).

Most groundwater contains no suspended matter and practically no bacteria (normally of superior sanitary quality). It is usually clear and colorless (Johnson, 1972).

According to Heath (1987), the deterioration in the quality of groundwater is called as groundwater pollution resulting from the activities of man. Pollution of groundwater is receiving increased attention from water users. As a result, pollution has been found to be much more widespread than we had believed only a few years ago. This attention has also resulted in widespread recognition of the facts that polluted groundwater may pose a serious threat to health that is often not apparent to those affected and that purification of polluted groundwater systems may require centuries or the expenditure of huge sums of money. Most pollution of groundwater results from the disposal of wastes on the land surface, in shallow excavations including septic tanks or through deep wells and mines, the use of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, leaks in sewers, storage tanks and pipelines, and animal feedlots.

Groundwater can be easily polluted by any one of several sources, and the pollutants are very toxic but difficult to recognize. The hazard presented by the pollutants depend on several factors including the concentration or toxicity of the pollutant in the environment and the degree of exposure of people or other organisms to the pollutants (Botkin and Keller, 2003).

Groundwater usually contains the largest amounts of dissolved solids. The composition and concentration of substances dissolved in unpolluted groundwater depend on the chemical composition of precipitation, on the biologic and chemical reactions occurring on the land surface and in the soil zone and on the mineral composition of the aquifers and confining beds through which the water moves. Nearly all substances are soluble to some extent in the water and many chemical wastes are highly toxic even in small concentrations (Heath, 1987).

In Malaysia, groundwater is used mainly for domestic, municipal, industrial and agricultural purposes. Major groundwater development was normally carried out by government agencies such as Public Work Department (PWD), Geological Survey Department (GSD) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID). Private drillers, however, are responsible for developing groundwater to private users, especially factories. Ministry of Health is also participating but at smaller scales particularly in rural areas (DOE, 1996).

According to Department of Environment (DOE) (2006), recognizing the future potential of groundwater as an important alternative source of water, the DOE in 1997 initiated the National Groundwater Monitoring Programme. By 2006, 88 monitoring wells had been established at 48 sites in Peninsular Malaysia (including 5 wells in Perak), 19 wells in Sarawak and 15 wells in Sabah. With the fast rate of urbanization in these areas which significantly contributes to groundwater pollution, it is important that the quality of the aquifer be monitored and protected. The sites were selected and categorized according to the surrounding land use, as for example for Perak sites, there were animal burial areas, solid waste landfill and radioactive landfill. The information provided from the monitoring network will play important role in planning and management of the groundwater.

1.1 Problem Statements

Groundwater can be easily polluted by any one of several sources and pollutants. Advance actions should be taken to avoid the pollution of groundwater by harmful substances to the maximum possible extent. The hazard presented by a particular groundwater pollutant depends on several factors including the concentration or toxicity of the pollutant in the environment and the degree of exposure of people or other organisms to the pollutant.

According to DOE's Environmental Report 2002, the potential of groundwater as an alternative source of water is increasingly gaining importance. However its quality is influenced by soil conditions, human activities and geological formations. More information is needed to be collected to fulfill the compilation of groundwater data in Malaysia for proper planning and management.

1.2 Objectives

The main objective of this study is to compare the quality of groundwater at selected DOE monitoring stations with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, 2000 by Ministry of Health, Malaysia. This study will provide general ideas of the groundwater quality parameters trend of the studied monitoring stations and the suitability of various uses of the groundwater especially for human use and development planning.

The objectives of the study are :

i) To identify the quality of groundwater for selected parameters in Perak State;

ii) To evaluate the trend of groundwater quality based on 4 years data;

iii) To make data comparison by using General Linear Model (GLM) from Statistical Analysis System (SAS); and

iv) To compare the quality of groundwater from selected monitoring stations in the study area.

1.3 Significance of the Study

i) This study will identify the quality of groundwater and will be useful to the Authority for remedial action that can be taken to control, reduce or eliminate the contaminants.

ii) By comparing the data of groundwater quality with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, 2000 will ensure the groundwater from the studied area is safe before being consumed.

CHAPTER 2

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Groundwater

According to Miller (2005), some precipitation infiltrates the ground and percolates downward through voids (pores, fractures, crevices and other spaces) in soil and rock. The water in these spaces is called groundwater and it is one of our most important sources of fresh water. Close to the surface, the spaces in soil and rock hold little moisture. Below a certain depth, in the zone of saturation, these spaces are completely filled with water. The water table is located at the top of the zone of saturation. It falls in dry weather or when we remove groundwater faster than it replenished, and it rises in wet weather.

The water table is the level in the saturated zone at which the hydraulic pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure and is represented by the water level in unused wells. Below the water table, the hydraulic pressure increases with increasing depth (Heath, 1987).

Deeper down are geological layers called aquifers: porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel or bedrock through which groundwater flows. They are like large elongated sponges through which groundwater seeps. Fairly watertight layers of rock or clay below an aquifers keep the water from escaping. About one of every three people on Earth depends on water pumped out of aquifers for drinking and other uses (Miller, 2005).

2.2 Water Parameters Principal

Based on United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), 2001, the principal of the studied groundwater parameters are as below:

2.2.1 Arsenic

This element is very widely distributed throughout the earth's crust, according to the WHO Guidelines, which state that "it is introduced into water through the dissolution of minerals and ores, from industrial effluents, and from atmospheric deposition: concentrations in groundwater in some areas are sometimes elevated as a result of erosion from natural sources. The average daily intake of inorganic arsenic in water is estimated to be similar to that from food; intake from air is negligible." Arsenic is used in the glass and semiconductor industries and as a fungicide in timber processing. In US, a major emission source is coal-fired power plant. It can be found in air and in all living organisms (USEPA, 2001).

Arsenic is very toxic to humans, some arsenical compounds are carcinogens, hence much of the concern regarding them, but there are a variety of other effects on health. The WHO states that inorganic arsenic is a documented human carcinogen, and that a relatively high incidence of skin and possibly other cancers that increase with dose and age has been observed in populations ingesting water containing high concentrations of arsenic (USEPA, 2001).

2.2.2 Iron

Geological formations (especially under reducing conditions); acid drainage; effluent discharges. The objections to iron are primarily organoleptic, but there has been recent medical concern about high levels in drinking water. Iron is present in significant amounts in soils and rocks, principally in insoluble forms. However, many complex reactions which occur naturally in ground formations can give rise to more soluble forms of iron which will therefore be present in water passing through such formations. Appreciable amounts of iron may therefore be present in groundwaters (USEPA, 2001).

Severe problems can be caused in drinking water supplies by the presence of iron although there is normally no harmful effect on persons consuming waters with significant amounts of iron. Rather, the problems are primarily aesthetic, as the soluble (reduced) ferrous (Fe++) iron is oxidised in air to the insoluble ferric (Fei+++) form, resulting in colour or turbidity (or, in severe cases, precipitate formation). Laundry becomes stained if washed in water with excessive iron, and vegetables likewise become discoloured on cooking. Taste problems may also occur. When waters rich in iron are used to make tea (in which tannins are present) there may be a reaction giving rise to off colours which may in severe cases resemble that of ink. Problems have been reported also with the addition of such waters to whiskey (USEPA, 2001).

The metal is quite harmful to aquatic life, as evidenced by laboratory studies, but in nature the degree of toxicity may be lessened by the interaction of the iron with other constituents of a water. Should the metal be converted to an insoluble form then the iron deposits will interfere with fish food and with spawning (USEPA, 2001).

2.2.3 Manganese

Widely distributed constituent of ores and rocks.No particular toxicological connotations; the objections to manganese - like iron - are aesthetic. As with iron, manganese is found widely in soils and is a constituent of many groundwaters. It, too, may be brought into solution in reducing conditions and the excess metal will be later deposited as the water is reaerated. The general remarks for iron apply to manganese but the staining problems with this metal may be even more severe, hence the quite stringent limits. A second effect of the presence of manganese much above the limits is an unacceptable taste problem. Toxicity is not a factor, as waters with high levels of manganese will be rejected by the consumer long before any danger threshold is reached (USEPA, 2001).

2.2.4 Total Dissolved Solids

Natural or added solutes present in a water. Principally organoleptic implications. The parameter is determined as for total solids except that the sample is filtered through a defined medium (membrane or glass fibre paper; cf. "Solids,Suspended") beforehand. The term Total Filtrable Solids is also used. It is often convenient and acceptable to use the very rapid determination of conductivity to give an estimation of the total dissolved solids. As discussed earlier, the total dissolved solids, or TDS, includes ionized and nonionised matter but only the former is reflected in the conductivity. Where TDS are high the water may be "saline" and the applicable parameter "Salinity" (USEPA, 2001).

2.3 Quality of Groundwater

Water consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, which give it a chemical formula of H2O. Water frequently is referred to as the universal solvent because it has the ability to dissolve at least small amounts of almost all substances that it contacts. Of the domestic water used by man, groundwater usually contains the largest amounts of dissolved solids. The composition and concentration of substances dissolved in unpolluted groundwater depend on the chemical composition of precipitation, on the biologic and chemical reactions occurring on the land surface and in the soil zone, and on the mineral composition of the aquifers and confining beds through which the water moves (Heath, 1987).

The concentrations of substances dissolves in water are commonly reported in units of weight per volume. In the Internet System (SI), the most commonly used units are milligrams per liter. A milligram equals 1/1000 (0.001) of a gram, and a liter equals 1/1000 of a cubic meter, so that 1 mg/L equals gram m-3. Because the concentration of most substances dissolved in water is relatively small, the weight per weight unit commonly used was parts per million or ppm (Heath, 1987).

2.4 Groundwater Pollution

According to Heath (1987), pollution has been found to be much more widespread than we had believed only a few years ago. This attention has also resulted in widespread recognition of the facts that polluted groundwater may pose a serious threat to health that is often not apparent to those affected and that purification of polluted groundwater systems may require centuries or the expenditure of huge sums of money. These facts alone make it imperative that the pollution of groundwater by harmful substances absolutely be avoided to the maximum possible extent.

Pollution of groundwater refers to any deterioration in the quality of the water resulting from the activities of man. This definition includes saltwater encroachment into freshwater-bearing aquifers resulting from the artificial lowering of groundwater heads. Most pollution of groundwater results from the disposal of wastes on the land surface, in shallow excavations including septic tanks, or through deep wells and mines; the use of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals: leaks in sewers, storage tanks, and pipelines; and animal feedlots. The magnitude of any pollution problem depends on the size of the area affected and the amount of the pollutant involved, the solubility, toxicity, and density of the pollutant, the mineral-composition and hydraulic characteristics of the soils and rocks through which the pollutant moves, and the effect or potential effect on groundwater use (Heath, 1987).

Affected areas range in size from point sources, such as septic tanks, to large urban areas having leaky sewer systems and numerous municipal and industrial waste-disposal sites. Nearly all substances are soluble to some extent in water, and many chemical wastes are highly toxic even in minute concentrations. The density of a liquid substance that is, the weight per unit volume of the substance relative to that of water affects its underground movement. Densities range from those of petroleum products that are less dense than water to brines and other substances that are denser than water. Substances less dense than water tend to accumulate at the top of the saturated zone; if, like petroleum, they are immiscible, they will tend to spread in all directions as a thin film. Substances denser than water tend to move downward through the saturated zone to the first extensive confining bed (Heath, 1987).

The mineral composition and physical characteristics of soils and rocks through which pollutants move may affect the pollutants in several ways. If a pollutant enters the ground at a "point", it will be dispersed longitudinally and laterally in granular materials so that its concentration will be reduced in the direction of movement. Organic substances and other biodegradable materials tend to be broken down both by oxidation and by bacterial action in the unsaturated zone. Certain earth materials, especially clays and organic matter, may also absorb trace metals and certain complex organic pollutants and thereby reduce their concentration as they move through the underground environment (Heath, 1987).

2.5 Chemical Characteristics of Groundwater

As described by Johnson (1972), the relatively slow movement of water percolating through the ground affords intimate and long contact of the water with the minerals that make up the earth's crust. These minerals are soluble to a greater or less degree, so groundwater increases in mineral content as it moves along until a combined equilibrium or balance of the dissolved substances is reached. Many variables in the environment affect the chemical processes, wide variations in the chemical characteristics of groundwater, even within small regions are encountered.

The dissolved minerals in groundwater affect its usefulness for various purposes. If one or more of the minerals are in excess of the amount that can be tolerated for a given use, some type of treatment may be applied to change or remove the undesirable mineral, so that the water will serve the intended purpose (Johnson, 1972).

The concentrations of chemicals in potable piped water supplies depend greatly on the source of water and its treatment history. Well water usually have low concentrations of bacteria and environmental chemicals but often have high mineral concentrations. Poor waste disposal practices may contribute to groundwater contamination, especially in areas of high population density. Uptake of environmental chemical in bathing waters across intact skin is usually minimal in comparison to uptake via inhalation or ingestion. It depends on both the concentration in the fluid surrounding the skin surface and the polarity of the chemical with more polar chemicals having less ability to penetrate the intact skin. Uptake via skin can be significant for occupational exposures to concentrated liquids or solids. (Lippmann, 2006).

2.6 Groundwater Quality Parameters

In 1997, the DOE has prepared a manual for Groundwater Monitoring which included groundwater quality parameters. The manual described, in order to evaluate the quality of water, some quality parameters have to be identified. Depending on the purpose of water quality evaluation the list of interested quality parameters varies. These can be grouped into four major groups namely physical parameters, chemical parameters, biological and microbiological parameters and radioactive parameters. Chemical parameters are further subdivided into four sub groups called inorganic cations, inorganic anions, heavy metals and organic parameters. Most of these were based on the potential dangers to health of the living organisms on the earth. These were prepared with an intention to check the fitness of water for drinking purposes or use as raw water into a water treatment plant before distribution.

For the purpose of groundwater sampling and evaluating the results, mainly to find the degree of contamination and its suitability for various purposes such as domestic , industrial and agricultural, the following quality parameters are looked into:

Table 2.1 : Suggested Groundwater Quality Parameters

No.

Parameters

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Total Dissolved Solids

Hardness

Anions

- Nitrate

- Chloride

- Phosphate

- Sulphate

Heavy Metals

Phenols

Hydrocarbons

Pesticides

Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds

Non-Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds

Radiological Parameters - Gross Alpha

- Gross Beta

- Gross Gamma

Bacteriological Analyses - Total Coliform

- E.coli

2.7 Groundwater Quality Monitoring

Based on DOE (1996), the groundwater quality monitoring is a complex process which provides data and information for the developing, protection and management of groundwater. The long term planning, strategy and policy for national and regional groundwater resources is based on the analysis and implementation of data obtained from the relevant monitoring programme. The basic objectives of monitoring are to determine the physical, chemical and biological parameters of groundwater systems, identify the timely and spatial effects of natural processes and human activities on the groundwater and to forecast long term trends in the groundwater quality variations. Groundwater monitoring programme, systems and methods are evaluated with regard to the monitoring strategy and objectives.

There are two types of groundwater quality monitoring approach namely ambient and source monitoring Monitoring activities play an important role in planning, development, protection and management of groundwater resources. Monitoring groundwater quality is continuous, methodologically and technically standardized programme of observations and measurements of selected components and variables of a hydrogeological system and pollution sources. The groundwater quality monitoring process comprises of monitoring objectives, monitoring strategy, monitoring programme and monitoring system and methodology (DOE, 1996).

2.8 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network in Malaysia

According to the DOE (1996), DOE had been given the task of monitoring the quality of groundwater in Malaysia. This project was designed to establish a network of groundwater quality monitoring stations. The objectives of the project were:

i) to identify well sites for establishment of a groundwater quality monitoring network in Peninsular Malaysia;

ii) to set up a preliminary groundwater quality monitoring programme at two selected waste disposal sites in Peninsular Malaysia; and

iii) to develop guidelines for groundwater sampling procedures.

The monitoring network covers the whole Peninsular Malaysia Principal potential well siting zones were based on areas that have high groundwater utilisation and largest number of land/pollution sources. The most important regions analyzed in the study are located in Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu alluvium deposits, all in the East Coast of the Peninsula. For hard rock areas, the emphasized regions are located in Selangor, Perlis, and Perak.

2.9 Groundwater Quality Status in Malaysia

Based on DOE (2007), groundwater quality monitoring was carried out using 88 monitoring wells in Peninsular Malaysia, 19 wells in Sarawak and 15 wells in Sabah as part of the National Groundwater Monitoring Programme that was initiated in 1996. The sites selected were according to the land use such as agricultural, urban/suburban, rural and industrial and special interests sites such as solid waste landfills, golf courses, radioactive landfill, animal burial areas, municipal water supply and ex-mining (gold mine) (Table 2.2).

In 2007, 303 water samples were taken from these monitoring wells and analysed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, heavy metals, anions, bacteria (coliform), phenolic compounds, radioactivity (Gross Alpha and Beta), total hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, temperature, conductivity and dissolved oxygen (DO). The results were then compared with the National Guidelines For Raw Drinking Water Quality established by the Ministry of Health (Revised December 2000) to determine the status of its quality.

From the monitoring results it was found that arsenic (As), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), total coliform and phenol recorded the most number of samples in all categories of land use exceeding the guideline values. The least number of samples exceeding the guideline values were mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), nitrate (NO3) and sulphate (SO4).

Table 2.2 : Distribution of Groundwater Monitoring Wells, 2007

Category

Number of Wells

Agricultural Areas

Urban/Suburban Areas

Industrial Sites

Solid Waste Landfills

Golf Courses

Radioactive Landfill

Rural Areas

Ex-mining Areas (Gold Mine)

Municipal Water Supply

Animal Burial Areas

Aquaculture Farms

Resorts

12

12

18

27

7

1

5

3

11

16

9

1

Total

122

Source : DOE, 2007

2.10 Conservation of Water Quality

As quoted by Johnson (1972), with respect to current beneficial use that can be made of such water, therefore, its mode of occurrence and time required for renewal put certain groundwater resources in the non-renewable resource classification. In water conservation, pollution or contamination is one of the problems. Water shortage can result wherever the available supply is not of the quality required and where treatment to improve its quality is too costly. While there are many instances of needless pollution that ought not to occur, it is also true that water pollution to some extent is an essential feature of our legitimate use of water.

Protection of sources of drinking water from contamination or effective decontamination or disinfection of such supply is paramount. In this top priority the distinctive advantages of groundwater are of special importance. The more valuable water becomes, the more conflicts of interest arise over its use and management (Johnson, 1972).

2.11 Prevention of Groundwater Contamination

According to Miller (2005), preventing contamination is the most effective and cheapest way to protect groundwater resources. There are several ways to prevent contamination such as :

Find substitutes for toxic chemicals

Keep toxic chemicals out of the environment

Ban hazardous waste disposal in landfills and injection wells

Require leak detectors on underground tank

Store harmful liquids in aboveground tank with leak detection and collection systems

Install monitoring wells near landfills and underground tanks

2.12 National Standard for Drinking Water Quality

The Drinking Water Quality Surveillance Unit, Engineering Services Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, (MOH) prepared a set of the National Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality and published in 1983 in response to the need for a realistic and appropriate set of guidelines regarding safe and portable water supply. It was revised in 2000 as National Standard for Drinking Water Quality.

In drawing up these document, the WHO Drinking Water Quality Guidelines, 1993/1996/1998 was used as main reference. The aim of this document is to set limits to constituents that may be present in water, which may be hazardous to health or objectionable to the physical senses of the consumer. The document is divided into 3 sections such as definition of terms, quality requirements and recommended procedures.

The drinking water quality standards are applicable to all water intended for human consumption. This includes drinking water from all public water supply systems, tank supplies and water used for bottled drinks and ice manufacturing (MOH, 2000).

CHAPTER 3

3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Sites Location Plan

The studied area was located at Sungai Kinta's basin in Perak State. According to DOE (1996), the rock aquifer which incorporates sandstone and limestone underlays the centre of the Perak State. The land area is about 2,058 sq. km, has 1,545 x 106 m3 groundwater's storage potential and 0.39 x 106 m3/day recharge.

This area locates 5 DOE's groundwater monitoring stations. Among 5 existing DOE's wells within the selected areas, 4 wells were selected for the purpose of this study as shown in Figure 3.1. One of the stations which located at Lahat (radioactive site) temporarily has been stopped in 2006 due to the health impact. The longitude and latitude of the stations are shown in Table 3.1. The land uses for these 4 monitoring stations are solid waste landfill for Batu Gajah Station and animal burial for Tambun, Jalong A and Jalong B Stations.

Table 3.1 : The Location of the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations

Stations

Well No.

(MW (7)-)

Latitude

Longitude

1) Pusing Batu Gajah

(BG)

A11-1-6.05M

4o 29'27" N

101o 1.7'44" E

2) Tambun

(TBN)

A(IP)-1-5.92M

4o 35'45" N

101o 8.7'1" E

3) Jalong A, Sungai Siput

(JLG A)

A(SS)-2-3.14M

4o 51'56" N

101o 6.8'23" E

4) Jalong B, Sungai Siput

(JLG B)

A(SS)-1-7.65M

4o 51'39" N

101o 6.8'16" E

3.2 Data Comparison

In this study, the secondary data has been used as the main source of information for data comparison with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, 2000 by Ministry of Health, Malaysia. 4 DOE's monitoring stations have been chosen with selected parameters such as Arsenic, Ferum, Manganese and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).

According to these standards, the maximum acceptable values for the parameters selected in this study are as in Table 3.2 :

Table 3.2 : The Maximum Acceptable Values for Arsenic, Ferum, Manganese and Total Dissolved Solids

Parameters

Maximum Acceptable Values

(mg/l)

Arsenic

0.01

Ferum

0.3

Manganese

0.1

Total Dissolved Solids

1000

Source : MOH, 2000

The latest data for 4 years from the year 2005 until the year 2008 have been analyzed which were obtained from DOE of Perak State. Based on the selected parameters in the data comparison, the quality of groundwater at selected monitoring stations has been obtained as shown in Table 4.1 to Table 4.4. and the trends of parameters in average concentration for each station have been plotted.

3.3 Data Analysis

The data collected was analyzed statistically using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS). In this system, General Linear Model (GLM) has been used based on the type of data collected in this study. The analysis was done to get the dependent variables for parameters studied and to make comparison based on the station's locations, selected years and sampling frequencies by using t-test. The results of the analysis are shown as in Table 4.5 to Table 4.12.

Figure 3.1 : The Location of the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations

CHAPTER 4

4,0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Landuse

The land use of Perak State mostly are forest, the rest are agriculture (paddy, rubber, oil palm, livestock, etc.), industries, urban, institutional, recreational, business services, transportation, housing, infrastructure, etc.(Figure 4.1). Both Jalong's stations fall under the landuse of rubber, Tambun's station under landuse of plantation while Batu Gajah's station falls under landuse of industrial.

4.2 The Trends of Selected Parameter's Concentrations

The data collected from DOE of Perak has been made comparison with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, 2000 by Ministry of Health, Malaysia The trends of parameters in average concentration for each station have been plotted as shown in Figure 4.2 to Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.1 : The Land use of Perak State

4.21 Arsenic

Table 4.1 : The Arsenic Concentration at the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

Note :

** Since there is no data for 2006, the data is estimated based on average of 3 years (2005,2007, and 2008).

Figure 4.2 shows the arsenic concentration at 2 stations in Batu Gajah and Tambun during the period of four years exceeding significantly the Malaysian Standard for Drinking Water Quality of 0.01 mg/l for Arsenic. The concentration at Tambun's station dropped very high from the year 2005 to 2008. The decreasing and increasing of Arsenic concentrations may be due to the degree of intensity of landuse activities which changing during the selected years.

Figure 4.2 : The Trend of Arsenic Concentration at DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

The Arsenic concentrations were not exceeding this standard limit for stations in Jalong A and Jalong B except for the year 2005 but not significantly. Since Arsenic concentration is not complying the requirement for drinking water quality standard, special water treatment has to apply which increases the production costs. Only a few proven sustainable options are available to provide safe drinking-water. These include: obtaining low-arsenic groundwater through accessing safe shallow groundwater or deeper aquifers (greater than 200 m); rain water harvesting; pond-sand-filtration; household chemical treatment; and piped water supply from safe or treated sources (WHO, 2001).

The concentrations of Arsenic in groundwater in some areas are elevated as a result of erosion from local rocks. (WHO, 2001).

4.22 Ferum

Table 4.2 : The Ferum Concentration at the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

Note :

** Since there is no data for 2006, the data is estimated based on average of 3 years (2005,2007, and 2008).

All concentrations of Ferum were increasing and exceeding significantly the Malaysian Standard for Drinking Water Quality of 0.3 mg/l for Ferum at Batu Gajah and Tambun stations as shown in Figure 4.3. The concentration in Jalong A station also exceeding this limit but not as much as Batu Gajah and Tambun stations

Figure 4.3 : The Trend of Ferum Concentration at DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

The Ferum concentrations at Jalong B station shows a decreasing trend in the year 2006 and increasing in the year 2007 and 2008. As same as Arsenic, the decreasing and increasing of Ferum concentrations may be due to the degree of intensity of landuse activities during the selected years.

According to Ministry of Health of British Columbia, 2007, Ferum commonly found in water and essential element required in small amounts by all living organisms. Concentration of Ferum in groundwater is often higher than those measured in surface waters. Since Ferum is element present in many types of rock, the most common source of Ferum in groundwater is naturally occurring, for example from weathering of Ferum bearing minerals and rocks. Industrial effluent, acid-mine drainage, sewage and landfill leachate may also contribute Ferum to local groundwater.

4.23 Manganese

Table 4.3 : The Manganese Concentration at the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

Note :

** Since there is no data for 2006, the data is estimated based on average of 3 years (2005,2007, and 2008).

There were increasing of concentrations of Manganese at Tambun and Jalong A stations as shown in Figure 4.4 which were exceeding significantly the Malaysian Standard for Drinking Water Quality of 0.1 mg/l for Manganese. In 2007, the concentration of manganese for Jalong A was very high. Since land use of this area is animal burial and Manganese sulfate (MnSO4) is used as a chemical intermediate and as a micronutrient in animal feeds and plant fertilizers (British Columbia, 2007), this high concentration may be due to the groundwater flows through soils rich in organic matter resulting from over disposal or uncontrolled uses of those things.

Most concentrations of Manganese at Batu Gajah and Jalong B stations were also exceeding the standard limit except in the year 2005 for Batu Gajah station.

Figure 4.4 : The Trend of Manganese Concentration at DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

4.24 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Table 4.4 : The TDS Concentration at the DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

Note :

** Since there is no data for 2006, the data is estimated based on average of 3 years (2005,2007, and 2008).

All concentrations of TDS at all stations comply to the Malaysian Standard for Drinking Water Quality of 1000 mg/l for TDS as shown in Figure 4.5. Where TDS are high the water may be "saline" (USEPA, 2001), it shows that the selected groundwater stations have low salinity. As suggested by Bauman et al. (2006), based on their field investigations, the colloids are filtered at the interface between the studied site and the aquifer.

Figure 4.5 : The Trend of TDS Concentration at DOE's Groundwater Monitoring Stations, 2005 - 2008

4.3 Stastistical Analysis

The results of general linear model analysis are shown in Tables 4.5 to 4.12.

4.31 Arsenic Data Analysis

Table 4.5 : Dependent Variable for Arsenic

Source

DF

Type III SS

Mean Square

F Value

Pr > F

Location

Year

Frequency

3

3

3

0.80978483

0.05550919

0.00365203

0.26992828

0.01850306

0.00121734

37.58

2.58

0.17

<.0001

0.0737

0.9161

Based on the Table 4.5, there were significant difference at 99 % Confidence Limits for the location and at 90 % Confidence Limits for the year. This analysis showed that the location and the year influence the Arsenic concentration and play important role in changing the chemistry of groundwater. This may be due to the type of landuse at the locations studied and the degree of intensity of landuse activities which changing during the selected years.

The results of the t-test for Arsenic as in Table 4.6 indicate that there were significantly differences in the Arsenic levels between stations of Batu Gajah and Tambun, Batu Gajah and Jalong A, Batu Gajah and Jalong B, Tambun and Jalong A and between Tambun and Jalong B (P<0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the Arsenic levels between Jalong A and Jalong B stations. This may be due to the location of these areas are near to each other and their landuses are almost the same.

Meanwhile, the results of the t-test for Arsenic indicate that there were significant differences in the Arsenic levels between the year 2006 and 2007, 2006 and 2008 and between 2005 and 2007 (P<0.05). There were no significant difference in the Arsenic levels between the year 2005 and 2006, 2005 and 2008 and between 2007 and 2008.

The t-test results of Arsenic for sampling frequency in Table 4.7 indicate that there was no significant difference in the Arsenic levels.

Table 4.6 : t Tests (LSD) for Arsenic

Comparison

Difference

Between Means

95% Confidence

Limits

Comparisons Significant at the 0.05 Level

(Indicated by ***)

Location

BG-TBN

BG-JLGA

BG-JLGB

TBN-JLGA

TBN-JLGB

JLGA-JLGB

0.15433

0.35500

0.35787

0.20067

0.20354

0.00287

0.07670 0.23196

0.27266 0.43734

0.28024 0.43550

0.11833 0.28301

0.12591 0.28117

-0.07947 0.08521

***

***

***

***

***

Year

2006 - 2005

2006 - 2008

2006 - 2007

2005 - 2008

2005 - 2007

2008 - 2005

2008 - 2007

0.07147

0.14819

0.15556

0.07673

0.08409

-0.07673

0.00737

-0.02229 0.16522

0.05444 0.24194

0.07246 0.23866

-0.01007 0.16352

0.00892 0.15926

-0.16352 0.01007

-0.06780 0.08254

***

***

***

Frequency

2 - 1

2 - 3

2 - 4

1 - 3

1 - 4

3 - 4

0.00242

0.06045

0.08567

0.05803

0.08325

0.02523

-0.06649 0.07133

-0.02022 0.14111

-0.01569 0.18703

-0.01797 0.13403

-0.01443 0.18094

-0.08108 0.13153

4.32 Ferum Data Analysis

Table 4.7 : Dependent Variable for Ferum

Source

DF

Type III SS

Mean Square

F Value

Pr > F

Location

Year

Frequency

3

3

3

259.3538434

25.0550233

65.5717814

86.4512811

8.3516744

21.8572605

10.45

1.01

2.64

<.0001

0.4033

0.0688

As shown in the Table 4.7, there were significant different at 99 % and at 90 % Confidence Limits for the location and frequency of sampling respectively. This analysis showed that the location and the frequency influence the Ferum concentration and play important role in changing the chemistry of groundwater. This may be due to the type of landuse at the locations studied and the degree of intensity of landuse. Meanwhile the year has no significant different which indicated the time does not influence the concentration of Ferum.

Based on the results of the t-test for Ferum as in Table 4.8 indicate that there were differences in the Ferum levels between stations of Batu Gajah and Tambun, Batu Gajah and Jalong A and between Batu Gajah and Jalong B (P<0.05). However, there was no difference in the Ferum levels between stations of Jalong A and Jalong B, Tambun and Jalong A and between Tambun and Jalong B.

As showed in the results of the t-test for Ferum as in Table 4.9 indicate that there were differences in the Ferum levels between the first and third time of sampling and between the second and third time of sampling (P<0.05).

Meanwhile, the t-test results of Ferum for the year indicate that there was no difference in the Ferum levels between the year selected.

Table 4.8 : t Tests (LSD) for Ferum

Comparison

Difference

Between Means

95% Confidence

Limits

Comparisons Significant at the 0.05 Level

(Indicated by ***)

Location

BG - TBN

BG - JLGB

BG - JLGA

TBN - JLGB

TBN - JLGA

JLGB - JLGA

4.604

4.712

7.191

0.107

2.587

2.480

1.969 7.240

2.077 7.347

4.396 9.986

-2.528 2.742

-0.208 5.382

-0.315 5.274

***

***

***

Year

2008 - 2005

2008 - 2006

2008 - 2007

2005 - 2006

2005 - 2007

2006 - 2007

1.754

1.875

2.204

0.122

0.451

0.329

-1.193 4.700

-1.307 5.057

-0.347 4.756

-3.061 3.304

-2.101 3.002

-2.492 3.150

Frequency

3 - 4

3 - 2

3 - 1

4 - 2

4 - 1

2 - 1

2.708

2.823

3.543

0.115

0.835

0.720

-0.900 6.316

0.085 5.561

0.963 6.122

-3.326 3.555

-2.481 4.150

-1.619 3.059

***

***

4.33 Manganese Data Analysis

Table 4.9 : Dependent Variable for Manganese

Source

DF

Type III SS

Mean Square

F Value

Pr > F

Location

Year

Frequency

3

3

3

124.2786877

53.6547753

17.7942910

41.4262292

17.8849251

5.9314303

5.47

2.36

0.78

0.0043

0.0925

0.5130

Based on the Table 4.9, there was significant difference for the location (P<0.01). This analysis showed that the location influences the Manganese concentration and plays important role in changing the chemistry of groundwater. This may be due to the type of landuse at the locations studied. For the year, there was significant difference (P<0.10). Whilst, the frequency of sampling has no significant different which indicate that the frequency has not influenced the concentration of Manganese.

The results of the t-test for Manganese as in Table 4.10 indicate that there were differences in the Manganese levels between stations of Jalong A and Jalong B, Jalong A and Tambun and between Jalong A and Batu Gajah (P<0.05).

The t-test results of Manganese for the year and sampling frequency indicate that there was no difference in the Manganese levels between the year and between the frequency.

Table 4.10 : t Tests (LSD) for Manganese

Comparison

Difference

Between Means

95% Confidence

Limits

Comparisons Significant at the 0.05 Level

(Indicated by ***)

Location

JLGA - TBN

JLGA - JLGB

JLGA - BG

TBN - JLGB

TBN - BG

JLGB - BG

4.196

4.733

4.742

0.537

0.547

0.010

1.523 6.869

2.060 7.405

2.070 7.415

-1.983 3.057

-1.973 3.067

-2.510 2.530

***

***

***

Year

2007 - 2008

2007 - 2006

2007 - 2005

2008 - 2006

2008 - 2005

2006 - 2005

1.8079

2.3973

2.4311

0.5894

0.6233

0.0338

-0.6321 4.2478

-0.3002 5.0947

-0.0088 4.8710

-2.4537 3.6325

-2.1941 3.4406

-3.0093 3.0769

Frequency

3 - 1

3 - 2

3 - 4

1 - 2

1 - 4

2 - 4

0.1392

0.4688

0.6489

0.3296

0.5097

0.1801

-2.3277 2.6061

-2.1494 3.0870

-2.8017 4.0994

-1.9072 2.5664

-2.6612 3.6805

-3.1099 3.4701

4.34 Total Dissolved Solids Data Analysis

Table 4.11 : Dependent Variable for TDS

Source

DF

Type III SS

Mean Square

F Value

Pr > F

Location

Year

Frequency

3

3

3

255318.5318

43104.0541

20715.0450

85106.1773

14368.0180

6905.0150

12.53

2.11

1.02

<.0001

0.1217

0.4008

Only the location influences TDS concentration (P<0.01) as shown in the Table 4.11. This analysis showed that the location influences the TDS concentration and this may be due to the type of landuse at the locations studied. Meanwhile the year and frequency of sampling have no significant difference.

Based on the results of the t-test for TDS as in Table 4.12 indicate that there were differences in the TDS levels between stations of Tambun and Batu Gajah, Tambun and Jalong B, Jalong A and Batu Gajah, Jalong A and Jalong B and between Batu Gajah and Jalong B (P<0.05).

The t-test results of TDS for the year and sampling frequency indicate that there was no difference in the TDS levels between the year and between the frequency.

Table 4.12 : t Tests (LSD) for TDS

Comparison

Difference

Between Means

95% Confidence

Limits

Comparisons Significant at the 0.05 Level

(Indicated by ***)

Location

TBN - JLGA

TBN - BG

TBN - JLGB

JLGA - BG

JLGA - JLGB

BG - JLGB

41.95

128.10

213.76

86.15

171.81

85.66

-38.27 122.17

52.46 203.74

136.05 291.46

5.93 166.37

89.62 253.99

7.95 163.36

***

***

***

***

***

Year

2005 - 2008

2005 - 2007

2005 - 2006

2008 - 2007

2008 - 2006

2007 - 2006

35.75

70.31

73.82

34.56

38.07

3.51

-48.81 120.31

-2.92 143.55

-22.59 170.24

-38.67 107.80

-58.34 134.49

-83.14 90.16

Frequency

3 - 4

3 - 2

3 - 1

4 - 2

4 - 1

2 - 1

6.88

7.85

30.48

0.98

23.61

22.63

-96.69 110.44

-70.73 86.44

-44.48 105.44

-97.77 99.73

-72.28 119.49

-45.51 90.77

CHAPTER 5

5.0 CONCLUSIONS

Based on the comparison of selected parameters with the Malaysian Standard for Drinking Water Quality, it indicated that the selected parameters concentrations such as Arsenic, Ferum and Manganese were exceeding the standard limit. This non compliances need special water treatment to be applied before it can be used in the future. If not, the water is not safe for drinking.

The analysis showed that the location influences the concentrations of all selected parameters. Since the location is related to the landuse,activities, this is also indicated that the landuse activities play important role in changing the quality of groundwater. However, the year only influences the concentration of Arsenic., whilst the frequency of sampling only influences the concentration of Ferum. This may be due to the degree of intensity of landuse activities that varies during the sampling time.

The result of this study will provide general ideas of the groundwater quality parameters trend for the selected 4 monitoring stations in Perak and will ensure the groundwater from the nearest area of Batu Gajah, Tambun and Jalong are safe before being consumed. Since the concentrations of Arsenic, Ferum and Manganese in these groundwater stations were exceeding the standard limit, remedial actions should be taken by The Authorities to control, reduce or eliminate the contaminants before it can be used further. However, drawing water from a protected source is simpler and safer than treating a contaminated supply.

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