Drinking water quality of various sources in Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat and Swat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan
Abstract The present study involves the chemical and bacteriological analysis of water from different sources i.e., bore, wells, bottle, and tap, from Peshawar, Mardan, Swat and Kohat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. From each district, 50 water samples (10 samples from each source), regardless of urban and rural status, were collected from these sources and analysed for sulphates, nitrates, nitrites, chlorides, total soluble solids and coliforms (E. coli). Results indicated that majority of the water sources had unacceptable E. coli count i.e.> 34 CFU/100mL. E. coli positive samples were high in Mardan District, followed by Kohat, Swat and Peshawar district. Besides this, the some water sources were also chemically contaminated by different inorganic fertilizers (nitrates/nitrites of sodium, potassium) but under safe levels whereas agricultural and industrial wastes (chloride and sulphate compounds) were in unsafe range. Among all districts, the water quality was found comparatively more deteriorated in Kohat and Mardan districts than Peshawar and Swat districts. Such chemically and bacteriologically unfit water sources for drinking and can cause human health problems.