Rural Assessment of Groundwater Quality Parameters: A Case Study of Pepel Northern Sierra Leone
Majority of the population in Pepel depend on groundwater for domestic and other purposes. However, in spite of the high potential of groundwater in this region and the number of boreholes drilled by Aid Agencies, study reveals that there is still a serious problem with adequate availability and quality of groundwater supply. Water
samples from 35 selected borehole wells were collected from June – September 2016. Water samples were collected from each well for quality analyses within Pepel, Port Loko districts for Physicochemical and bacteriological analysis. The parameters tested are pH, Temperature, Color, Total Dissolved Solid, Conductivity,
Calcium, Nitrate, Manganese, Chloride, Fluoride, Iron, Copper, Turbidity and Sulfate. The result obtained was compared with World Health Organization (WHO) standards for water quality. Results have shown that boreholes in Pepel have high average yield of (2.04 m3/hr. The productivity of the boreholes in Pepel can
supply enough water to the locals in the area and that most of the physical parameters are within acceptable WHO limits for drinking water quality. The entire water samples that were analyzed for chemical parameters indicated that the samples did not exceed the acceptable WHO limits. More than half of the borehole water
samples 19 (54 %) out 35 boreholes showed lower pH values that are below WHO recommended pH limits of 6.5-8.5, while 17 (46% ) out 35 boreholes fall within WHO recommended pH limits. This shows that many of the sample borehole waters from the study areas indicated a tendency to towards acidity. Thus, these water sources are acidic. The acidity of water may be attributed to marshy and sandy sulphate soils. Acids lower pH and bases increase pH of water. Fluctuation in pH reflects the biological activity and changes in the natural chemistry of waters, as well as pollution. However, 67% of the wells yielded water of good bacteriological quality.