Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 2, pp 1129–1135 | Cite as

Analysis of elemental concentration using ICP-AES and pathogen indicator in drinking water of Qasim Abad, District Rawalpindi, Pakistan



The present study was conducted to investigate drinking water quality (groundwater) from water samples taken from Qasim Abad, a locality of approximately 5,000 population, situated between twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad in Pakistan. The main sources of drinking water in this area are water bores which are dug upto the depth of 250–280 ft in almost every house. The study consists of the determination of physico-chemical properties, trace metals, heavy metals, rare earth elements and microbiological quality of drinking water. The data showed the variation of the investigated parameters in samples as follows: pH 6.75 to 8.70, electrical conductivity 540 to 855 μS/cm, total dissolved solids 325.46 to 515.23 ppm and dissolved oxygen 1.50 to 5.64 mg/L which are within the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality. The water samples were analysed for 30 elements (aluminium, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon, zinc, molybdenum, titanium, chromium, nickel, tungsten, silver, arsenic, boron, barium, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, gallium, mercury, lanthanum, niobium, neodymium, lead, selenium, samarium, tin, vanadium and zirconium) by using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The organic contamination was detected in terms of most probable number (MPN) of faecal coliforms. Overall, elemental levels were lower than the recommended values but three water bores (B-1, B-6, B-7) had higher values of iron (1.6, 2.206, 0.65 ppm), two water bores (B-1, B-6) had higher values of aluminium (0.95, 1.92 ppm), respectively, and molybdenum was higher by 0.01 ppm only in one water bore (B-11). The total number of coliforms present in water samples was found to be within the prescribed limit of the WHO except for 5 out of 11 bore water samples (B-2, B-3, B-4, B-8, B-11), which were found in the range 5–35 MPN/100 mL, a consequence of infiltration of contaminated water (sewage) through cross connection, leakage points and back siphoning.


ICP-AES MPN Drinking water Bore (a well dug with 7-in. metallic borer) Water quality Coliforms MPN 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shama Sehar
    • 1
  • Iffat Naz
    • 1
  • Naeem Ali
    • 1
  • Safia Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbiology Research Laboratory, Department of MicrobiologyQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

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