Temporal and Spatial Seasonal Variations in Quality of Gravity Flow Water in Kyanamira Sub-County, Kabale District, Uganda
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The study was designed to investigate temporal and spatial seasonal variations in quality properties of gravity flow water samples collected from Kigata, Kacuro, Kihanga, Kitibya and Kanjobe located in Kyanamira Sub-County, Kabale District, Uganda. Physical, chemical and biological parameters such as pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, turbidity, colour and total suspended solids, total hardness, total alkalinity, chloride, fluoride, nitrates-N, nitrites-N, ammonium-N, sulphates, total phosphate, sodium, calcium, magnesium and some heavy metals were analyzed. Total iron, lead, chromium, copper, zinc, manganese and cadmium were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry. Two of the basic biological parameters for drinking water such as faecal coliforms and salmonella were analyzed by incubation followed by counting colony forming units (CFUs). Statistical presentations of data including cluster analysis, dendrograms and principal component analysis were used with the assistance of PAST software. Temperature, pH, TDS dissolved oxygen, cations, anions (chemical parameters) and salmonella, faecal coliforms were the major contributing parameters to gravity flow water’s quality variations during both seasons. Values of pH ranged between 3.78 and 4.84 from March to August in all study sites and they were consistently below the WHO permissible pH range of 6.5 - 8.5. Total suspended solids ranged between 0.66 and 2.17 mg·L−1 and were above the recommended WHO limit of zero value in all study sites. Salmonella and faecal coliforms colonies were present in scaring numbers in the wet season. In March, salmonella counts at Kacuro (14 CFU) and Kanjobe (128 CFU) while faecal coliforms counts at Kacuro (515 CFU) and Kanjobe (228 CFU). The findings of this study call for special attention when using gravity flow water.