GIS-based Assessment of Arsenic Contamination of Water Supplies in Rural Areas of Rivash Town: Comparisons with National and WHO Standards

Document Type : Technical Note


1 Assoc. Prof., Department of Environmental Health, and Research Staff Member of Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sceinces, Mashhad, Iran

2 MSc Student of Environmental Health Engineering, and Staff Member of Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sceinces, Mashhad, Iran

3 PhD Student of Environmental Health, and Instructor of Health Faculty Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assoc. Prof. of Biostatistices, Faculty of Public Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 MSc Student of Environmental Health and Member of Public Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sceinces, Mashhad, Iran

6 BS in Environmental Health Engineering, and Instructor of Health Faculty, Mashhad University of Medical Sceinces, Mashhad, Iran


Arsenic is one of the most hazardous elements in drinking water. Water contaminated with arsenic causes a variety of diseases in humans including cancer. The present study was conducted to survey Arsenic concentration in rural water resources in Rivash Twon, Kashmar, Iran. For the purposes of this cross-sectional study, 60 samples were collected from 10 underground drinking water supplies during the period from April to June, 2013. Samplings and sample preservation were performed according to standard methods. Measurements were performed via the VGA method using atomic absorption. Such water quality parameters as pH, TDS, EC, residual chlorine, and temperaturte were also measured to determine any relationships likely to exist between As concentration and the parameters measured. As levels were then compared with national and international standards. It was found that the average values of As concentration at the stations A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J were 1.53±1.03, 1.30±1.07, 10.55±3.83, 11.21±5.01, 10.57±3.68, 2.34±0.73, 3.22±0.58, 9.89±3.57, 10.48±5.07, and 2.23±0.53 µg/L-1, respectively. As concentrations at five stations were found to be higher than the values recommended in WHO guidelines; the remaining stations revealed values below the national standard. While the differences between As level and the national standard were statistically significant (p<0.001), those between As level and WHO standard were significant (p<0.001) in 50% of the stations studied. Except in the case of pH, no significant relationships were detected between As level and any of the TDS, EC, temperature, salinity, or residual chlorine values. From the results of this study, it may be suggested that it is essential to plan for replacing safe drinking water supplies for the current polluted ones with high AS levels in the district. Controlling the present water supplies on a regular basis is also highly recommended.


Main Subjects

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