English

Abstract

The aim of this study is to assess the quality of the water harvested in the cisterns of Yatta town; in the southern part of the West Bank, Palestine. It has assembled 50 different cistern samples from Yatta and tested for different physiochemical (pH, Conductivity, Salinity, Total Dissolved Solids, Turbidity, Alkalinity, Chloride, Ammonia, Residual Chlorine) and microbiological (Total Coliforms and Fecal Coliforms) characteristics. The water-health relationship has been investigated through a well-designed questionnaire that targeted a statistically representative sample of household in Yatta town.

Physicochemical test results were within allowable limits by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Palestinian Standards Institute (PSI), except for the proportions of turbidity and salinity which exceeded these limits with percentages of 5% for both tests. Most of the tested water samples were microbiologically contaminated with Total Coliforms (TC) and Fecal Coliforms (FC) with percentages of 96% and 70% respectively. The surrounding environment of the cisterns such as the inappropriate collection surfaces, and the presence of cesspits around the cisterns and the absence of available free chlorine in the RWH in addition to a number of other factors appear to be responsible for the reduced microbial quality. Water related diseases such as diarrhea, diarrhea and vomiting, and eyes diseases with high percentages are anticipated to be a main consequence of the poor water quality.