Assessing Water Quality
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Assessing Groundwater Quality=
The quality of groundwater is almost as important as the yield of a source. In most cases, groundwater from a properly constructed borehole is of good quality and suitable for drinking without any treatment, but some natural elements and pollutants can make groundwater smell or taste unacceptable, or even make it harmful to health. Testing the chemical and bacteriological quality of groundwater is therefore always a good idea.
The World Health Organisation's guidelines for drinking water quality give recommended limits for different water quality parameters.
An introduction to groundwater quality issues and assessment, with particular reference to rural water supply in an African context, can be found in the chapter Water quality and aspects of rural water supply in MacDonald et al. (2001), which can be freely downloaded online.
Some more background on groundwater quality, particularly related to Africa, is in the Groundwater quality resource page.