Assessment of water quality of the Cheffia Dam in Algeria based on microbiological quality index and suitability for irrigation


W. Boumaraf*, A. Bergal and A. Delimi

Cheffia Dam located in El Tarf area has an agricultural vocation, an activity depending on much water to meet the needs of a variety of cultures. Water intended to irrigation must exhibit physicochemical features tolerable by crops. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of the water in Cheffia dam. Three sampling stations were selected over three months: “February, March and April 2019”, to determine the physicochemical and bacteriological parameters of the water. Some physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentrations were analyzed in water samples (T, pH, EC, DO, Salinity, Turbidity, Cl, Ca2+, Mg2+, NO2, NO3, NH4+, PO43– and Fe2+). The samples taken for the bacteriological study have focused on the research and listing of total germs, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci. The results indicate that most of the physicochemical parameters in Cheffia dam are within or at the permissible limit to the Algerian standards, and WHO for drinking and irrigation water. The obtained bacteriological results illustrate the presence of significant levels of total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci. The high load of these germs during the study period may be due to the runoff and unhygienic behavior observed in the study area. The calculation of microbiological contamination index confirms the absence of degradation in water quality in which contamination is null. The studied surface waters are of good quality for agriculture and suitable for irrigation of most crops, but attention should be paid to leaching, difficult in marginally permeable soils and to drainage.

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