Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Pakistan

Groundwater Arsenic contamination in Pakistan
Hydrogeochemical studies and evaluation of field kit method for screening of
arsenic in Southern Punjab
Arsenic (As) has been recognized as a serious threat in many parts of south Asia, particularly in India,
Bangladesh, Vietnam and China. In Pakistan, danger of As in groundwater has been recognized recently
and since then, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and Pakistan Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in collaboration with UNICEF launched different programs
which include studies on overall groundwater quality and detection of As in groundwater. National Water
Quality Monitoring Program (NWQMP) was launched in 2001 and Arsenic Mitigation Program was
launched in 2002. The study deals with the critical analyses of the data obtained under As mitigation
program to check the reliability of the field kits used for the screening of As in the districts of southern
the data obtained under NWQMP and studies the groundwater quality of the two districts of southern
Punjab viz. Bahawalpur and Multan. Three types of field kits were used for screening of As in the study
area; Arsenic Quick, Wagtech and Merck fiel kit. Since field kit is the only tool which allows screening of
As in groundwater while keeping within available financial resources and time period, therefore, reliability
of the results obtained by the field kits must be checked comparing the results with laboratory analyses.
Out of 2395 samples from the study area which were analyzed in the laboratory for cross validation, only
23% of the samples were detected correctly for As level above 50 μg/l (true positive results), however,
on the other hand, 94% were detected correctly having As concentration level within the Pakistan
drinking water standard level of 50 μg/l (true negative) which indicates good performance of field kits at
this level and poses no threat...