Sediment color tool for targeting arsenic-safe aquifers for the installation of shallow drinking water tubewells
2014 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 493, 615-625 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In rural Bangladesh, drinking water supply mostly comes from shallow hand tubewells installed manually by the local drillers, the main driving force in tubewell installation. This study was aimed at developing a sediment color tool on the basis of local driller's perception of sediment color, arsenic (As) concentration of tubewell waters and respective color of aquifer sediments. Laboratory analysis of 521 groundwater samples collected from 144 wells during 2009 to 2011 indicate that As concentrations in groundwater were generally higher in the black colored sediments with an average of 239 mu g/L. All 39 wells producing water from red sediments provide safe water following the Bangladesh drinking water standard for As (50 mu g/L) where mean and median values were less than the WHO guideline value of 10 mu g/L. Observations for off-white sediments were also quite similar. White sediments were rare and seemed to be less important for well installations at shallow depths. A total of 2240 sediment samples were collected at intervals of 1.5 m down to depths of 100 m at 15 locations spread over a 410 km(2) area in Matlab, Bangladesh and compared with the Munsell Color Chart with the purpose of direct comparison of sediment color in a consistent manner. All samples were assigned with Munsell Color and Munsell Code, which eventually led to identify 60 color shade varieties which were narrowed to four colors (black, white, off-white and red) as perceived and used by the local drillers. During the process of color grouping, participatory approach was considered taking the opinions of local drillers, technicians, and geologists into account. This simplified sediment color tool can be used conveniently during shallow tubewell installation and thus shows the potential for educating local drillers to target safe aquifers on the basis of the color characteristics of the sediments.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 493, 615-625 p.
Arsenic, Bangladesh, Tubewell, Local driller, Sediment color tool, Sustainable mitigation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150903DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.05.064ISI: 000340312000066ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84903479548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-150903DiVA: diva2:746950
FunderSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 75000854
QC 201409152014-09-152014-09-112015-12-11Bibliographically approved