Heavy metal concentrations in rivers and drinking water of Esmeraldas (Ecuador) under an intermittent water supply service

Jon Molinero, Isabel Cipriani-Avila, Miren Barrado

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2 Citas (Scopus)


Universal access to safe water is a major global goal, but these efforts could be at stake because drinking water sources are becoming polluted in many developing countries. Chlorine, major ions, and heavy metals were measured in rivers and drinking water of Esmeraldas because potential pollution sources raise concerns about the quality of the water supply, and because users have developed strategies to cope with water shortages including collecting river water and water distributed by tankers, storing water at home, and consuming commercial bottled water. We sampled water from the water distribution system (WDS) and the Esmeraldas and Teaone rivers including the intake to the potabilization plant, water distributed by tankers, and commercial bottled water. Most of the samples collected from the Esmeraldas and Teaone rivers, the WDS, and tankers complied with drinking water standards, but higher concentration of cadmium and other metals in the eastern part of the city is an indication of corrosion inside the WDS. Commercial bottled and WDS water showed similar heavy metal concentrations, but regular consumption of some brands may lead to higher exposure to arsenic and mineral deficiencies. Chlorine concentrations in the water supplied by the WDS were below the values required for safe disinfection, and in-house chlorination is uncommon in the city. Strengthening pollution control in the Esmeraldas river, monitoring corrosion of the WDS, and promoting point-use chlorination and better water handling practices are required to secure a safer water supply in the long term.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo775
PublicaciónEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
EstadoPublicada - 6 nov. 2021

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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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