Assessment of the Level of Heavy Metals in Tap Water Network System of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Yousef J Alanazi, Fahad Ibraheem Al-Masoud, Zaid Q Ababneh

Water pollution due to the presence of heavy metals may affect the health of millions of people around the world. Therefore, the awareness of water quality and its continuous monitoring is essential for human safety. This work aimed to investigate the presence of heavy metals in the water for human consumption distributed in the network of Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, potentially affected by industries, agricultural, and chemical treatments. Water samples were collected from tap water and water treatment plant stations in Riyadh. All samples were tested for the physical parameters: such as total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, and electric conductivity (EC), as well as the concentration of eight trace metals (Al, Cr, Fe, Ni Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb). The results showed that, with the exception of Fe, the heavy metal concentrations and the physical parameters in the investigated water samples satisfied the drinking water guidelines established by national and international organizations (WHO, EU, and SASO). Fe average concentration was found to be 833 µg L-1, which is higher than the permissible limit (300 µg L-1, SASO) in more than 95 % of the investigated samples. Thus, this research suggests that further investigation and assessment should be implemented for human safety by governmental agencies to public water distribution networks and the water treatment plant stations' product water.

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