The study was to determine the concentration of aluminium (Al) and study the physicochemical parameters (pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, and residual chlorine) in drinking water supply in selected palm oil estates in Kota Tinggi, Johor. Water samples were collected from the estates with the private and the public water supplies. The sampling points were at the water source (S), the treatment plant outlet (TPO), and at the nearest houses (H1) and the furthest houses (H2) from the TPO. All estates with private water supply failed to meet the NSDWQ for Al with mean concentration of 0.99 ± 1.52 mg/L. However, Al concentrations in all public water supply estates were well within the limit except for one estate. The pH for all samples complied with the NSDWQ except from the private estates for the drinking water supply with an acidic pH (5.50 ± 0.90). The private water supply showed violated turbidity value in the drinking water samples (14.2 ± 24.1 NTU). Insufficient amount of chlorination was observed in the private water supply estates (0.09 ± 0.30 mg/L). Private water supplies with inefficient water treatment served unsatisfactory drinking water quality to the community which may lead to major health problems.
The use of ice cubes in beverages is common among patrons of food outlets in Malaysia although its safety for human consumption remains unclear. Hence, this study was designed to determine the presence of faecal coliforms and several useful water physicochemical parameters viz. free residual chlorine concentration, turbidity and pH in ice cubes from 30 randomly selected food outlets in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. Faecal coliforms were found in ice cubes in 16 (53%) food outlets ranging between 1 CFU/100mL to >50 CFU/ 100mL, while in the remaining 14 (47%) food outlets, in samples of tap water as well as in commercially bottled drinking water, faecal coliforms were not detected. The highest faecal coliform counts of >50 CFU/100mL were observed in 3 (10%) food outlets followed by 11-50 CFU/100mL and 1-10 CFU/100mL in 7 (23%) and 6 (20%) food outlets, respectively. All samples recorded low free residual chlorine concentration (<0.10mg/L) with the pH ranging between 5.5 and 7.3 and turbidity between 0.14-1.76 NTU. Since contamination by faecal coliforms was not detected in 47% of the samples, tap water and commercially bottled drinking water, it was concluded that (1) contamination by faecal coliforms may occur due to improper handling of ice cubes at the food outlets or (2) they may not be the water sources used for making ice cubes. Since low free residual chlorine concentrations were observed (<0.10mg/ L) in all samples as well as in both tap water and commercially bottled drinking water, with the pH ranged between 5.5-7.3, ineffective disinfection of water source as a contributing factor to such high counts of faecal coliforms in ice cubes also could not be ruled out. Therefore, a periodical, yet comprehensive check on the food outlets, including that of ice cube is crucial in ensuring better food and water for human consumption.
A flow injection analysis (FIA) method for the determination of four residual chlorine species, namely combined available chlorine (CAC), free available chlorine (FAC), total available chlorine (TAC) and chlorite (ClO2-) was developed using a flow-through triiodide-selective electrode as a detector. An important strategy of speciation studies utilized the kinetic discrimination of reactions between the CAC and FAC with Fe2+, which was applied to the speciation of FAC, CAC and TAC. The speciation of available chlorine species and chlorite (an oxychlorine species) was achieved by using the same set-up, but using flow streams of different pH. The effects of the pH of the carrier stream, the flow rate and the sample volume were studied. The method exhibited linearity from 2.8 x 10(-6) to 2.8 x 10(-4) M active chlorine (expressed as OCl-) with a detection limit of 1.4 x 10(-6) M. The selectivity of the method was studied by examining the minimum pH for the oxidation of iodide by other oxidants, and also by assessing the potentiometric selectivity coefficients. The proposed method was successfully applied to the determination of chlorine species in tap water, and disinfecting formulations where good agreement occurred between the proposed and standard methods were found.