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Physicochemical quality of drinking water in Southern Algeria: Study of excess mineral salts Volume 15, issue 2, Mai-Juin 2005

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Authors
Laboratoire de chimie analytique appliquée (LCAA), Faculté des sciences, Université D. Liabès, BP 89, Site I, Faubourg Ben M’Hidi, 22000 Sidi Bel-Abbès, Algérie.

The aim of this study was to determine the physicochemical composition of water intended for human consumption in several regions of Southern Algeria. Excess minerals in drinking water, including magnesium, calcium, sulfates and fluorides play a fundamental role in the prevention of urinary calculi, which are formed mainly from calcium oxalate. The ever-increasingly prevalence of this disorder and its recurrence make it a real public health problem in Algeria. The most elementary preventive treatment, recommended to all subjects with lithiasis, is to drink 2 to 3 L water distributed throughout the (24-hour) day. This study began by conducting a physicochemical analysis of the principal components of water from several sources. We will subsequently test it to examine the effects of its mineral salts on the crystallization kinetics of the principal component of calculi (calcium oxalate). The results indicate that 77.5 % of the samples had magnesium concentrations ([Mg 2+] > 50 mg/L), 95 % were sulfated, with sulfate ion concentrations exceeding the standard recommended by WHO ([SO4  2-] >250 mg/L). Moreover, 57.5 % had excess fluoride levels, [F -] >1.5 mg/L, and 65 % excessive calcium concentrations, with Ca 2+ > 150 mg/L.