Assessment of drinking-water quality, Tanna, Vanuatu

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Stewart, C.; Pearse, L.; Pearse, A.; Theophile, G.; Leonard, G.S.; Puech, M. 2016 Assessment of drinking-water quality, Tanna, Vanuatu. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2016/12 iii, 20 p.

Abstract: Eleven drinking water samples, from a range of sources (roof catchment rainwater, surface dams, bores and springs) were sampled on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu, between 25 February and 2 March 2015. Levels of all chemical parameters tested were all within safe levels for drinking, other than two samples (from a spring source and a borehole) on the west side of the island, which exceeded the World Health Organization’s health-based guideline value for fluoride (F) of 1.5 mg/L. These levels of F in drinking-water appear to be the highest recorded to date for Tanna. Further investigation may be required to confirm these results, as these levels (up to 3.9 mg/L) are associated with an increased risk of chronic fluorosis for long-term consumption of this water. We note that this study was only concerned with determining chemical contaminants in the water and did not address microbiological safety. (auth)