Assessment of Groundwater Quality using Water Quality Index (WQI) in Wardha District

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1 Assessment of Groundwater Quality using Water Quality Index (WQI) in Wardha District P. N Rajankar* 1, S. R. Wate 2 D. H. Tambekar 3, S. R. Gulhane Environmental Impact & Risk Assessment Division, NEERI, Nagpur , India 3-4 -P.G. Department of Microbiology, SGB Amravati University, Amravati , India * Abstract- Ground water quality of nine tehsils in Wardha district was assessed using a water quality index. Water quality index was calculated using following parameters, ph, turbidity, temperature, Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Solids, Nitrate (NO3), Total Phosphate (TP), and Coliforms (total and fecal coliforms) with respect to different uses viz. residential, commercial and agricultural. Other physicochemical parameters (electrical conductivity total hardness, calcium hardness, sulphate, chlorides, sodium, potassium, etc.) also studied and compared with Bureau of Indian Standard to know the groundwater quality and seasonal variation. The observed water quality index in the study area varied between 68 and 82 in the pre monsoon season while, 60 and 81 in the post monsoon season. The water quality index of all samples was compared with national sanitation foundation water quality index criteria, which showed that 100% (74 samples) groundwater samples were of good quality in the pre monsoon season. In the post monsoon season 22% (16 samples) groundwater sample showed the quality changed from good to medium which indicated the seasonal variation due to monsoonal recharge in this district. Keywords Water Quality Index, Seasonal Variation, Groundwater, physicochemical Parameters, Bacteriological Parameters I. INTRODUCTION India, like any other developing country of the world, is facing increasing environmental problems. The vast population and ever increasing industrial activities in India, makes its water resources more vulnerable to water quality deterioration. It is observed that the groundwater resources getting contaminated due to anthropogenic activities, therefore, its quality is deteriorating rapidly [1-2]. This is a common feature in developed as well as developing countries. The changes in the groundwater quality response to variation in physical, chemical and biological environments through which it passes [3]. Presently, water quality assessment is carried out by determining various abiotic (physicochemical) and biotic (biological) parameters, either individually or in combination. Determination of water quality is very important for knowing the suitability of water for various purposes. Use of Water Quality Index (WQI) to determine the water quality of aqua resources is considered as one of the most effective tool for comparing water resources [4-6]. The WQI was developed in the 1970s by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for the purpose of summarizing and evaluating water quality trends and status [6-7]. To determine WQI, a total of nine physicochemical parameters was measured, which include, biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen (DO), fecal coliforms, nitrate, ph, temperature, total dissolved solids, total phosphate, and turbidity [8]. The objectives behind the study were to develop an overall picture of the groundwater quality using WQI, assessment of seasonal variation in the groundwater quality, suitability of groundwater for different purposes, and contamination causes. II. MATERIALS AND METHOD A. Study Area Wardha District is situated in the northeastern part of the state Maharashtra in India. It has a geographical area of 6310 km2, it is bounded by north latitudes and

2 and east longitudes and 79015, the normal annual rainfall varies from 985 mm to 1100 mm and the rainfall progressively increases from north western to south eastern part. B. Sampling The sampling locations consist of rural as well as urban areas in this region. Seventy-Four groundwater samples were collected from hand pump during pre and post monsoon season of year 2006 to 2008 (fig. 1). Figure 1- Location map of the study area The samples were collected in polyethylene containers of 2 L capacity for physicochemical analysis after pumping out a sufficient quantity of water from the source such that, the sample collected serves as a representative sample. For bacteriological analysis, samples were collected in sterilized glass bottles of 500 ml capacity from the source. The samples thus collected were transported to the laboratory at freezer condition (4 C). The collected samples were transported to the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur laboratory under suitable condition. The samples were analyzed as per standard procedure [9]. C. Analysis of groundwater samples The groundwater samples were analyzed for physicochemical and biological parameters. D. Physicochemical analysis involving spectrophotometry, flame photometry and volumetry were used for the physicochemical analysis [9]. E. Biological analysis The dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand was carried out using Winkler s method. In bacteriological examination, total coliforms (28 C for 24 h) and fecal coliforms (44.5 C for 24 h) were determined by Membrane Filtration (MF) technique, and the average values were recorded. The total coliforms (TC) was enumerated by M-Endo Agar, (Hi-Media Mumbai) which appeared as metallic sheen color colonies, and fecal coliforms (FC) were enumerated by M-FC Agar, (Hi-Media Mumbai) which appeared as blue color colonies. F. Water quality Index (WQI) Water quality index were calculated using nine indicator parameters of water quality and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) WQI calculator [10]. WQI is one of the most effective ways to communicate information on the quality of water to the concerned citizen and the policy makers. It, thus become an important parameters for the assessment and management of groundwater. WQI may be defined as a rating reflecting the composite influence of a number of water quality parameters on the overall quality of water. The main objective of the WQI is to turn complex water quality data into information that understandable and usable by the public. WQI is the based on some important parameters viz., ph, temperature, turbidity, nitrate, phosphate, total solids, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, and coliforms, which can provide simple indicator of water quality. It gives a general idea of the possible problems with water in particular region [11]. NSF has given the classification of water quality on the basis of WQI rating presented in table 1 [12]. Table 1- Water quality criteria based on water quality index rating WQI Rating 0 to 25 Poor Water Quality 25 to 50 Bad 50 to 70 Medium 70 to 90 Good 90 to 100 Excellent The temperature of the samples was noted at III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION their sampling point itself. Standard procedure The physicochemical and biological results 50

3 have been subjected to statistical analysis and given in the Table 2 and 3. The observed ranges of the samples were compared with Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) [13]. The WQI values indicate the seasonal variation in groundwater quality (Table 4), which might happen due to different anthropogenic activities carried out near the sources. A. Physicochemical Parameters 1) ph: ph was found to be alkaline in nature in most of the samples but in some samples collected in monsoon shown slightly acidic. In the present study it range of in pre monsoon and in post monsoon season. ph value of different samples was within the desirable and suitable range. 2) Turbidity: The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) (1991) guideline value for turbidity in drinking water is 5 NTU. The observed range of turbidity was NTU in pre monsoon season and NTU in post monsoon season. In the present study 74% groundwater samples were found within BIS acceptable limit but 26% samples were in excess range in pre monsoon season. Likewise 64% groundwater samples were in BIS acceptable limit but 36% samples were in excess range in pre monsoon season. 3) Temperature: The temperature was in the range of C in pre monsoon and C in post monsoon season. Overall no considerable variation observed in the groundwater temperature but some location showed slightly difference which may due to different timings of collection and influence of season [14]. Table 2 - Physicochemical quality of groundwater in pre and post monsoon season Parameters Units Pre Monsoon Season Post Monsoon Season BIS Standards OR Avg SD OR Avg SD DL PL ph No Relaxation Temperature 0 C Turbidity NTU EC (µs/cm) TS NO Total Alk (as CaCO 3) TH (ascaco 3) Ca Hardness (as (mg/l) CaCO 3) Cl SO Na K TP EC-Electrical Conductance; TS-Total Solids; NO 3 -Nitrate; Total Alk-Total Alkalinity; TH-Total Hardness; Ca-Calcium; Cl Chlorides; SO 4-Sulphate; Na + -Sodium; K + -Potassium; TP-Total Phosphate; WQI-Water Quality Index; SD-Standard Deviation, OR-Observed Range, Avg-Average, DL- Desirable Limit, PL-Permissible Limit Table 3 - Biological quality of groundwater in pre and post monsoon season Parameters Units Pre Monsoon Season Post Monsoon Season BIS Standards OR Avg SD OR Avg SD DL PL DO (mg/l) BOD (mg/l) TC (CFU/100ml) Nil 10 FC (CFU/100ml) Nil 10 DO-Dissolved Oxygen; BOD-Biochemical Oxygen Demand; TC-Total Coliforms; FC-Faecal Coliforms; OR-Observed Range, Avg-Average, DL- Desirable Limit, PL-Permissible Limit 51

4 Table 4 - Seasonal Variation in Water Quality Index (WQI) in Wardha district Pre Monsoon Season Post Monsoon Season WQI Observed Range Average Quality of Water Observed Range Average Water Quality Good Medium 90 to100- Excellent; 70 to 90-Good; 50 to 70-Medium; 25 to 50-Bad; 0 to 25-Very Bad 4) Electrical conductivity: Electrical conductivity is a measure of the mineral content, was found to vary from (µs/cm) in pre monsoon season and µs/cm in the post monsoon season. There was no seasonal variation found in electrical conductivity. EC remains similar in pre-monsoon and post monsoon season in bore wells [15]. 5) Total Alkalinity: Alkalinity was found in the range of mg/l in pre monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. Alkaline water may decrease the solubility of metals. The alkalinity varies in accordance with the fluctuation in the pollution load [16]. 6) Total Hardness and calcium hardness: Hardness is very important in decreasing the toxic effect of poisonous element. Hardness is measured in terms of total hardness and calcium hardness. Total hardness of groundwater sample was found to be in the range of mg/l in pre monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. In both the season in some area the hardness was very high, also beyond the permissible limit. It is due to rocks bearing salts of Calcium and Magnesium. BIS has prescribed desirable limit of total hardness is 300 mg/l and permissible limit in the absence of alternate source is 600 mg/l (De, 2002). Calcium hardness of the groundwater sample was found to be in range of mg/ l and mg/l in pre monsoon and post monsoon season respectively. The BIS prescribed desirable limit of total hardness is 300 mg/l and the permissible limit is 600 mg/l. 7) Sulphate: The sulphate concentration was varied from mg/l in the pre monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. There was no considerable seasonal variation in sulphate concentration. All the location not crossed the BIS limit (200mg/l) for sulphate in any season. 8) Chloride: The observed chloride content in the groundwater samples were ranges from mg/l and mg/l in the pre and post monsoon season. There is no much seasonal variation in the chloride contents. 9) Sodium and Potassium: The observed sodium content in the groundwater sample was varied from mg/l and mg/l. in pre and post monsoon season. The BIS has laid down the permissible limit of sodium, which is 60 to 120 mg/l. Natural waters normally contain low concentration of Potassium. Neither BIS nor any other organization lay down any limits for potassium content in drinking water [17]. The potassium content in ground water was found in the range of mg/l and mg/l in pre and post monsoon season respectively. 10) Total Solid: The observed range of solid was mg/l in pre monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. In the present study 92% groundwater sample were in BIS acceptable limit but 8% samples were in excess range in pre monsoon season and 61% groundwater sample were in BIS acceptable limit (500 mg/l) but 39% samples were in excess range in pre monsoon season. 11) Nitrate: The nitrate concentration was found to be in the range of mg/l in pre monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. It is within the desirable limit. BIS prescribed desirable limit of nitrate is 45mg/l. Nitrate indicates the pollution in ground water due to agricultural activities, sewage percolation beneath the surface. Presence of nitrate in water indicates the final stage of mineralization [18]. Nitrate concentration increases in ground water in the post monsoon season [15]. 12) Total Phosphate: The total phosphate concentration of groundwater ranged from mg/l in pre 52

5 monsoon season and mg/l in post monsoon season. B. Biological Parameters 1) Dissolved Oxygen and Biochemical Oxygen Demand: The dissolved oxygen concentration in groundwater was varied from mg/l and mg/l in pre and post monsoon season respectively. There is slightly variation in dissolved oxygen concentration in the post monsoon season. The biochemical oxygen demand in the groundwater sample was very low (ranges from mg/l in pre and post monsoon season) which showed that there would not be much organic waste present in the water. 2) Coliforms: The observed range of coliforms was 0-24 CFU/100ml in pre monsoon season and 0-81 CFU/100ml in post monsoon season. It was indicating the seasonal variation and the cross contamination of the sources, which might be possible due to anthropogenic activities. The BIS recommended value for coliforms is nil in 100 ml, but this presence of coliforms make the water unsuitable for drinking. 3) Water Quality Index The range of WQI values of all the samples collected during this study is presented in table 4. In pre monsoon season the WQI varied from 68 to 82, while during post monsoon season, it was between 60 and 81. It was found a significantly lower WQI during the postmonsoon season indicating a substandard quality of the groundwater during that season. In general 100% (74 samples) groundwater samples were of good quality in pre monsoon season but out of all sample 22% (16 samples) groundwater sample showed the quality change from good to medium in post monsoon season ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author hereby acknowledges the kind and wholehearted support of the Director, NEERI, Nagpur, India. I also take this opportunity to thank Dr. Atul Kulkarni, Director, Datasol Consultancy, Nagpur, M.S. India, for his overall support in data management and analysis. REFERENCES [1] Olaniya, M.S. and Saxena, K.L., 1977 Groundwater pollution by open refuse dumps at Jaipur. Environ. Health. 19, [2] Gillison, R.J and Patmont, C.R., Lake phosphorus loading from septic systems by seasonally perched groundwater. J. Water Pollut. Con. Fed. 55, [3] Singh, Mandeep, Samanpreet Kaur and Sooch, S.S., Groundwater pollution An overview. J. IPHE. 2, [4] Sinha, D. K., & Shrivastava, A. K., Water quality index for river Sai at Rae Bareli for the pre-monsoon period and after the onset of monsoon. Indian Journal of Environmental Protection, 14(5), [5] Pradhan, S. K., Patnaik, D., & Rout, S. P., Groundwater quality index for groundwater around a phosphatic fertilizers plant. Indian Journal of Environmental Protection, 21(4), [6] Rajankar, P.N., Tambekar, D. H., and Wate, S. R., Groundwater Quality and Water Quality Index at Bhandara District. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, DOI /s y. [7] Dunnette, D. A., A geographically variable water quality index used in Oregon. Journal of Water Pollution Control Federation, 51(1), [8] Padmanabha, B., and Belagali, S. L., Water quality index of Kabini River in the Kallahally Village of Nanjangud Taluk, Mysore District, Karnataka (India). Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, 49(1), [9] APHA (1998) Standard Methods for the examination of water and wastewater. 19th ed. American Public Health Association, Washington, D. C., 1:467. [10] NSF- [11] Bangalore S. Shankar and Latha Sanjeev (2008) Environmental Engineering Science. 25(6), doi: /ees [12] Rajankar, P.N., Gulhane, S. R., Tambekar, D.H., Ramteke, D. S., and Wate, S. R., Water Quality Assessment of Groundwater Resources in Nagpur Region Based on Water Quality Index. E-Journal of Chemistry., 6(3), [13] BIS (1991) Indian standard specification for drinking water. BIS [14] Jayaraman, P.R., Ganga Devi, T. and Vasuena Naya, T., Water quality studies on Kasmane River, Thiruvanantpuram, District South Kerala, India, Poll. Res., 32(1), [15] Mutiyar P. K., Mittal A. K. and Pekdeger A., 2011 Status of organochlorine pesticides in the drinking water well-field located in the Delhi 53

6 region of the flood plains of river Yamuna, Drink. Water Eng. Sci. 4, [16] Parashar C., Dixit, S. and Srivastava, R Seasonal Variations in Physico-chemical characteristics in upper Lake of Bhopal, Asian. J. Exp. Sci., 20(2), [17] Srivastava, S.K., Groundwater quality in parts of Uttarakhand Groundwater Proc.National Seminar on Agri. Dev. and Rural Drinking Water, Vol II Bhopal, India, [18] Nema P., Rajgopalan, S. and Mehta, C.G., Quality and Treatment of Sabarmati River water Ahmedabad, J.I.W.W.A. 16(1),

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