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Physico-Chemical and Heavy Metals in the Groundwater Samples Collected from Arsenic Endemic Areas of Shuklaganj (Unnao)

DOI: 10.5923/j.als.20120205.02

Keywords: Arsenic, Heavy Metals, Handpumps

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Human health is greatly affected by exposure to arsenic through drinking water. Arsenic is a carcinogen and its consumption can negatively affect the gastrointestinal tract, cardio-vascular and central nervous systems. World Health Organisation (WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency have set the maximum acceptable level of arsenic in drinking water as 10μg/L. Attempts have been made to determine and establish a database on the drinking water quality of Shuklaganj area with particular emphasis on the physico-chemical characteristics and levels of heavy metals in the water samples. The physico-chemical parameters determined were pH, hardness, alkalinity, conductivity, TDS, salinity and chloride content. The samples were collected in premonsoon and postmonsoon of Shuklaganj area. The pH of all the samples varied from 7.0 to 8.5 in both premonsoon and postmonsoon period. Hardness during in premonsoon varied from 180-212mg/L and in postmonsoon varied from 140-210 mg/l. Alkalinity varied from 84-112mg/L in premonsoon and 60-128 mg/L in postmosoon. However conductivity was quite high and it ranged from 320-2140 μs/cm in premonsoon and 358-1944μs/cm during postmonsoon. The TDS ranged from 181-1019 mg/l in premonsoon samples and 163-1102mg/l in postmonsoon. Salinity varied from 0.0-1.0 ppt in premonsoon and 0.0-1.3 ppt in postmonsoon. Chloride content varied from to 12.1-36.4 in premonsoon and 8.08-44.5 mg/L in potmonsoon. The picture of heavy metals and arsenic present in the water collected during premonsoon and postmonsoon periods were also determined. However, in premonsoon samples Cr, Cd and Ni were absent in most of the samples. It was noticed that Cd and Ni content was almost absent in the samples collected during postmonsoon season. Copper varied from 0.0 to 0.0178 mg/L during premonsoon and 0.0002 to 0.0098mg/L during postmonsoon. Zinc content varied from 0.0 to 3.26 in premonsoon period and from 0.0-3.6 mg/L in postmonsoon period. Iron varied from 0.0 to 17.99 mg/L in pre monsoon and varied from 0.0692 to 12.53 in postmonsoon samples. Manganese varied from 0.0 to 0.4454 mg/L in premonsoon samples and 0.0018- 4.74 mg/L in premonsoon samples. Arsenic in premonsoon season varied from 0-250 ppb and from 0-250 ppb in postmonsoon. It is seen that with increase in pH above 8.5, Arsenic desorbs from the oxide surfaces, thereby increasing concentration of Arsenic in solution. It is suggested that the most desirable and significant mechanism for the groundwater Arsenic problems is due to oxidising conditions and desorption of Arsenic from Arsenic contaminated sediments at high pH.


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