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International Journal of Lakes and Rivers

ISSN 0973-4570 Volume 4, Number 1 (2010), pp. 21-26


Research India Publications
http://www.ripublication.com/ijlr.htm

Water Quality Index of Some Wetlands in Nadia


District, West Bengal, India
*Goutam Bala and Ambarish Mukherjee
UGC Centre for Advance Studies, Department of Botany
The University of Burdwan, Burdwan-713104, West Bengal, India.
*E-mail: goutambala@gmail.com

Abstract
Water Quality Index (WQI) has been calculated for surface drinking water in
Nadia district, West Bengal, India at six different sites in the post-monsoon
season Water quality parameters were selected as per the BIS guidelines and
eight water quality physico-chemical parameters were estimated following the
standard methods and procedures. Drinking water of some sites was found to
be moderately contaminated and at other sites to be of good quality water as
per Water Quality Index during the year 2007. In general, the water quality
showed deterioration. It is felt that some remedial measures are urgently
required to optimize the water quality for this region.
Keywords: Water Quality Index, physico-chemical parameters, assigned unit
weight, quality rating.

Introduction
The current status of arsenic pollution in west Bengal, India, has been substantiated
with a lot of evidences from relevant sources. The problem has mostly affected the
districts of Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, North and South 24 parganas (Anon, 2003).
The problem of ground drinking water contamination by arsenic, water conservation
and water quality management has assumed a very complex shape in Nadia district.
To avoid arsenic problem, it is better to use surface water for drinking purpose.
Different kinds of environmental problems, caused by a disordered economic growth
and the excessive water use associated with it, are affecting both the availability and
the quality of surface water. Water Quality Index (WQI) is regarded as one of the
most effective way to communicate water quality (Kannan, 1991; Sinha, 1994 and
Pradhan, 2001). In a number of nationwide studies, water quality of different natural
resources was assessed on the basis of comparison with the Standard water quality

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Goutam Bala and Ambarish Mukherjee

indices (Sinha, 2004; Singh, 1999 and Rajmohan, et al., 2003). The data obtained
through quantitative analysis and Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) water quality
standards (BIS-2003) were used for calculating water quality indices. The purpose of
calculating WQI and comparing it with the standards is to assess drinking water
contamination in Nadia district and variation of drinking water quality in the postmonsoon period on the basis of calculated values of water quality indices.

Materials and Methods


Study Area and Sampling Sites
The present study was conducted in Nadia district situated between 225230 and
400540 N latitude and 880810 and 884815E longitude. The district is having
population of about 46, 03756 as per the 2001 census. According to Surveyor General
of India the total area of the district is 3927.45 sq km. The average annual rainfalls is
about 1582 mm and mean maximum temperature in summer is around 36C and mean
minimum temperature in winter is around 10 C (Anon., 1994). The entire district is
in the lower Bhagirathi sub-basin. General slope is from north to south and
southeast. The area is agriculture based area and characterized by periodic occurrence
of hot summers, moderate rains and dry winters. Its climate is affected by Himalayan
terrain.
Sample Collection and Analysis
Six different wetlands which are used extensively by the local people for their living
in Nadia district were selected in order to study the physico-chemical characteristics
of surface drinking water samples in the pre-monsoon period. The samples were
collected during 2007 following the standard methods prescribed for sampling. The
standard methods (APHA-AWWA-WPCF, 1995) and procedures were used for
quantitative estimation of water quality parameters (Merck, 1974). All the chemicals
of anal R grade were used or this purpose. The standards prescribed by BIS were used
for the calculation of water quality indices. Eight physico-chemical parameters, whose
standards are prescribed by BIS, were analysed quantitatively in the entire drinking
water samples collected in Nadia district and water quality indices were estimated.
Details of the sampling sites are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Details of the sampling sites.
Sites
1
2
3
4
5
6

Name of wetland
Mathura Beel
Mogra Beel
Khayrar beel
Chand beel
Chakla Beel
Arpara beel

Block
Chakdah
Haringhata
Navadwip
Tehata-1
Karimpur-2
Nakashipara

longgitude
883018 E
883406 E
882506 E
883036 E
883504 E
882636 E

latitude
225649 N
230053 N
232741 N
234929 N
235547 N
233950 N

Area in m2
715790
500273
760521
806258
429165
641998

Water Quality Index of Some Wetlands in Nadia District, West Bengal, India

23

WQI of drinking waters collected at six different sites in Nadia district in the postmonsoon period, were calculated using the methods proposed by Horton (Horton,
1965) and modified by Tiwari and Mishra (Tiwari et al. 1985). According to the role
of various parameters on the basis of importance and incidence on the overall quality
of drinking water, the rating scales were fixed in terms of ideal values of different
physico-chemical parameters. Even if, they are present, they might not be the ruling
factor. Hence, they were assigned zero values. For calculating WQI, the following
four equations were used:
1. Quality rating, Qn = 100 [(Vn -Vi ) / (Vs -Vi )]

Where, Vn : actual amount of nth parameter


Vi : the ideal value of this parameter
Vi = 0, except for pH and DO
Vi = 7.0 for pH ; Vi = 14.6 mg/L for DO
Vs : recommended BIS standard of corresponding parameter
2. Unit weight ( Wn ) for various parameters is inversely proportional to the recommended
standard ( Sn ) for the corresponding parameter.
Wn = K/Sn
Where, Sn : world-widely accepted drinking water quality standard prescribed by BIS
K : constant
n=8

S Wn = 1, considered here
n=1

3. Sub indices, (SI)n = ( Qn )Wn


4. The overall WQI was calculated by taking geometric
n=8

mean of these sub indices.

n=8

WQI=S (SI) n =S ( Qn )Wn


n=1

n=1

OR
n=8

WQI = antilog10 [ S Wn log10 Qn ]


n=1

To include the collective role of various physicochemical parameters on the


overall quality of drinking water, quality status is assigned on the basis of calculated
values of water quality indices. On the basis of a number of water pollution studies,
the following assumptions were made with reference to assess the extent of
contamination or the quality of drinking water (Tiwari et al. 1986). The assumptions
were: WQI < 50 : fit for human consumption ; WQI < 80 : moderately contaminated ;
WQI > 80 : excessively contaminated and WQI >100 : severely contaminated.

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Goutam Bala and Ambarish Mukherjee

Results and Discussion


The physico-chemical parameters with their BIS standards and unit weights (Wn)
assigned with the help of equation No. 2 presented in the text are listed in Table 2.
Sitewise and parameter-wise estimated values (Vn), and calculated quality rating (Qn)
for the pre-monsoon period is presented in Table 3. Site-wise calculated values of
WQI for the post-monsoon period are presented in Table 4. Critical analysis of the
data of the WQI presented in Table 4 and its comparision with the standard
assumptions reveals the following facts regarding the level of drinking water
contamination and effect of monsoon over the quality of surface water in Nadia
district during the course of study. The observed range of Water Quality Index is
44.53- 68.03. The surface water is found to be moderately contaminated at three sites
namely Mogra, Chand, Arpara having observed values of WQI are more than 50.
Surface water is found to be good condition at tree sites namely Mathura Beel,
Khayrar Beel and Chakla Beel with WQI values less than 50. There no is excessively
contaminated site with WQI values more than 80. The values of WQI for six sites
reveal that in general, water of three wetlands namely Mathura Beel, Khayrar Beel
and Chakla Beel may be used for drinking. On the other hand, other three Wetlands
viz. Mogra Beel, Khayrar beel, Arpara Beel do not appear to be suitable for Drinking.

Table 2: Parameter-wise BIS standards and their assigned unit weights.

Sl. Parameter
No.
1
pH value
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

BIS
standard
6.5-8.5
(8.5)
Turb (NTU)
5
TDS (mg/l)
500
EC (mho/cm) 400
Alk (mg/l)
200
TH (mg/l)
300
DO (mg/l)
5
BOD (mg/l)
5

Assigned
Unit Wn.
0.161054
0.273792
0.002738
0.003422
0.006845
0.004563
0.273792
0.273792

Table 3: Parameter wise and site-wise estimated actual values (Vn) and calculated
quality rating (Qn) for post monsoon period.
Parameter
pH
Turb
TDS
EC
Alk
TH
DO
BOD

Mathura
Vn
Qn
7.45 35.33
1.9
40.00
489
98.90
1007 247.25
204
67.77
27.2 13.60
9.9
50.00
4.7
45.83

Mogra
Vn
7.9
2.4
495
987
213
28
8.8
3.2

Qn
60
48
99
246.75
71
14
60.41
33.33

Khayrar
Vn
7.44
2.9
493
986
150.66
34.8
9.64
5.4

Qn
29.33
58
98.6
246.5
50.22
17.4
51.66
56.25

Chand
Vn
8.30
1.5
495
990
154
20
11.80
7.40

Qn
181.33
30
99
247.5
51.33
10
29.16
77.08

Chakla
Vn
6.5
1.2
505
1006
314.50
21
9.80
6.10

Qn
33.33
24
101
251.5
104.83
10.5
50
63.54

Arpara
Vn
7.6
4
502
1004
154.66
18
9.90
5.80

Qn
40
80
100.4
251
51.55
9
48.95
60.41

Water Quality Index of Some Wetlands in Nadia District, West Bengal, India

25

Table 4: Site-wise calculated values of Water Quality Index for post-monsoon period.
Sites
1
2
3
4
5
6

Name of
wetland
Mathura Beel
Mogra Beel
Khayrar beel
Chand beel
Chakla Beel
Arpara beel

Watr Quality
Index
44.53
50.14
47.16
68.03
44.93
59.82

Conclusion
On the basis of the above findings, it may be concluded that the Surface drinking
water at almost all the sites in Nadia District is not severely contaminated as indicated
by WQI<100. At three sites, it is moderately contaminated (WQI values within 50-80)
and at other three sites it is somewhat fit for human consumption, the WQI values
being less than 50. Since the WQI of these sites are very close to 50, there is
contamination which is likely to cross the limit easily to become unsuitable for human
consumption. Thus the water quality is at risk and the vulnerability of all the wetlands
studied to contamination must be taken care of for optimization since the drinking
water is polluted with reference to almost all the water quality physico-chemical
parameters studied. The quality of three sites namely Mathura Beel, Khayrar Beel and
Chakla Beel water was found better than the water of other three sites namely Mogra
Beel, Chand Beel and Arpara Beel. A large number of rural people dependent on this
water are often prone to health hazards due to polluted water. Therefore, some
effective measures are urgently required to enhance the water quality for Nadia
district, (West Bengal, India).

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Horton, R. K. 1965. An index number system for rating water quality, J. Water
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