Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 149, Issue 1–4, pp 81–97 | Cite as

Environmental impact assessment and seasonal variation study of the groundwater in the vicinity of River Adyar, Chennai, India

  • T. Venugopal
  • L. Giridharan
  • M. Jayaprakash
  • P. Periakali


Hydrochemical investigations of the groundwater and the seasonal effect on the chemical budget of ions along the course of the polluted river Adyar were carried out. From the geochemical results, it has been found that the seasonal effect does not change the order of abundance of both cations and anions, but it does change the concentration of various ions present in the groundwater. Among the chemical budget of ions, sodium and chloride were found to be the most predominant ions. The nitrate concentration in the groundwater ranges from 4.21 to 45.93 mg/l in pre-monsoon and in post-monsoon it ranges from 1.02 to 75.91 mg/l. The nitrate concentrations in the post-monsoon are high in some places especially in the upper stretch of the river. The intense agricultural activities near the upper stretch of the river may be an important factor for the higher concentration of nitrates in these aquifers. In order to determine the geochemical nature of water, the data was interpreted using the piper diagram wherein the results show the predominance of NaCl and CaMgCl types. Equiline diagrams, 1:1, were applied to evaluate the affinity ion relationship between various ions present in these waters. The quality of the groundwater was assessed with regard to its suitability to drinking and irrigation. A comparison of the groundwater quality in relation to drinking water quality standards shows that most of the water samples are not suitable for drinking, especially in post-monsoon period. US Salinity Laboratory’s, Wilcox’s diagrams, Kellys ratio and magnesium ratio were used for evaluating the water quality for irrigation which suggest that the majority of the groundwater samples are not good for irrigation in post-monsoon compared to that in pre-monsoon. Moreover the source of the ions in the water was examined and classified accordingly using Gibb’s diagram. The analytical results reveals that the TDS values of the pre-monsoon samples were found to be lower than the post-monsoon reflecting that leaching predominates over that of the dilution factor.


River Adyar Geochemistry Groundwater 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. APHA (1995). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (19th ed.). Washington, DC: American Public Association (1467 pp).Google Scholar
  2. AWWA (1971). Water quality and treatment. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, E., Skougslad, M. W., & Fishman, M. J. (1970). Methods for collection and analysis of water samples for dissolved minerals and gases. US Geological Survey, Techniques for water resources investigations, Book 5, Chapter A1.Google Scholar
  4. Chandu, S. N., Subbarao, V., & Raviprakash, S. (1995). Suitability of groundwater for domestic and irrigational purposes in some parts of Jhansi District, UP. Bhu-jal News, 10, 12–18.Google Scholar
  5. Cerling, T. E., Pederson, B. L., & Damm, K. L. V. (1989). Sodium-calcium ion exchange in the weathering of shales: Implications for global weathering budgets. Geology, 17, 552–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clesceri, L. S., Greenberg, A. E., & Eaton, A. D. (1998). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (20th ed.). Washington: American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, S. N., & DeWiest, R. J. (1966). Hydrogeology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Fetter, C. W. (1990). Applied hydrogeology. New Delhi, India: CBS Publishers & Distributors.Google Scholar
  9. Fisher, R. S., & Mulican III, W. F. (1997). Hydrochemical evolution of sodium-sulphate and sodium-chloride groundwater beneath the Northern Chihuahuan desert, Trans-Pecos, Texas, USA. Hydrogeology Journal, 5(2), 4–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freeze, R. A., & Cherry, J. A. (1979). Groundwater. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Gibbs, R. J. (1970). Mechanisms controlling world water chemistry. Science, 17, 1088–1090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hem, J. D. (1991). Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water (3rd ed.). Jodhpur, India: Scientific Publ (2254 pp).Google Scholar
  13. Howari, F. M., Abu-Rukah, Y., & Shinaq, R. (2005). Hydrochemical analyses and evaluation of groundwater resources of North Jordan. Water Resources, 32(5), 555–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Howari, F. M., & Banat, K. M. (2002). Hydrochemical characteristics of Jordan and Yarmouk River waters: Effect of natural and human activities. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 50(1), 50.Google Scholar
  15. Jalali, M. (2005). Major ion chemistry of groundwaters in the Bahar area, Hamadan, Western Iran. Environmental Geology, 47, 763–772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Karanth, K. R. (1997). Groundwater assessment, development and management. New Delhi, India: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited.Google Scholar
  17. Kelley, W. P. (1951). Alkali soils—Their formation properties and reclamation. New York: Reinhold Pub.Google Scholar
  18. Lee, S. M., Min, K. D., Woo, N. C., Kim, Y. J., & Ahn, C. H. (2003). Statistical models for the assessment of nitrate contamination in urban groundwater using GIS. Environmental Geology, 44, 210–221.Google Scholar
  19. Mukherjee, S., & Pandey, D. S. (1994). Nitrate pollution in groundwater at Jaunpur and its environs, Uttar Pradesh. Bhu-Jal News, 9, 22–25.Google Scholar
  20. Numberg, H. W. (1982). Yoltametric trace analysis in ecological chemistry of toxic metals. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 54(4), 853–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Obiri, S. (2007). Determination of heavy metals in water from boreholes in Dumasi in the Wassa West District of western region of Republic of Ghana. Environmental Monitoring Assessment, 130, 455–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pacheco, J., Marín, L., Cabrera, A., Steinich, B., & Escolero, O. (2001). Nitrate temporal and spatial patterns in 12 water-supply wells. Yucatan, Mexico. Environmental Geology, 40, 708–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Prasad, R. (1998). Fertilizer urea, food security, health and the environments. Current Science, 75, 667–683.Google Scholar
  24. Rainwater, F. H., & Thatcher, L. L. (1960). Methods for collection and analysis of water samples. US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1454.Google Scholar
  25. Rajmohan, N., & Elango, L. (2005). Nutrient chemistry of groundwater in an intensively irrigated region of Southern India. Environmental Geology, 47, 820–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ramesh, R., Shiv Kumar, K., Eswaramoorthi, S., & Purvaja, G. R. (1995). Migration and contamination of major and trace elements in ground water of Madras city, India. Environmental Geology, 25, 126–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rowell, D. J. (1994). Soil science: Methods and applications. UK: Longman Scientific and Technical.Google Scholar
  28. Sarin, M. M., Krishnaswamy, S., Dilli, K., Somayajulu, B. L. K., & Moore, W. S. (1989). Major-ion chemistry of the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system: Weathering processes and fluxes to the Bay of Bengal. Geochemistry Cosmochim Acta, 53, 997–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Singh, A. K., Mondal, G. C., Singh, P. K., Singh, S., Singh, T. B., & Tewary, B. K. (2005). Hydrochemistry of reservoirs of Damodar River basin, India: Weathering processes and water quality assessment. Environment Geology, 48, 1014–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Srinivass Gowd, S. (2005). Assessment of groundwater quality for drinking and irrigation purposes: a case study of Peddavanka watershed, Anantpur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environmental Geology, 48, 702–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Subba Rao, N. (2006). Seasonal variation of groundwater quality in a part of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environmental Geology, 49, 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Subba Rao, N., & John Devada, D. (2003). Fluoride incidence in groundwater in an area of Peninsular India. Environmental Geology, 45, 243–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Subramani, T., Elango, L., & Damodarasamy, S. R. (2005). Groundwater quality and its suitability for drinking and agricultural use in Chithar River Basin, Tamil Nadu, India. Environmental Geology, 47, 1099–1110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Walker, B. R., Jolly, L. D., & Cook, P. G. (1991). A New chloride leaching approach to the estimation of diffuse recharge following a change in land use. Journal of Hydrology, 128, 49–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Walter, M. F., Bubenzer, G. D., & Converse, J. C. (1975). Predicting vertical movement of manorial nitrogen in soil. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineering, 18, 100–105.Google Scholar
  36. Wilcox, L. V. (1948). The quality of water for irrigation use. US Department of Agricultural Technical Bulletin 1962, Washington.Google Scholar
  37. Woo, N.-C., Moon, J.-W., Won, J.-S., Hahn, J.-S., Lin, X.-Y., & Zhao, Y.-S. (2000). Water quality and pollution in the Hunchun Basin, China. Environmental Geology Health, 22, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Venugopal
    • 1
  • L. Giridharan
    • 1
  • M. Jayaprakash
    • 2
  • P. Periakali
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Mining, Thiru.Vi.Ka Industrial EstateChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Applied GeologyUniversity of MadrasChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations