Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 10, pp 6229–6237 | Cite as

Heavy metal contaminations in the groundwater of Brahmaputra flood plain: an assessment of water quality in Barpeta District, Assam (India)



A study was conducted to evaluate the heavy metal contamination status of groundwater in Brahmaputra flood plain Barpeta District, Assam, India. The Brahmaputra River flows from the southern part of the district and its many tributaries flow from north to south. Cd, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn are estimated by using atomic absorption spectrometer, Perkin Elmer AA 200. The quantity of heavy metals in drinking water should be checked time to time; as heavy metal accumulation will cause numerous problems to living being. Forty groundwater samples were collected mainly from tube wells from the flood plain area. As there is very little information available about the heavy metal contamination status in the heavily populated study area, the present work will help to be acquainted with the suitability of groundwater for drinking applications as well as it will enhance the database. The concentration of iron exceeds the WHO recommended levels of 0.3 mg/L in about 80% of the samples, manganese values exceed 0.4 mg/L in about 22.5% of the samples, and lead values also exceed limit in 22.5% of the samples. Cd is reported in only four sampling locations and three of them exceed the WHO permissible limit (0.003 mg/L). Zinc concentrations were found to be within the prescribed WHO limits. Therefore, pressing awareness is needed for the betterment of water quality; for the sake of safe drinking water. Statistical analysis of the data was carried out using Special Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16).


Groundwater Barpeta district Iron Manganese Correlation 



Nabanita Haloi is thankful to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi for financial assistance in the form of Rajib Gandhi National Fellowship.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceGauhati UniversityGuwahatiIndia

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