Assessment of groundwater quality at a MSW landfill site using standard and AHP based water quality index: a case study from Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

  • Shubhrasekhar Chakraborty
  • R. Naresh Kumar


Landfill leachate generated from open MSW dumpsite can cause groundwater contamination. The impact of open dumping of MSW on the groundwater of adjacent area was studied. To assess the spatial and temporal variations in groundwater quality, samples were collected around an open MSW dumping site in Ranchi city, Jharkhand, India. Groundwater samples were analysed for various physicochemical and bacteriological parameters for 1 year. Results indicated that the groundwater is getting contaminated due to vertical and horizontal migration of landfill leachate. Extent of contamination was higher in areas closer to the landfill as indicated by high alkalinity, total dissolved solids and ammonia concentration. Metals such as lead, iron, and manganese were present at concentrations of 0.097, 0.97 and 0.36 mg/L, respectively exceeding the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) 10,500 for drinking water. Enterobacteriaceae were also detected in several groundwater samples and highest coliform count of 2.1×104 CFU/mL was recorded from a dug well. In order to determine the overall groundwater quality, water quality index (WQI) was calculated using weighted arithmetic index method and this index was further modified by coupling with the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to get specific information. WQI values indicated that the overall groundwater quality of the region came under “poor” category while zone wise classification indicated the extent of impact of landfill leachate on groundwater.


Groundwater MSW dumpsite Landfill leachate Contamination Water quality index Analytical hierarchy process 



Thanks are given to the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India for providing financial assistance through a major research project (No. 42-426/2013) to carry out this work. We also thank Dr. Jawed Iqbal for the help provided during this work. Thanks to the anonymous reviewers for comments on the previous version which helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringBirla Institute of TechnologyRanchiIndia
  2. 2.School of Natural SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia

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