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Applied Water Science

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 717–720 | Cite as

Monitoring of phenolic compounds and surfactants in water of Ganga Canal, Haridwar (India)

  • Richa Seth
  • Prashant SinghEmail author
  • Manindra Mohan
  • Rakesh Singh
  • Ravinder Singh Aswal
Open Access
Original Article

Abstract

The Ganga Canal emerging out from Ganga River has great ritual importance among pilgrims and tourists at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. The Canal is being polluted due to mass bathing, washing, disposal of sewage, industrial waste and these human activities are deteriorating its water quality. To determine the impact of these activities, Ganga Canal water quality at five sites between Haridwar and Roorkee namely Pantdweep, Har Ki Pauri, Singhdwar, Piran Kaliyar and Old Bridge, Roorkee has been analyzed for organic pollutants phenolic compounds and surfactants, which have rarely been assessed and reported so far. The results of analysis show that phenolic compounds are not present in water samples of selected five sites during bi-monthly monitoring from January 2012 to November 2012. The Har Ki Pauri, Singhdwar, Piran Kaliyar and Old Bridge, Roorkee sites have been detected with surfactant concentrations (1.18, 1.63, 3.2 and 2.5 mg/l) more than permissible limit (1.00 mg/l). Also at most of the sites, surfactants’ concentration crossed the desirable limit of BIS during the period of analysis. This distribution of surfactants in water has potential risk for skin diseases and cancer and requires regular monitoring with appropriate measures.

Keywords

Ganga Canal Haridwar Water quality Phenolic compounds Surfactants 

Introduction

The Ganga Canal originates from Haridwar and irrigates the Doab area falling between Ganga and Yamuna rivers, covering an fertile agricultural area of about 9,000 km2 of ten districts of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states of India. Besides irrigation, Canal water has been used for community water supply, ritual bathing, and disposal of sewage and industrial effluents (Chauhan and Singh 2010; Deepali and Namita 2012; Kulshrestha and Sharma 2006; Mishra et al. 2009; Semwal and Akolkar 2006).

Ganga Canal water is subjected to major religious activities at Haridwar, Uttarakhand (India). Millions of devotees assemble during the auspicious occasions round the year and take a dip in the holiest Canal of Ganga River of India at Pantdweep and Hari Ki Pauri i.e. near the origin of Ganga Canal. Moreover, Haridwar is also known for two industrial estates namely Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) and SIDCUL, which have more than 500 companies. Sewage and municipal waste of Rishikesh and Haridwar as well as effluents of industrial units of BHEL and SIDCUL, Haridwar get mixed into the Ganga Canal water (Kaushik et al. 2012). Over the years, the Ganga Canal has become the channel of transport of industrial effluents and wastewater of the nearby residential areas and causes threat to society as a large portion of it eventually reaches the Canal water through natural drainage system. Organic pollutants namely surfactants and phenolic compounds are important pollutants which are likely to enter in environmental water through mass bathing/washing and incomplete disposal of industrial effluents, respectively, and can pollute the Canal water quality. The concentration of these compounds greater than permissible limits can lead to chronic toxicity and may alter the properties of water of Ganga Canal. Thus, increase in the pollution load of soil system and ground water aquifers may ultimately affect the health of the users as well as local population (Hanif et al. 2012; Shinde 2006). The composite effluents of different industries have contributed significantly for the degradation of surface water and soil quality of adjoining areas of industrial zone at Haridwar (Kar et al. 2008; Kumar and Bharti 2012). Moreover, the excessive presence of both the pollutants in water may lead to blood toxicity, eyes and skin irritation, reproductive interferences, paralysis of central nervous system, severe drop in body temperature and even cause cancer in humans and chronic and sub lethal activities to aquatic organisms (Davi and Gnudi 1999; Etxebarria et al. 2012; Exner and Farber 2006; Lewis 1991; Li et al. 2009).

In spite of a number of available reports, no regular monitoring data are available for water quality characteristics especially phenolic compounds and surfactants as per Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS 1991) about water quality of Ganga Canal at various sites falling under the industrial area zones of Haridwar and nearby city Roorkee. The present study was therefore, conducted to determine the concentration of these two organic pollutants in surface water quality of Ganga Canal which is being used for drinking and other domestic activities.

Materials and methods

Study area

Water samples were collected bimonthly from January 2012 to November 2012 from five main sampling sites of Ganga Canal from Haridwar to Roorkee, Uttarakhand (India). GPS co-ordinates, which were collected from each site using GPS system (Garmin, 76 CSX) are given in Table 1.
Table 1

GPS location of sampling sites

Site code

Name of sampling site

Latitude

Longitude

Elevation (MSL in m)

SN1

Pantdweep Ghat, Haridwar

29°57′33.8″N

78°10′25.3″E

282

SN2

Har Ki Pauri Ghat, Haridwar

29°57′25.0″N

78°10′15.9″E

283

SN3

Singhdwar Ghat, Haridwar

29°55′39.2″N

78°07′58.8″E

275

SN4

New Bridge Ghat, Piran Kaliyar, Roorkee

29°55′21.4″N

77°56′15.2″E

262

SN5

Old Bridge Ghat, Roorkee

29°52′29.2″N

77°53′21.4″E

260

Sample collection and analytical methods

Collection, preservation and transportation of water samples to the laboratory and analysis were executed as per standard methods. The water samples for phenolic compounds and surfactants analysis were collected in acid-leached Tarson bottles. All samples were stored in insulator cooler containing ice, brought to the laboratory, and kept at 4 °C until processing and analysis (Eaton et al. 2005; Kazi et al. 2009). The phenolic compounds were determined using chloroform extraction method (APHA, 5530-C) and surfactants by methylene blue active substance (APHA, 5440-C) using UV–VIS spectrophotometer (Model—Pharo 300). A concentration of 0.001 mg/l has been recommended as desirable limit and 0.002 mg/l as the permissible limit for phenolic compound and concentration of 0.20 mg/l as desirable limit and 1.0 mg/l as permissible limit for surfactants in drinking water as per BIS: 10500 (1991).

Results and discussion

The results of analysis of phenolic compounds and surfactants observed at different sites of Ganga Canal, during January to November 2012 (bimonthly) are summarized in Table 2. During January 2012, the analytical results of water samples of Ganga Canal showed that out of all the sites, only SN4 site had the surfactant value of 0.50 mg/l, whereas, phenolic compounds were not found at any of the site studied. However, during March 2012 (when tourists start coming to Haridwar) surfactants were present in appreciable quantities ranging from 0.38 to 0.64 mg/l at all the five sites of Ganga Canal from Haridwar to Roorkee, whereas phenolic compounds were again found absent at all the sites.
Table 2

Concentration of phenolic compounds and surfactants in Ganga Canal water

Site codes

Phenolic compounds (mg/l)

Surfactants (mg/l)

DL: 0.001 mg/l; PL: 0.002 mg/l

DL: 0.20 mg/l; PL: 1.00 mg/l

January

March

May

July

September

November

January

March

May

July

September

November

SN1

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.64

0.77

0.71

0.54

0.45

SN2

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.59

1.18

0.45

0.35

0.33

SN3

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.56

0.43

1.63

0.77

0.62

SN4

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.50

0.38

0.35

3.20

0.50

0.38

SN5

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.52

0.31

2.50

0.68

0.42

DL desirable limit, PL permissible limit, ND not detected

Similar to the above findings, the results of the May and July 2012, which are the peak pilgrims and tourists seasons at Haridwar, showed that all the sites have relatively higher amount of surfactants in water samples. The maximum value of surfactants’ concentration was found 1.18 mg/l in May, 2012 at SN2 and 3.20 mg/l in July, 2012 at SN4. The lowest concentration was found 0.31 and 0.45 mg/l at SN5 and SN2, respectively, in May and July 2012 i.e. more than desirable limit of 0.20 mg/l as per BIS.

In September and November 2012, no presence of phenolic compounds was found at all the sites. Slightly lower concentration of surfactants were found during these 2 months as compared with the results of July 2012 but these concentrations ranging from 0.35 to 0.77 mg/l and 0.33 to 0.62 mg/l, respectively, in September and November 2012 were still found higher than desirable limit of BIS. The maximum concentrations of 0.77 and 0.62 mg/l were recorded at SN3 site during September and November 2012, respectively.

The above bi-monthly monitoring study, carried out for a period of 9 months, clearly shows that Ganga Canal water is not at all polluted by phenolic compounds at all the five sampling sites selected for analysis. However, the effects of mass bathing and washing are clearly visible due to the presence of surfactants at all the five sites during March to November. In the month of January, the surfactants were not detected in the study sites due to less anthropogenic activities as well as not a peak season for tourist activities except at Piran Kaliyar site (SN4), as the site is continuously used for washing center of clothes in addition to bathing. Figure 1 clearly demonstrate the highest concentration (3.20 mg/l) of surfactants’ obtained at SN4 site (Piran Kaliyar, Roorkee) and minimum concentration (0.31 mg/ml) at SN5 site (Old Bridge, Roorkee), whereas phenolic compounds are found within prescribed limits at all studied sites. The present study also find support from reports published elsewhere (Hanif et al. 2012; Murakami and Takada 2008; Mungray and Kumar 2008), which attribute presence of surfactants’ in Canal water due to various anthropogenic activities caused by human along the stretch of Ganga Canal in Haridwar.
Fig. 1

Bi-monthly variation in surfactants’ concentration at all five sites of Ganga Canal

Conclusions

The water quality is expected to be deteriorated through phenolic compounds and surfactants from nearby BHEL and SIDICUL industrial areas and also through washing of clothes as well as mass bathing activities along the stretch of Ganga Canal at different sites from Pantdweep, Haridwar to Old Bridge, Roorkee. Through the present monitoring study of phenolic compounds and surfactants in the surface water of Ganga Canal, it concluded that so far phenolic compounds have not entered into surface water along the course of Ganga Canal from Pantdweep, Haridwar to Old Bridge, Roorkee. Contrary to these results, the presence of surfactants, due to bathing and washing clothes along the route of Ganga Canal, is very prominent at almost all the five sites. The concentrations of 1.18 mg/l, at site SN2 in May 2012, and of 1.63, 3.2 and 2.5 mg/l at SN3, SN4 and SN5 sites, respectively, in July 2012 were found more than permissible limit (1.00 mg/l) of BIS for surfactants. Besides at all the sites during the entire duration of studies, the values of surfactants’ concentration were found more than desirable limit at all five sites during the course of monitoring. Thus, there is a need to ban the use of soap/surfactants for bathing or washing purposes to save Ganga Canal water from further pollution and to use its water for meeting out drinking/domestic needs through surface abstraction. The studies also highlight the need of regular monitoring of the Ganga Canal water as it may pollute a large fertile agricultural land, which is irrigated through its water.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India for financial support provided for this work under Grant No. F.39-812/2010 (SR).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richa Seth
    • 1
  • Prashant Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manindra Mohan
    • 1
  • Rakesh Singh
    • 2
  • Ravinder Singh Aswal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryDAV (PG) CollegeDehradunIndia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryDBS (PG) CollegeDehradunIndia
  3. 3.Department of Zoology and Environmental SciencesGurukula Kangri UniversityHaridwarIndia

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