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Assessment and spatial distribution of groundwater quality in industrial areas of Ghaziabad, India

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An attempt has been made in this study to evaluate the groundwater quality in two industrial blocks of Ghaziabad district. Groundwater samples were collected from shallow wells, deep wells and hand pumps of two heavily industrialized blocks, namely Bulandshahar road industrial area and Meerut road industrial area in Ghaziabad district for assessing their suitability for various uses. Samples were collected from 30 sites in each block before and after monsoon. They were analyzed for a total of 23 elements, namely, Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Se, U, V, and Zn. In addition to these elements, some other parameters were also studied viz: color, odor, turbidity, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand (COD), dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids and total suspended solid. The water quality index was also calculated based on some of the parameters estimated. Out of the 23 elements, the mean values of 12 elements, namely, Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cr, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Se, and U, were higher than the prescribed standard limits. The concentrations (in milligram per liter) of highly toxic metals viz., Al, As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Se, and U, ranged from 1.33–6.30, 0.04–0.54, 0.005–0.013, 4.51–7.09, 0.14–0.27, 0.13–0.32, 0.16–2.11, and 0.10–1.21, respectively, in all groundwater samples, while the permissible limits of these elements as per WHO/BIS standards for drinking are 0.2, 0.01, 0.003, 0.05, 0.07, 0.01, 0.04, and 0.03 mg L−1, respectively. The EC, pH, and COD in all samples varied from 0.74–4.21, 6.05–7.72, and 4.5–20.0 while their permissible limits are 0.7 dS m−1, 6.5–8.5, and 10 mg L−1, respectively. On the basis of the above-mentioned parameters, the water quality index of all groundwater samples ranged from 101 to 491, and 871 to 2904 with mean value of 265 and 1,174 based on two criteria, i.e., physico-chemical and metal contaminations, respectively while the prescribed safe limit for drinking is below 50. The results revealed that the groundwater in the two blocks is unfit for drinking as per WHO/BIS guidelines. The presence of elements like As, Se, and U in toxic amounts is a matter of serious concern.

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The author is extremely grateful to the Project Director, Water Technology Centre, Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; and Director, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, for providing the facilities available for carrying out this research work.

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Correspondence to Anil Kumar Singh.

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Kumari, S., Singh, A.K., Verma, A.K. et al. Assessment and spatial distribution of groundwater quality in industrial areas of Ghaziabad, India. Environ Monit Assess 186, 501–514 (2014).

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