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Hydrogeochemical assessment and appraisal of groundwater quality in Saltora Block, Bankura District, West Bengal, India

Abstract

Assessment of groundwater quality is vital to protect this natural resource. The aims of this study were to evaluate the hydrochemical quality and deciphering its suitability for irrigation and human consumption purposes from the Saltora block of Bankura district, West Bengal. The district is characterized by adequate annual precipitation, but many parts of this district are facing acute water crisis. This may be due to its geological setup which is not suitable and also because of the presence of impervious lithology near to subsurface and also because of inundated nature of surface drainage pattern. Groundwater samples from 16 bore wells have been collected covering the entire block, during two sampling sessions—pre- and post-monsoon sessions of the year 2019 to have a present status on concentration and spatiotemporal fluctuations of controlling ions of the subsurface water. Measurements of some physicochemical parameters have been carried out in spot by Hanna Instruments and other qualitative chemical characteristics of groundwater were analyzed in laboratory. Measurements of different parameters such as sodium adsorption ratio, magnesium adsorption ratio (MAR), soluble sodium percentage, residual sodium carbonate, permeability index (PI), total hardness (TH), Kelly’s ratio (KR) and Piper trilinear plots followed by Gibb’s diagram and Schoeller diagram have been carried out for deciphering drinking, domestic and irrigation suitability of the Saltora block water. Gibb’s diagram indicates that general groundwater chemistry is dominated by the natural process of rock water interaction. Charge balance of groundwater samples collected seem to be good based upon the Ionic balance calculations. Schoeller diagram results present the following trends: Ca2+ > Mg+ > Na+ > K+; HCO3¯ > Cl¯ > SO42¯ > total Fe > F (for mg/L) and Mg+  > Ca2+ > Na+ > K+; Cl¯ > HCO3¯ > SO42¯ > F (for meq/L). High values of magnesium in around 60–70% of the samples have resulted in high MAR values (> 50) depicting increase in its alkaline nature. The Piper diagram results show that all groundwater samples collected from the investigated area do not conform to the fresh water category and therefore are not deemed suitable for drinking purposes. Water quality index values varied from 32.96 to 518.08 in pre-monsoon and 36.77 to 190.23 in post-monsoon sessions which indicate that the water of this block is good enough to use for domestic purposes. High to very high iron content in groundwater is observed across both sampling sessions in the study area. Thus, removal of iron through alum treatment of the groundwater seems to be the only cost-effective and reliable method to turn the groundwater completely potable in the study area.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support for this research work received from DAE—BRNS Research Project [36(4)/14/35/2015-BRNS] Dated 31 March, 2016].

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Das, S., Nag, S.K. Hydrogeochemical assessment and appraisal of groundwater quality in Saltora Block, Bankura District, West Bengal, India. Int J Energ Water Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42108-021-00132-6

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Keywords

  • Groundwater
  • Irrigational and drinking suitability
  • Water quality index
  • Iron
  • Bankura