Evaluation of water quality index for drinking purposes of river
Subernarekha in1 Singhbhum District 2

Kavita Parmar &Vineeta Parmar

1. Senior research fellow National Metallurgical laboratory, CSIR, Jamshedpur
2.WOS*B Directorate of weed science research , ICAR, Jabalpur
[email protected]
[email protected]



ABSTRACT

An attempt has been made to develop water quality index (WQI), using six water quality parameters Dissolved oxygen (DO), Biochemical oxygen Demand (BOD), Most Probable Number (MPN), Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and pH measured at five different stations along the river basin from November 2006 to November 2007 . Rating curves were drawn based on the tolerance limits of inland waters and health point of view. Bhargava WQI method was used to find overall WQI along the stretch of the river basin. Five point rating scale was used to classify water quality in each of the study areas. It was found that the water quality of Subernarekha varied from Excellent to Marginal range by
Bhargava WQI method. It was observed that the impact of human activity was severe on
most of the parameters. The MPN values exceeded the tolerable limits at almost all the
stations. It was observed that the main cause of deterioration in water quality was due to the
lack of proper sanitation, unprotected river sites ,high anthropogenic activities and and direct
discharge of industrial effluent.

Keywords: Water quality index, Bhargava's WQI, Subernarekha Water, Water quality

1. Introduction

The Subernarekha is a medium basin of the Indian subcontinent. The riverbed of Subernarekha is believed to contain traces of gold and hence the name. It originates in the Chhotanagpur hills of Jharkhand and subsequently passes through West Bengal and Orrisa.Throughout its course, several small rivers meet like Kharkai at Jamshedpur, and Gara Nallah at Jadugoda etc. Iron ore, bauxite, copper and uranium, minerals are found along its stretch. The bedrock of the basin is is a pre*Cambrian hard rock comprising mica*schist, Quartzite, soda granites and dhanjori volcanic. The water quality index is a dimensionless number with values ranking between 0 and 100. A higher index value represents a good water quality (Cude, 2001; Pandey and Sundaram, 2002). This numerical index can be used as a
management tool in water quality assessment.

2. Materials and methods

In order to determine the water quality index, four stations were chosen for sample collection in the study area along the stretch of the river, as described in Fig.1.Sampling stations 40km
long stretch of river Subernarekha situated in the West and East Singhbhum district of India
has beenn selected for the present study. Four stations were selected at (1) Manikui,Station A
(22_52N, 86_05E), (2) Kapali, Station B (22_50N, 86_10E), (3) Asonboni, Station C (22_44N,86_20E) and (4) Galudih, Station D (22_40N, 86_25E).Station A is situated
upstream on river Subernarekha,about 15 km from the industrial city of Jamshedpur and just
touching the southern demarcation line of the basic igneous rock layer. Station B, before river
Kharkhai meets with river Subernarekha, is also upstream at a distance of 5 km. Similarly,
stations C and D are situated downstream and at a distance of 5 and 15 km,respectively, after the city of Jamshedpur. A small seasonalrivulet, the Gurmanala creek, joins river
Subernarekha between stations C and D.


To determine the WQI, the following six water quality parameters are measured:
pH: The pH level is a measure of the acid content of the water. Most forms of aquatic life
tend to be very sensitive to pH. Since most of the human body consists of (50*60%) water,
the pH level has profound effect on all body chemistry, health and disease.

2.1 Dissolved Oxygen

The dissolved oxygen test measures the amount of life*sustaining oxygen dissolved in the water. Natural waters in equilibrium with the atmosphere will contain dissolved oxygen concentrations ranging from about 5 to 14.5 mg O2 per liter depending on the water temperature, salinity, and altitude. The dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration present in water reflects atmospheric dissolution, as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic processes that respectively, produce and consume oxygen. DO is the factor that determines whether biological changes are brought by aerobic or anaerobic organisms. Thus, dissolved*oxygen
measurement is vital for maintaining aerobic treatment processes intended to purify domestic
and industrial wastewaters. The optimum value for good water quality is 4 to 6 mg/L of DO,
which ensures healthy aquatic life in a water body.

2.2 Biochemical Oxygen Demand
The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (or BOD) is a measure of the amount of food for bacteria
that is found in water. It determines the strength in terms of oxygen required to stabilize domestic and industrial wastes. For the degradation of oxidizable organic matter to take place minimum of 2 to 7 mg/L of DO level is to be maintained at laboratory experimentation or
should be available in the natural waters (De, 2003).

2.3 Micro*organisms
In drinking water microorganisms can cause sensory defects (odor, color, taste). Micro*
organisms are an important cause of the corrosion of steel pipes. Various health related
problems due to contaminated waters are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting due to
salmonella, cholera is due to vibro cholerae, infection of lungs due to mycobacterium
(Adarsh and Mahantesh, 2006; Nollet, 2000).

2.4 Total Dissolved Solids
This is a measure of the solid materials dissolved in the river water. This includes salts, some
organic materials, and a wide range of other things from nutrients to toxic materials. The
amount and nature of dissolved and undissolved matter occurring in liquid materials vary
greatly. Waters with higher solids content have laxative and sometimes the reverse effect
upon people whose bodies are not adjusted to them. TDS consists of oxygen*demanding wastes, disease*causing agents, which can cause immense harm to public health .Organo* chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, is a very toxic compound. Exposure to high doses can affect the central nervous system, provoking paralysis of the tongue, lips, and, face, irritability, dizziness. The presence of synthetic organic chemicals (fuels, detergents, paints, solvents etc.) imparts objectionable and offensive tastes, odors and colors to fish and aquatic
plants even when they are present in low concentrations (Sawyer et al., 1994; Nollet, 2000).
Temperature: The water temperature of river is very important, as many of the physical,biological, and chemical characteristics of a river are directly affected by temperature.The water quality index (WQI) was determined according to Bhargava method (Bhargava,1983; Bhargava, 1998; Bhargava, 2006) and Harmonic Mean WQI method (Shree
Kumar, 2006).

3. Analysis of samples

The water samples were collected from each of the five selected stations according to the standard sampling methods (IS: 2488, 1966; APHA, 1998).Samples for estimating dissolved oxygen (DO) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) were collected separately in BOD
(glass) bottles. Water temperature was recorded on the spot using thermometers.

3.1 Water Quality Index determination

In this study the water quality index (WQI) was determined according to Bhargava method.
The Bhargava method was adopted because of its simplicity involved in handling small to
large data for various beneficial uses. The simplified model for WQI for a beneficial use is
given by equation

WQIn i=1 = [p fi (pi)]1 /n x 100 ******* 1

Where n is the number of variables is considered more relevant to the use and (f i) P i is the
sensitivity function of the i th variable which includes the effect of weighting of the
i th variable in the use.

4. Result and discussion

Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness in water. The higher the turbidity, the cloudier the water appears. The water was found to be more turbid during the monsoon 2006 at various sampling stations. This can be caused by soil erosion, waste discharge, urban runoff, algal growth etc. The DO level was the lowest at the station 4 in the month of August compared to the previous seasons. Total Dissolved solids or filterable residue includes salts and organic residue. Sampling station 4 marked the least fluctuations in the present study. This may be due to the forest, semi*green catchments area thereby less soil erosion of the top soil. It is noticed that the stations of downstream region have higher TDS values compared to the
upstream ones.


5. References

1. APHA, (1998), APHA*AWWA*WPCF, Standard Methods for Examination of Water
and Waste Water. APHA Inc., New York, 20th Edition, 2*9, 2*48, 4*87, 4*134, 5*3, 9*47.

2. Bhargava D.S., (1983), Use of a water quality index for river classification and zoning
of the Ganga River, Environmental Pollution, B6, 51*67.

3. Bhargava D.S., Saxena B.S., Dewakar R.W., (1998), A study of geopollutants in the
Godavary River basin in India, Asian Environment, 12, 36*59.

4. Cude C., (2001), Oregon Water Quality Index: A tool for evaluating water quality
management effectiveness, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 37, 125*
137.

5. De A.K., (2003), Environmental Chemistry, 5th Edition, New Age International
Publisher, New Delhi.

6. IS:2488, (1966), Indian standard code on methods of sampling and tests for industrial
effluents, IS:2488,(1966) - Part 1, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.

7. Nollet L.M.L., (2000), Handbook of Water Analysis, Marcel Dekker, New York,
Basel, 2000.

8. Pandey M., Sundaram S.M., (2002), Trend of water quality of river Ganga at Varanasi
using WQI approach, International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Science, 28, 139*
142.

9. Ram K. S., Anandh, H., (1996), Water quality index of some Indian rivers, Indian
Journal of Environmental Health, 38, 21*34.

Evaluation of water quality index for drinking purposes of river
Subernarekha in1 Singhbhum District 2
Kavita Parmar &Vineeta Parmar
1. Senior research fellow National Metallurgical laboratory, CSIR, Jamshedpur
2.WOS*B Directorate of weed science research , ICAR, Jabalpur
[email protected]
[email protected]


ABSTRACT

An attempt has been made to develop water quality index (WQI), using six water quality parameters Dissolved oxygen (DO), Biochemical oxygen Demand (BOD), Most Probable Number (MPN), Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and pH measured at five different stations along the river basin from November 2006 to November 2007 . Rating curves were drawn based on the tolerance limits of inland waters and health point of view. Bhargava WQI method was used to find overall WQI along the stretch of the river basin. Five point rating scale was used to classify water quality in each of the study areas. It was found that the water quality of Subernarekha varied from Excellent to Marginal range by
Bhargava WQI method. It was observed that the impact of human activity was severe on
most of the parameters. The MPN values exceeded the tolerable limits at almost all the
stations. It was observed that the main cause of deterioration in water quality was due to the
lack of proper sanitation, unprotected river sites ,high anthropogenic activities and and direct
discharge of industrial effluent.

Keywords: Water quality index, Bhargava's WQI, Subernarekha Water, Water quality

1. Introduction

The Subernarekha is a medium basin of the Indian subcontinent. The riverbed of Subernarekha is believed to contain traces of gold and hence the name. It originates in the Chhotanagpur hills of Jharkhand and subsequently passes through West Bengal and Orrisa.Throughout its course, several small rivers meet like Kharkai at Jamshedpur, and Gara Nallah at Jadugoda etc. Iron ore, bauxite, copper and uranium, minerals are found along its stretch. The bedrock of the basin is is a pre*Cambrian hard rock comprising mica*schist, Quartzite, soda granites and dhanjori volcanic. The water quality index is a dimensionless number with values ranking between 0 and 100. A higher index value represents a good water quality (Cude, 2001; Pandey and Sundaram, 2002). This numerical index can be used as a
management tool in water quality assessment.

2. Materials and methods

In order to determine the water quality index, four stations were chosen for sample collection in the study area along the stretch of the river, as described in Fig.1.Sampling stations 40km
long stretch of river Subernarekha situated in the West and East Singhbhum district of India
has beenn selected for the present study. Four stations were selected at (1) Manikui,Station A
(22_52N, 86_05E), (2) Kapali, Station B (22_50N, 86_10E), (3) Asonboni, Station C
(22_44N,86_20E) and (4) Galudih, Station D (22_40N, 86_25E).Station A is situated
upstream on river Subernarekha,about 15 km from the industrial city of Jamshedpur and just
touching the southern demarcation line of the basic igneous rock layer. Station B, before river
Kharkhai meets with river Subernarekha, is also upstream at a distance of 5 km. Similarly,
stations C and D are situated downstream and at a distance of 5 and 15 km,respectively, after the city of Jamshedpur. A small seasonalrivulet, the Gurmanala creek, joins river
Subernarekha between stations C and D.


2.1 Dissolved Oxygen

The dissolved oxygen test measures the amount of life*sustaining oxygen dissolved in the water. Natural waters in equilibrium with the atmosphere will contain dissolved oxygen concentrations ranging from about 5 to 14.5 mg O2 per liter depending on the water temperature, salinity, and altitude. The dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration present in water reflects atmospheric dissolution, as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic processes that respectively, produce and consume oxygen. DO is the factor that determines whether biological changes are brought by aerobic or anaerobic organisms. Thus, dissolved*oxygen
measurement is vital for maintaining aerobic treatment processes intended to purify domestic
and industrial wastewaters. The optimum value for good water quality is 4 to 6 mg/L of DO,
which ensures healthy aquatic life in a water body.

2.2 Biochemical Oxygen Demand
The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (or BOD) is a measure of the amount of food for bacteria
that is found in water. It determines the strength in terms of oxygen required to stabilize domestic and industrial wastes. For the degradation of oxidizable organic matter to take place minimum of 2 to 7 mg/L of DO level is to be maintained at laboratory experimentation or
should be available in the natural waters (De, 2003).

2.3 Micro*organisms
In drinking water microorganisms can cause sensory defects (odor, color, taste). Micro*
organisms are an important cause of the corrosion of steel pipes. Various health related
problems due to contaminated waters are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting due to
salmonella, cholera is due to vibro cholerae, infection of lungs due to mycobacterium
(Adarsh and Mahantesh, 2006; Nollet, 2000).

2.4 Total Dissolved Solids
This is a measure of the solid materials dissolved in the river water. This includes salts, some
organic materials, and a wide range of other things from nutrients to toxic materials. The
amount and nature of dissolved and undissolved matter occurring in liquid materials vary
greatly. Waters with higher solids content have laxative and sometimes the reverse effect
upon people whose bodies are not adjusted to them. TDS consists of oxygen*demanding wastes, disease*causing agents, which can cause immense harm to public health .Organo* chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, is a very toxic compound. Exposure to high doses can affect the central nervous system, provoking paralysis of the tongue, lips, and, face, irritability, dizziness. The presence of synthetic organic chemicals (fuels, detergents, paints, solvents etc.) imparts objectionable and offensive tastes, odors and colors to fish and aquatic
plants even when they are present in low concentrations (Sawyer et al., 1994; Nollet, 2000).
Temperature: The water temperature of river is very important, as many of the physical,biological, and chemical characteristics of a river are directly affected by temperature.The water quality index (WQI) was determined according to Bhargava method (Bhargava,1983; Bhargava, 1998; Bhargava, 2006) and Harmonic Mean WQI method (Shree
Kumar, 2006).

3. Analysis of samples

The water samples were collected from each of the five selected stations according to the standard sampling methods (IS: 2488, 1966; APHA, 1998).Samples for estimating dissolved oxygen (DO) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) were collected separately in BOD
(glass) bottles. Water temperature was recorded on the spot using thermometers.

3.1 Water Quality Index determination

In this study the water quality index (WQI) was determined according to Bhargava method.
The Bhargava method was adopted because of its simplicity involved in handling small to
large data for various beneficial uses. The simplified model for WQI for a beneficial use is
given by equation

WQIn i=1 = [p fi (pi)]1 /n x 100 ******* 1

Where n is the number of variables is considered more relevant to the use and (f i) P i is the
sensitivity function of the i th variable which includes the effect of weighting of the
i th variable in the use.

4. Result and discussion

Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness in water. The higher the turbidity, the cloudier the water appears. The water was found to be more turbid during the monsoon 2006 at various sampling stations. This can be caused by soil erosion, waste discharge, urban runoff, algal growth etc. The DO level was the lowest at the station 4 in the month of August compared to the previous seasons. Total Dissolved solids or filterable residue includes salts and organic residue. Sampling station 4 marked the least fluctuations in the present study. This may be due to the forest, semi*green catchments area thereby less soil erosion of the top soil. It is noticed that the stations of downstream region have higher TDS values compared to the
upstream ones.

5. References

1. APHA, (1998), APHA*AWWA*WPCF, Standard Methods for Examination of Water
and Waste Water. APHA Inc., New York, 20th Edition, 2*9, 2*48, 4*87, 4*134, 5*3, 9*47.

2. Bhargava D.S., (1983), Use of a water quality index for river classification and zoning
of the Ganga River, Environmental Pollution, B6, 51*67.

3. Bhargava D.S., Saxena B.S., Dewakar R.W., (1998), A study of geopollutants in the
Godavary River basin in India, Asian Environment, 12, 36*59.

4. Cude C., (2001), Oregon Water Quality Index: A tool for evaluating water quality
management effectiveness, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 37, 125*
137.

5. De A.K., (2003), Environmental Chemistry, 5th Edition, New Age International
Publisher, New Delhi.

6. IS:2488, (1966), Indian standard code on methods of sampling and tests for industrial
effluents, IS:2488,(1966) - Part 1, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.

7. Nollet L.M.L., (2000), Handbook of Water Analysis, Marcel Dekker, New York,
Basel, 2000.

8. Pandey M., Sundaram S.M., (2002), Trend of water quality of river Ganga at Varanasi
using WQI approach, International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Science, 28, 139*
142.

9. Ram K. S., Anandh, H., (1996), Water quality index of some Indian rivers, Indian
Journal of Environmental Health, 38, 21*34.