Variation of groundwater quality during discharge condition in Salur Mandal, Vizainagaram district, Andhra Pradesh, India

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental requirement of all human beings, with a direct impact on human health. By interpreting Article 21 of the Indian Constitution – popularly known as the Right to Life -  to include the right to safe drinking water; efforts to draw the attention of policy makers to the need to formulate national policies and guidelines to safeguard this right has been in progress for over four decades. Once, health hazards associated with consumption of contaminated water were attributed primarily to the presence of bacteria; however, now these hazards have diversified with an increasing number of drinking water sources affected by excessive amounts of fluoride, iron, arsenic, nitrate etc. Scientific assessments of underlying causes contributing the contamination of water, especially chemical contamination, can help develop scientific approaches to management the water resources.

A systematic hydro-geochemical study was carried out to assess the variation of groundwater quality during discharge condition in Salur Mandal, Vizainagaram district, Andhra Pradesh, India. This study was conducted in collaboration with National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad. Total 26 groundwater samples were collected from bore wells under step draw down pumping test. The step draw down pumping test was carried out up to 4 steps increasing discharge rate (ranges: 24-293 lpm). The groundwater samples were collected from the two pumping phases and then chemically analyzed for major cations and anions. The major findings from the study include neutral to mildly acidic and alkaline with pH ranging from 6.5-8.2, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) ranging from 142-1050 mg/l, more than 77% groundwater samples show increasing trend of TDS in the discharge condition, Chloride and sulphate change from –20 to 30 mg/l and –2 to 8mg/l respectively, major cations and anions are within permissible limits of potable water in both the pumping phases.

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