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Effectiveness & Reliability - As Field Testing Kits || Utility Of Treatment Plant
Causes, Effects & Remedies - Groundwater As Calamity || References

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Groundwater Arsenic contamination in West Bengal-India (20 years study )

Reported work done by SOES

Groundwater arsenic contamination status of Howrah district, one of the nine arsenic affected districts of West Bengal-India

Location and Demography
Howrah lies along the west bank of the Hoogly River directly opposite Kolkata. The district is a triangular tract of the country and the apex being situated at the southern end. In Howrah, there are 14 blocks. Officially there are 727 inhabited villages in Howrah district. Extending over an area of 1467 km2, the district has 42,73,099 inhabitants (22,41,898 are males and 20,31,201 females).

Arsenic contamination status in groundwater of Howrah district

To date, we have analyzed 1471 hand tubewell water samples and found arsenic concentrations above 10 µg/L in 356 (24.2%) hand tubewells and in 164 (11.1%) above 50 µg/L and 14 hand tubewell samples from had arsenic concentrations above 300µg/L. Table shows the distribution of arsenic in tubewell water from Howrah district.  Figure shows the groundwater arsenic situation in each block of Howrah with Pie-diagram diagram distribution. From the above analysis, it appears that in all the 12 blocks analysed groundwater contains arsenic above WHO guideline value of As (10 µg/L) and in 7 blocks exceeding Indian standard value for As in drinking water (50 µg/L). Arsenic level above 1000µg/L (1333 µg/L) was found in a tubewell from Amta I block. 

Groundwater arsenic situation and sufferings of people in Howrah district

Block
Total samples analysed 
Distribution of total samples in different arsenic concentration (mg/L) ranges
%of Samples with As >10mg/L
% of Samples with As >50mg/L
Max. conc. mg/L (samples with As >1000mg/L

≤3

4-10

11-50

51-100

101-200

201-300

300-500

501-1000

Amta I

115

83

21

9

1

 

 

 

 

9.6

1.7

1333 (1)

Amta II

96

70

13

10

1

 

2

 

 

13.5

3.1

258

Bagnan I

123

19

46

28

30

 

 

 

 

47.2

24.4

83

Bagnan II

73

35

11

23

4

 

 

 

 

37.0

5.5

82

Bally Jagacha

125

61

7

23

21

10

2

1

 

45.6

27.2

336

Domjur

199

162

23

14

 

 

 

 

 

7.0

0

22

Jagat Ballavpur

119

79

27

13

 

 

 

 

 

10.9

0

22

Panchla

98

48

45

5

 

 

 

 

 

5.1

0

14

Sankraile

216

142

21

38

13

1

1

 

 

24.5

6.9

205

Shyampur II

76

74

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

1.3

0

33

Udaynarayanpur

61

49

10

2

 

 

 

 

 

3.3

0

45

Uluberia II

170

67

1

26

17

30

17

11

1

60.6

45.3

622

Total

1471

889

226

192

87

41

22

12

1

24.2

11.1

1333 (1)

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