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

Reported work done by SOES

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

Location and Demography
Burdwan (also called Bardhaman /Barddhaman) district of West Bengal is situated between the Latitude 23.53o N, 22.56o S and Longitude 83.25o E, 86.48o E.  It is bound on the north by Dumka of Jharkhand, Birbhum and Murshidabad districts, on the east by Nadia; on the south by Hoogly and Bankura, and on the west by Dhanbad district of Jharkhand. It has 32 blocks, 278 GPs and 2488 inhabited villages. There are nine municipalities in Burdwan district. Extending over an area of 7024 km2, the district has 69,19,698 inhabitants (36,02,675 are males and 33,17,023 females).

Arsenic contamination status in groundwater of Burdwan district
To date, we have analyzed 2634 hand tubewell water samples from 193 villages/wards in 73 GPs/ Municipal areas from 23 blocks of Burdwan. Table shows the distribution of arsenic in tubewell water samples from Burdwan district and Figure shows the groundwater arsenic situation in each block of Burdwan with Pie-diagram distribution.  Arsenic concentration above 10 µg/L was observed in 463 (17.6%) hand tubewells, above 50 µg/L in 219 (8.3%) and 18 (0.7%) of the tubewells had arsenic concentrations above 300µg/L. 55, 38 and 11 villages contains arsenic above 10, 50 and 300 µg/L respectively and in 12, 7 and 3 blocks contains arsenic above 10, 50 and 300 µg/L respectively. From the above analysis, it appears that groundwater of 12 out of 23 blocks contains arsenic above WHO guideline value (10 µg/L) and in 7 blocks above Indian standard value for As in drinking water (50 µg/L). In Kalna II block the maximum arsenic contamination level was found (2230 µg/L).

Groundwater arsenic situation and sufferings of people in Bardhaman 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

Ausgram I

5

4

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

Bhatar

74

72

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

Burdwan I

47

44

1

1

-

1

-

-

-

4.3

2.1

135

Burdwan II

66

59

7

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

Durgapur

138

127

10

1

-

-

-

-

-

0.7

-

14

Galsi I

59

59

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

Galsi II

39

37

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

2.6

-

43

Jamalpur

74

68

6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

6

Kalna I

70

60

6

3

1

 

 

 

 

5.7

1.4

54

Kalna II

72

65

6

1

-

-

-

-

-

1.4

-

17

Katowa I

313

292

4

13

-

1

-

-

2

5.4

1.3

2230 (1)

Katowa II

143

138

5

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

Ketugram I

120

114

6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

Ketugram II

134

125

5

4

-

-

-

-

-

3.0

-

22

Khandaghoosh

55

53

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

Mangalkot

73

69

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

Manteshwar

47

47

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

Memari I

105

93

5

7

-

-

-

-

-

6.7

0

22

Memari II

90

85

 

4

-

1

-

-

-

5.6

1.1

170

Purbasthali  I

490

268

5

106

50

37

13

8

3

44.3

22.7

600

Purbasthali  II

317

112

1

103

34

49

14

3

1

64.4

31.9

640

Raina I

65

64

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

Raina II

38

36

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

2.6

2.6

90

Total

2634

2091

79

244

86

89

27

11

6

17.6

8.4

2230 (1)

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