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

Reported work done by SOES

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

Location and Demography
The district Hoogly is surrounded by the district Bankura and Burdwan in the north, Hoogly and North 24-Parganas in the east, Howrah in the south and Midnapore district in the west. The geographical extent of the district lies with a latitude 230 01'20" N and 220 39' 32"S and Longitude 88030' 20"E and 87030' 15"W. The district of Hoogly is enriched with the rivers Hoogly, Damodar, Darakeswar, Mundeswari, Saraswati, Kunti, Behula etc. Hoogly district comprises of 18 blocks with 1886 inhabited villages. Extending over an area of 3149 km2, the district has 50,41,976 inhabitants (25,89,625 are males and 24,52,351 females).


Arsenic contamination status in groundwater of Hoogly district
To date, we have analyzed 2212 hand tubewell water samples from 218 villages/Para/wards in 69 GP’s/ Municipal area from 17 out of 18 blocks in Hoogly. We have found arsenic concentration above 10 µg/L in 397 (17.9%) hand tubewells and in 146 (6.6%) from above 50 µg/L and 3 hand tubewell samples had arsenic concentrations above 300µg/L. Table shows the groundwater arsenic contamination status in 17 blocks of Hoogly. Figure shows the groundwater arsenic situation in each block of Hoogly with Pie-diagram diagram distribution. From the above analysis, it appears that in 16 blocks groundwater contains arsenic above WHO guideline value of arsenic in drinking water (10 µg/L) and in 11 blocks above Indian standard value for As in drinking water (50 µg/L).  None of the collected water samples contains arsenic above 1000µg/L

Groundwater arsenic situation and sufferings of people in Hooghly 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

Arambag

100

93

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0

6

Balagarh

734

364

77

163

69

46

13

1

1

39.8

17.6

600

Chanditala I

99

87

9

3

 

 

 

 

 

3.0

0

33

Chanditala II

103

58

37

6

1

1

 

 

 

7.4

1.9

103

Chunchura Mogra

57

43

12

2

 

 

 

 

 

3.5

0

38

Dhaniyakhali

116

78

29

8

 

 

1

 

 

7.8

0.9

225

Goghat  I

121

84

29

6

 

2

 

 

 

6.6

1.7

147

Haripal

58

50

4

3

1

 

 

 

 

6.9

1.7

100

Jangipara

51

42

5

4

 

 

 

 

 

7.8

0

25

Khanakul I

102

78

20

2

1

 

 

1

 

3.9

2.0

390

Khanakul II

66

60

3

1

1

1

 

 

 

4.5

3.0

137

Pandua

52

23

7

19

3

 

 

 

 

42.3

5.8

61

Pobla Dadpur

88

56

27

4

 

1

 

 

 

5.7

1.1

142

Pursura

123

83

32

8

 

 

 

 

 

6.5

0

38

Singur

101

74

19

7

1

 

 

 

 

7.9

1.0

100

Sreerampur

130

114

10

5

 

1

 

 

 

4.6

0.8

200

Tarakeshwar

111

82

19

10

 

 

 

 

 

9.0

0

37

Total

2212

1469

346

251

77

52

14

2

1

17.9

6.6

600

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