Sunday, 27 November 2011

Harmful effect of garbage dump yards: Ground water up to three km radius contaminated

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Ground water in areas up to three km radius around
garbage disposal sites of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
is highly alkaline and unfit for human use.

According to a joint research study by the city-based National
Geophysical Research Institute and the department of applied
geochemistry, Osmania University, the pH of ground water in localities
around the three GHMC garbage dump yards at Jawaharnagar, Dundigal and
Autonagar varies from 5.1 to 8.1. As many as 60 water samples from
around these sites were analysed for water purity and chemical

The pH of groundwater varies from 5.1 to 8.1 in Jawaharnagar, 6.8 to 8.1 in
Dundigal and 6.6 and 7.8 in Autonagar. The average concentration of
total dissolved solids (TDS) in the groundwater varies from 500 to
1500 mg/l. About 80 per cent of samples are beyond the permissible
limit of 500 mg/l of TDS. High TDS is attributed to addition of ions
by weathering and leaching of minerals from rocks and leachates
emanating from waste disposal sites.

The study was carried out by Vandana Parth and NN Murthy of NGRI and
Praveen Raj Saxena of Osmania University. They found that the total
alkalinity in the groundwater is greater than the acceptable limit for
drinking purpose.

The average concentration of total alkalinity exceeds the desirable
limit of 200 mg/l
The ground water was also contaminated by high concentration of
fluoride, 2.1 mg/l in Jawaharnagar, 2.2 mg/l in Dundigal and 3.1 mg/l
in Autonagar. The researchers noticed that about 71 per cent of
groundwater samples have fluoride values larger than the permissible
limit of 1.5 mg/l (WHO) and 1.0 mg/l (Bureau of Indian Standards).

They attributed the high nitrate to consequence of the oxidation of
ammonia and similar sources within leachates originating from waste
disposal facilities. About 80 per cent of the groundwater samples had
high salinity.

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