Assessment of Groundwater Quality for Drinking Purpose by Using Water Quality Index (WQI) in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli Districts, Uttar Pradesh, India
Received Date: Jan 21, 2016 / Accepted Date: Feb 11, 2016 / Published Date: Feb 20, 2016
A Water Quality Index (WQI) numerically summarizes the information from multiple water quality parameters into a single value that is understandable and usable by the public. This information can be used to assess spatial and temporal variations in overall water quality. However, these indices are time and region specific and may be influenced by local factors. Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh are situated in Ganga-Yamuna doab of fertile alluvium of Indo-gangetic basin where the demands for surface water and groundwater are growing with rapid increase in agricultural and industrial activities. In the present study, water quality index is worked out to assess the spatial variation of groundwater quality status for future planning and management of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts using WQI. Data of 104 groundwater samples covering the whole districts have been used. The Water Quality Index has been computed using five parameters viz., pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Hardness, Chloride and Sulphate. The WQI results show that the overall water quality class is ‘good’ and water is acceptable for domestic use.
Keywords: Water quality index; Groundwater Muzaffarnagar; Shamli; Uttar Pradesh; Indo-Gangetic plains
Increasing demand for domestic and irrigation purposes and imprudent use of groundwater has put its sustainability in danger due to its continuous depletion and deterioration of quality in northwest India [1-13] and Indo-Gangetic basin [14-16]. The water quality evaluations have been carried out by various researchers in various parts of India using different methods [17-23]. Generally, water samples are analysed for a number of water quality parameters to assess its suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes. A water quality index (WQI) numerically summarizes the information easily from multiple water quality parameters into a single value that can be used to assess spatial and temporal variations in overall water quality. The WQI has been developed for surface water by many researchers [24-28] but the efforts are being made to work out these indices for the groundwater also in Indo-Gangetic plains and has already been computed for Haridwar district of Uttarakhand .
The Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh are situated in Ganga-Yamuna doab of fertile alluvium of Indo-gangetic basin and are bounded by Saharanpur district in the north, Haridwar district of Uttarakhand in the northeast, Bijnor district in the east, Meerut district in the south and river Yamuna separates it from the adjoining state of Haryana in the west. The eastern boundary of the districts with Bijnor district is formed by river Ganga. The districts occupy the northern part of Ganga-Yamuna basin with Ganga being in the east and Yamuna in the west of the districts.
The Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts have many industries generating considerable toxic effluents which might contaminate groundwater of these districts in future. Groundwater quality of these districts shows high concentrations of Cl− and SO24− that are generally due to anthropogenic activities, which may be local in nature .
Though water quality evaluations were done by Tyagi et al.  in the area but Water Quality Index (WQI) was not developed. Keeping this in view, the present work carried with the overall objectives (i) to assess the suitability of groundwater for drinking purpose, as per the guidelines reported by Singh et al.  in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, Uttar Pradesh, India computing Water Quality Index (WQI) tool, (ii) to categorize the groundwater quality samples for drinking purpose.
The study was carried out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh. Shamli district was carved out from Muzaffarnagar district in 2011 and the study area lies between 29°01’50”-29°44’20”N latitude and 77°02’-78°07’E longitude (Figure 1). Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts has total geographical area of 4080 km2 i.e., 2810 km2 of Muzaffarnagar comprising of 4 Tehsils and 1070 km2 of Shamli comprising of 2 Tehsils. The study area has an average daily maximum temperature of 40°C and average daily minimum temperature of 24°C, average relative humidity is 67% and normal rainfall is 753 mm with 80% of rainfall occurring in monsoon season (June-September) . The area is characterized under Indo-Gangetic alluvium group of soils and is represented predominately by loamy soils.
CGWB  reported that depth to water level in the study area varies between 3.20-9.95 m during pre-monsoon and 2.50-7.95 m in post-monsoon with fluctuation varying from 0.70-2.00 m. The stage of groundwater development is 82%.
For computing Water Quality Index (WQI), the groundwater quality data of 104 sampling points (77 sampling points in Muzaffarnagar district and 27 sampling points in Shamli district) covering both the districts (Figure 2) given by Tyagi et al.  was used. For calculating the Water Quality Index (WQI), the methods followed by Singh et al.  have been employed. In the present study, 5 parameters have been considered to compute WQI. However, considering large number of parameters results more reliable for prediction of WQI but in the present work limited numbers of parameters available as pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Hardness, Chloride and Sulphate. The water quality index was calculated using quality rating scale and accordingly assigning the weight values to the selected parameters. The standards of the water quality parameter are governed as per BIS: 10500-2012 and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) standards and their respective weight used in the present study are highlighted in Table 1.
|S No||Parameter||Weight Factor||Standards (IS-10500)|
|2||Total Dissolved Solids (mg/l)||3||500-2000|
|3||Total Hardness (mg/l)||1||300-600|
As reported by Singh et al. [29,31] to gauge the influence of each individual parameter on a common single scale, the score generated by each parameter was averaged-out. The following weighted average aggregation function has been used for this purpose.
Where wi = weight of the ith water quality parameter and Yi=subindex value of the ith parameter (As reported by Singh et al.  subindices functions are basically the equations that transform the concentration ranges into the index score through mathematical equations. These scores are then further converted to a common scale based on their relative importance to impact the quality of water. These sub-indices function are developed based on the water quality standards and their concentrations to meet in particular range. For this purpose, mathematical expressions were fitted for each parameter to obtain the sub-index equations).
Based on the status of water quality data, the index value ranges from 0 to 100 and is classified into five categories: heavily polluted (0-24), poor (25-49), fair (50-74), good (75-94) and excellent (95-100). The status of water corresponding to different WQI values is presented in Table 2. If the index goes down, then it indicates that some of the water quality parameters are beyond permissible ranges due to some particular reason and suitable measures are needed to improve the quality of water. Thus this index may be used as a guiding rule in management of quality of water resources. Various sub-indices functions and descriptive details are given by Singh et al. [29,31] and have not reported here.
|Class||WQI Value||Status of Water|
|Heavily Polluted||0 – 24||Unsuitable for All Purposes|
|Poor||25 – 49||Special Treatment (Special Treatment)|
|Fair||50 – 74||Needs Treatment (Filtration & Disinfection)|
|Good||75 – 94||Acceptable|
Results and Discussion
The statistical summary of physico-chemical parameters and WQI variation of 104 samples (77 sampling points in Muzaffarnagar district and 27 sampling points in Shamli district) are given in Table 3 and Figure 3, respectively. It is observed that maximum and minimum value of WQI has been found to be 100 and 36.2 delineated ‘Excellent’ and ‘Poor’ category, respectively as per the Table 2. In the present study, in Muzaffarnagar district it is observed that majority of groundwater samples i.e., 73% qualify in the ‘Excellent’ category and are of pristine quality, 21% samples fall in ‘Good’ category and are acceptable for domestic use; 5% samples qualify in ‘Fair’ category which needs ‘Filtration and disinfection’ treatment and 1 sample fall in the ‘Poor’ category which is unsuitable for all purposes. In Shamli district, 67% qualify in the ‘Excellent’ category and are of pristine quality, 26% samples fall in ‘Good’ category and are acceptable for domestic use; 7% samples qualify in ‘Fair’ category which needs ‘Filtration and disinfection’ treatment. The groundwater quality is good in both the districts except in some pockets in the central part of the Muzaffarnagar district (Figure 3).
Table 3: Statistical summary of physico-chemical parameters of groundwater samples (n=104).
It may also be noted that two parameters, particularly chloride and hardness are found to be higher in most of the samples compared to permissible levels resulting in higher TDS value owing to anthropogenic contribution which might take place in the vicinity of industrial and agricultural areas in the districts Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.
In Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India similar to this work WQI was computed using seven different quality parameters to assess the suitability of groundwater for drinking purposes and 95% groundwater samples qualified in the category of ‘good to excellent’.
Tiwari et al.  reported in a study conducted for developing WQI for groundwater resources in West Bokaro coalfield, India that despite the coal mining and industry, an analysis of the chemistry of 33 dug wells sample indicates it is 79% of groundwater samples were found as excellent to good category and suitable for drinking purposes.
These observations are based on the data of Tyagi et al. , where the samples were collected in pre-monsoon season of 2005, so continuous monitoring of groundwater well is required in the study area to assess the recent groundwater status for drinking purpose using water quality index. For this, a groundwater monitoring network should be designed and planned scientifically in the study area .
WQI has been computed based on five different quality parameters to assess the suitability of groundwater for drinking purposes in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, Uttar Pradesh. The results show that overall 71% groundwater samples are of pristine quality; 22% fall in the category of ‘good’; 6% groundwater samples require treatment and 1 sample is found to be unsuitable for all purposes. This study concludes that 97 groundwater samples are suitable as per drinking standard and remaining 7 groundwater samples are not fit for drinking due to lesser WQI value of ≤ 75. The groundwater quality is good in both the districts except in some pockets in the central part of the Muzaffarnagar district.
Though the present WQI is based on five parameters, as per the available data, there is a need to include more water quality parameters for the assessment. The continuous monitoring of groundwater is required in Muzaffarnagar and Sahmli districts, Uttar Pradesh to get the recent groundwater quality status for better human health and economic development and also to check any possible contamination in future due to growing industrialization and agricultural activities in the district. A re-assessment of the WQI based on recent data will be useful in proper management of the water resources in these districts.
Authors thank Director, National Institute of Hydrology for all the support and encouragement.
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Citation: Krishan G, Singh S, Kumar CP, Garg PK, Suman G, et al. (2016) Assessment of Groundwater Quality for Drinking Purpose by Using Water Quality Index (WQI) in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli Districts, Uttar Pradesh, India. Hydrol Current Res 7:227. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7587.1000227
Copyright: © 2016 Krishan G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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