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Nitrate Contamination of Alluvial Aquifers: A Case Study

Author(s): Ashok K. Keshari

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Keywords: Groundwater contamination; Alluvial aquifer; Transport process

Abstract: The water quality studies of alluvial aquifers of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India, reveal an alarming level of groundwater quality deterioration by nitrate. It has drawn a serious concern in the scientific and the public community, because groundwater is the principal source of drinking water in the area. A high level of nitrate concentration, surpassing a value of 300 mg/l, has been observed at several places in the investigated area. The study reveals that shallow aquifers of Jaunpur township area are more contaminated than that of Varanasi city area. At many places in the Jaunpur area, nitrate concentration has surpassed 1000 mg/l. An attempt has been also made to identify the prime sources of nitrate enrichment and to identify the processes which govern the movement and growth of the nitrate in the prevailing hydrogeological environment. An insight into the depth specific processes such as microbial denitrification and microbial desulfurication, and the transport processes such as adsorption and ion-exchange will be useful in developing a long term prognosis for the groundwater quality of the study areas and in evolving appropriate surveillance strategies to check nitrate infiltration to aquifers.


Year: 1999

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