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 Table of Contents 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-93  

Drinking water quality assessment in the water around a clay mine in Kannur district, Kerala


Department of Studies and Research in Physics, Payyanur College, Kannur, Kerala, India

Date of Submission31-Mar-2020
Date of Decision25-May-2020
Date of Acceptance23-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication27-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. V Prakash
Department of Studies and Research in Physics, Payyanur College, Kannur - 670 327, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/rpe.RPE_13_20

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  Abstract 


In the present investigation, the drinking water quality assessment in the water sources around china clay mine in Madayi Panchayath of Kannur District, Kerala, has been done. A study has been undertaken to understand, whether the quality of drinking water has any adverse effect from the mine which has been stopped mining for the last few years. The water samples were collected from ten randomly selected open wells around the china clay mine. The water quality parameters such as turbidity, pH, electrical conductivity, acidity, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, total hardness as (CaCO3), and presence of calcium, magnesium, chloride, fluoride, iron, nitrate, ammonia, sulfate, and phosphate are identified and quantified following appropriate methods and techniques. The results obtained were compared with the permissible limit suggested by the Bureau of Indian Standards for drinking water specification (IS 10500: 2012). It is observed that, some of the open well samples have excessive hardness and alkalinity. This may be attributed to the wastes disposed from the china clay mine as the lands nearby this mining site are filled and leveled with these wastes. The prolonged consumption of water from these wells may cause various health disorders to the inhabitants. Hence, it is advised to process the water from such wells to reduce the hardness and alkalinity for safe consumption. In addition to this, in depth studies on heavy metal content of water are also needed to assess the quality of water sources in and around the china clay mine region, for the safe consumption.

Keywords: Clay mine, drinking water, quality assessment


How to cite this article:
Manoj B, Vineethkumar V, Prakash V. Drinking water quality assessment in the water around a clay mine in Kannur district, Kerala. Radiat Prot Environ 2020;43:88-93

How to cite this URL:
Manoj B, Vineethkumar V, Prakash V. Drinking water quality assessment in the water around a clay mine in Kannur district, Kerala. Radiat Prot Environ [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 30];43:88-93. Available from: https://www.rpe.org.in/text.asp?2020/43/2/88/293620




  Introduction Top


The environment (air, water, and soil) is highly polluted due to the increase in the human population, industrialization, use of fertilizers, and man-made activities in the ecosystem.[1] For improving the quality of life the availability of good water, soil, and air are necessary. In order to understand the biological impact of these pollutants the assessment of the quality of air, water, and soil are also essential.[2] About 80% of the water sources are polluted due to human activities. The release of inadequately treated wastewater to natural sources leads to the degradation of its natural ecosystem. The cause of water pollution includes a wide range of chemicals, pesticides, and pathogens, and the contaminants may include both organic and inorganic substances.[3] Elevated temperature of the atmosphere may also leads to water contamination. A common cause of pollution of water due to the rise in temperature is the use of water as coolants in power plants and industrial manufacturers. Elevated temperature causes a decrease in the dissolved oxygen content in the water bodies, which results in the altering of food chain composition, reduces biodiversity, and fosters the invasion of thermophiles species.

The natural phenomenon such as algae blooms, volcanoes, earthquake, and storms cause a change in water quality and hence the ecological status of water. The foremost problem created by water pollution is that, it affects the phytoplankton that produces more than 70% of oxygen and mitigates a large portion of carbon dioxide from the Earth. The water pollution is a worldwide issue and it can be classified into marine pollution, surface water pollution, and also nutrient pollution. Surface water pollution is the pollution of open water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and wells. This may be caused by polluting it with organic or inorganic compounds that we use in our day-to-day life. Marine water pollution is a subcategory of surface water pollution. Groundwater pollution is due to the onsite sanitation, sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, commercial and industrial leaks, and landfill leachate. Nutrient pollution is the contamination of water by excessive nutrients usually nitrogen or phosphorus that stimulates algal growth and causes eutrophication of surface water.

In order to understand the dispersion, transport and biological impact of the pollutants in the environment, knowledge about their speciation and distribution, the effect of physicochemical parameters in different environmental matrices is also essential.[4] In view of this, the assessment of water quality in water sources around china clay mine in Madayi Panchayath of Kannur District in Kerala was carried out to establish baseline data on the quality of the water in that region. The water sources around the china clay mine are suspected to be polluted due to the mining operation and associated waste disposal near to the site. The people residing near the china clay mine have an opinion that, the water in their wells is not safe for consumption and adequate remedial measures needed to be taken before consumption. They have also pointed out the significant number of health disorder cases in the region. Various studies were conducted by different agencies regarding the cases of elevated levels of water pollution around the china clay mine which were not present before the china clay mine started its operations.

More extensive and systematic investigations are needed to obtain a clear understanding of the quality of water and the source of water pollution in that region. A reliable analysis of the quality of water sources in that region will help to have a clear understanding of the elevated levels of pollution in the water sources present in the region. The water quality parameters namely temperature, total suspended solids, turbidity, pH, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and presence of nutrients, metals, and pesticides were identified and measured employing well-established nuclear and nonnuclear techniques. The results of the systematic investigations are presented, discussed, and possible conclusions are drawn in the manuscript.

Literature review

Extensive studies have been done on the quality of drinking water in open wells that are present aside of industries or mines in different environments of the world. Pillai and Pillai have done studies on finding the suitability of drinking water in and around clay mines in Northern Kerala, India.[5] The mining activity is beneficial to society in many ways, but it should be sustainably planned and controlled. Clay mining is being done in many parts of the world which results in the drying of wells and rehabilitation problems. In this study, the water samples have been collected in premonsoon and postmonsoon period for examining the various physicochemical characters such as pH, acidity, salinity, hardness, silica, Mg, Cl, SO4, total dissolved solids (TSDs), and chemical dissolved oxygen. The American Public Health Association, (APHA 2012) test method based on IS-10500: 2012 and the World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 has been used for the analysis of physical and chemical parameters of the water samples.[6] Findings show that, the quality of drinking water is considerably affected by clay mining activity wherein only an average of 30.09% postmonsoon water samples is found to be within the permissible limit.

Pritchard et al. (2008) assessed the groundwater quality in shallow wells within the southern districts of Malawi, namely Balaka, Chikwawa, Zomba in Africa. The water samples from 21 covered and 5 open wells were analyzed for chemical, biological, and physical parameters using a portable water testing kits. Sampling was carried out in the four different times of the year 2006, i.e., August and October (dry season) and February and April 2006 (wet season). Microbiological data indicated that around 80% of samples obtained from covered wells failed to meet the safe drinking water standards set by the WHO. Values in excess of 1000 cfu/100 ml were noted in 10% of the samples, indicating gross contamination and the probability of pathogens being present.

Vijay et al., (2010), have done a systematic study of the quality of groundwater in Puri city, India. Puri city is situated at the east coast of India and receives water supply only from the groundwater sources demarcated as water fields. The objective of the study was to assess the groundwater quality due to the impact of anthropogenic activities in the city. Groundwater samples were collected from water fields, hand pumps, open wells, and open water bodies during postmonsoon (2006) and summer (2007). The study found that the groundwater in the water fields was found to be suitable for drinking after disinfection. While in the city area, groundwater quality was impacted by onsite sanitary conditions. The study revealed that the groundwater quality was deteriorated due to discharge of effluent from septic tanks, soak pits, pit latrines, etc. Based on the observed groundwater, quality various mitigation measures were suggested to protect the water fields and further groundwater contamination in the city.[7]

Shankar et al., (2007), have done studies on the groundwater contamination problems in Bengaluru city India. Groundwater samples were collected from thirty different locations of the industrial areas. The investigations reveal that most of the study area is highly contaminated due to the excessive concentration of one or more water quality parameters such as nitrates, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, TSDs, sulfates, and fluorides which have rendered nearly 77% of the water sample tested nonpotable. It was also found that the people in the area are also suffering from several health problems. The findings show that there is a direct correlation between the ill health faced by public and contamination of the said groundwater.[8]

Adekunle et al., (2007), have done studies on the assessment of groundwater quality in a typical rural settlement of Southwest Nigeria. The aim of the study is to assess the levels of some physical, chemical, biochemical, and microbiological water quality parameters in 12 hand-dug wells in a typical rural area of southwest region of the country. All parameters were detected up to 200 m from the pollution source and most of them increased in concentration during the rainy season than dry periods, pointing to the infiltration from storm water. The effect of distance from pollution sources was more pronounced on fecal and total coliform count which decreased with increasing distance from the waste dumps. The qualities of well water samples were not suitable for human consumption without adequate treatment. Regular monitoring of groundwater quality, the abolishment of unhealthy waste disposal practices, and the introduction of modern techniques are recommended.[2]

Rizwaan et al., (2009), have done studies on impacts of industrial and mining activities on the groundwater quality in angul-talcher region of Orissa, India. The study was carried out to assess the impacts of industrial and mining activities on the groundwater quality in angul-talcher region of Orissa. Groundwater samples were collected from 13 open well at various locations in the study area during pre- and post-monsoon season. The physicochemical parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity, TDSs, total hardness, Ca hardness, Mg hardness, Ca ions, Mg ions, Chloride, and COD were analyzed (APHA, 1998) to know the present status of groundwater quality.[6] Drinking water quality of premonsoon was better than the postmonsoon season. Few water samples were highly alkaline along with high dissolved solids.[4]

The degradation of clay level causes severe impact on water and hence this paper intended to evaluate the impact of clay mining on the physical and chemical characteristics of the drinking water sources in and around the mining zone of Payangadi, Kannur District, a Northern part of Kerala.


  Materials and Methods Top


The sampling stations are situated over a radius of 1 km from the china clay mine, Madayi. The open wells located in Vengara, near the china clay mine in Madayi Panchayath of Kannur district have been identified and samples have been collected following the standard procedures and techniques. [Figure 1] shows the location map of the study area prepared using the Arc GIS 10.0 software, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), Redlands, California, United States.
Figure 1: Location map of the study area

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The samples were collected from 10 open wells situated in Vengara, which are mainly used for household purpose and not for drinking purpose. The study was carried out during the month of December 2019. About 2 L of water samples were collected from 10 open wells (sample ID: W-1–W-10) in a pet bottle and brought to the laboratory for further analysis. [Table 1] shows the details of the location points of the sampling stations.
Table 1: Location points of the sampling stations

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Accurate measurements of different quality parameters of the drinking water collected from various open wells around china clay mine, Madayi have done using appropriate instruments. The digital pH meter, digital TDS/conductivity meter, digital turbidity meter, ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer, and titration methods have been used for the analysis of various parameters of drinking water. The presence of iron, nitrate, and residual chlorine in the water samples were measured using UV spectrometer. To determine the iron content in the sample solution, take 20 ml of the sample and then 1 ml concentrated HCl is added, and then add 5 ml of hydroxyl amine hydrochloride. This solution is heated till it becomes one-third of the original solution. This is taken and set to cool, after cooling 1,10-phenanthrole is added 5 drops and ammonium buffer is added. If iron is present a brown color appears and is quantified using the spectrometer. To determine the nitrate content in the solution, 1 ml hydrochloric acid is added to 5 ml sample and then kept in the spectrometer along with a standard solution. To determine the residual chlorine in the sample, 5 ml of the sample is taken and 3 drops of Residual Chlorine Reagent RC 1 is added and kept in the spectrometer along with the standard. For chloride analysis, titration procedure is followed. The burette is filled with silver nitrate solution. The sample is taken about 50 ml along with the yellow-colored potassium chromite and start titrating, the endpoint is determined by the change of color from yellow to brick red. This gives the amount of chloride in the given solution.


  Results and Discussion Top


In the present investigation, water quality parameters such as the turbidity, pH, electrical conductivity, acidity, alkalinity, TSDs, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, chloride, fluoride, iron, nitrate, and residual chloride were systematically analyzed and the results are presented in the [Table 2]. The results obtained were compared with the permissible limit suggested by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BISs) for drinking water specification (IS 10500: 2012)[9] and are shown in [Table 3].
Table 2: Water quality parameters of different water sources (W- 1-W- 10)

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Table 3: Water quality parameter standard values

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In sample W-1, turbidity, fluoride, iron, ammonia, and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-2, fluoride, sulfate, ammonia, and phosphate are totally absent and turbidity is slightly high compared to the limit of 1 nephelometric turbidity unit. All other water quality parameters are within the limits.

In sample W-3, fluoride, iron, ammonia and phosphate are totally absent, and total hardness and alkalinity are slightly higher compared to the limits. The hardness is due to the presence of calcium and carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates that may reach the water body from limestone, chalk, or gypsum. There are mainly two types of hardness of which the temporary hardness due to the presence of bicarbonate minerals and can be removed by boiling or by adding lime through the process of lime softening. Boiling promotes the formation of carbonates from bicarbonates and allows the precipitation of calcium carbonate out of the solution making the water soft. Permanent hardness due to the presence of sulfates and chlorides can be removed by using water softener or ion exchange process. The excess alkalinity is caused by the runoff water, and due to the deposition of calcium carbonate. All other water quality parameters are well within the limits.

In sample W-4, fluoride and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-5, turbidity, fluoride, ammonia, and phosphate are totally absent. The hardness is slightly higher and can be considered as temporary hardness. The hardness is due to the deposits of carbonates and can be reduced by adding lime. All other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-6, turbidity, fluoride, ammonia, iron, and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-7, turbidity, fluoride and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In W-8, fluoride, ammonia and phosphate are totally absent, and magnesium and total hardness are slightly higher compared to the prescribed limits. All other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-9, fluoride, ammonia, and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits. In sample W-10, fluoride and phosphate are totally absent and all other water quality parameters are well within the limits.

The sample collected from well 8 (W-8) has high amounts of TSDs, total hardness as CaCO3, alkalinity, acidity, electrical conductivity, pH, sulfate, and magnesium when compared to the other samples. The magnesium content and total hardness of the water have found above the limits prescribed by IS 10500: 2012. The continuous consumption of magnesium rich water may cause gastro intestinal diseases. The same is the condition that occurs due to the consumption of hard water for a long time as per BIS. Hence, the water may be used for consumption only after making it soft through suitable treatments.

The China Clay Mine in Madayi has stopped mining for the past 3–4 years. Here, we have compared the values of drinking water quality parameters such as the turbidity, pH, TSDs, total hardness, total alkalinity and the presence of elements such as chloride, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, and iron with the values reported by Pillai and Pillai, 2012. It is observed that, the drinking water quality has been better as compared to their values. The comparatively lesser values of turbidity, pH, total alkalinity, TSDs, total hardness, calcium, sulfate, chloride, iron clearly indicated the same. The present values of water quality parameters have been compared with the permissible limit given by the IS 10500:2012. It is observed that, the value of magnesium present in the drinking water has not mitigated as much as the other elements. However, the comparison clearly indicates there is an improvement in the water quality. The study clearly indicated that, improvements had occurred in quality of water in the well with time. However, still most of these well waters must be treated before using it for consumption purpose.


  Conclusions Top


The results indicate an excess of total hardness in some of the selected water basis. The result also indicates excess alkalinity in some of the water sources. The excess hardness and alkalinity can be attributed to the presence of carbonates, which may have seeped in through the ground. It was able to obtain information from the residents in the area that, the remnants from the clay mine were used to fill and level the land. This has contributed to the excess level of alkalinity and hardness of the water. Most of the water samples were tested to be good for consumption as per the physical and chemical parameters analyzed and the other samples can be safely consumed after lime softening. The higher magnesium and calcium content may be reason for the water hardening and this can be reduced by the use of caustic soda, by ion exchange method. In addition to this, in depth studies on heavy metal content of water basis are also needed to assess the water pollutants and quality of water sources in and around the china clay mine region, for the safe consumption.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Pritchard M, Mkandawire T, O'Neill JG. Biological, chemical and physical drinking water quality from shallow wells in Malawi: Case study of Blantyre, Chiradzulu and Mulanje. Physics Chem Earth Parts A/B/C 2007;32:1167-77.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Adekunle IM, Adetunji MT, Gbadebo AM, Banjoko OP. Assessment of groundwater quality in a typical rural settlement in Southwest Nigeria. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2007;4:307-18.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Erah PO, Akujieze CN, Oteze GE. The quality of groundwater in Benin City: A baseline study on inorganic chemicals and microbial contaminants of health importance in boreholes and open wells. Trop J Pharma Res 2002;1:75-82.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Reza R, Singh G. Physico-chemical analysis of ground water in angul-talcher region of Orissa, India. J Am Sci 2009;5:53-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Pillai GK, Vineetha Pillai R. Suitability of drinking water in and around clay mines in Northern Kerala, India. Int. Journal of Science and Research 2012;6:1638-46.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water. Test Method Based on IS-10500:2012, American Public Health Association; 1992.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Vijay R, Khobragade P, Mohapatra PK. Assessment of groundwater quality in Puri City, India: An impact of anthropogenic activities. Environ Monit Assess 2011;177:409-18.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Shankar BS, Balasubramanya N, Maruthesha Reddy MT. Impact of industrialization on groundwater quality – A case study of Peenya industrial area, Bangalore, India. Environ Monit Assess 2008;142:263-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Indian Standard Drinking Water-Specification (Second Revision), Standards for Drinking Water Specification (IS 10500: 2012). New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 9
    


    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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