Urban Ground Water Pollution: A Case Study in Cuttack City, India


  • Jyotirmaya Das,

  • Rama Krishna Sahoo,

  • B.K. Sinha


A large number of ground water samples (360) was collected from 60 stations over six consecutive seasons to study the influence of the main sewerage drain on shallow ground water table beneath the municipal area of Cuttack, India. A majority of the samples collected from stations close to the drain exceeded the maximum permissible limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Almost all the samples near the drain exceeded the WHO limit for NO3- and Na+. However, the concentrations decreased as the distance from the drain increased. The winter season registered the maximum concentrations of NH4+, NO3-, and SO42- ions whereas the minimum values always coincided with the rainy season. R-mode factor analysis was conducted to find relationships amongst the 16 chemical parameters studied. Fluoride showed a negative correlation with Cl-, Na+, NO3-, SO42-, and PO43-. The concentration of F- may be lower in raw waste water than naturally occurs in the ground water. Therefore, a decrease in the concentration of F- near the drain may be attributed to dilution by contributions of waste water to the ground water. The rest of the parameters were found to be directly related to the distance of collection points to the sewerage. The distribution of nutrients is strongly affected by leaching of waste water into the ground water.