Nitrate contamination: A major challenge to water and human health
Contamination par les nitrates : un défi majeur pour l’eau et la santé
1 Kashmir Tibiya College, Research center and hospital, Srinagar, India
2 Department of Industries and Earth sciences, Tamil University, Thanjavur, 613010 Tamil Nadu, India
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Nitrate contamination of the world’s groundwater supply poses a serious human health threat. High nitrate levels found in drinking water have been proven to be the cause for numerous health conditions across the world. In many countries, public concern over the deterioration of groundwater quality from nitrate contamination has grown significantly in recent years. This concern has focused increasingly on anthropogenic sources as the potential cause of the problem.
Systematic sampling was carried out in the year 2008 with a view to understand the source of nitrate contamination in Lidder catchment, Kashmir (India). Twelve sample sites were selected and samples were taken for a baseline study to understand the geochemistry of the groundwater. Results showed that fifty percent of the samples collected had nitrate concentrations higher than 50 mg·L-1, the maximum acceptable nitrate concentration for drinking water. There is a wide spatial variation in the nitrate concentration in groundwater. Monitoring the water quality of various sampling stations showed that the lowest concentrations of nitrate were found in the wet season, while the highest concentrations were found in the dry season. Numerous human perturbations have been detected affecting the water quality of Lidder catchment. The results of this study are useful to highlight one of the most important environmental problems, namely the degradation of the water quality, and may serve to alert and encourage local and national authorities to take substantial steps and actions to protect and manage water quality; otherwise the Lidder water may turn into poison.
Key words: Contamination / groundwater / Lidder catchment / Kashmir / nitrate
Mots clés : Pollution / eau de surface / captage / Cachemire / nitrate
© ASEES, 2010