J. Chem. En. Sci. A.

Quality of Water in and Around Chandigarh Region - A Review

Sandeep Singh, Nirankar Singh and Sunil Kumar

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Water quality, hardness, river water quality, BOD, COD,sewerage treatment plant

PUBLISHED DATE September 2014
PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu.in/publications

It is well documented that water is an essential component for the survival of all living beings and development processes on earth. Water is used for domestic purposes, industrial processes and agriculture. All these processes require good quality water. River water and underground water is generally used for almost all these processes. So it is very important to know the water quality of sources time to time for the sustainable development. In this paper we have discussed the quality of ground water, surface water and river water of Chandigarh and nearby places such as Parwanoo, Panchkula, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali) on the basis of reports available online. The different water quality parameters such as hardness, alkalinity, Ca2+, Mg2+, BOD, COD, TDS, pH, conductivity, temperature etc was considered for this review study. Although very few studies have been conducted to check the water quality of this area but on carefully reviewing the available reports and published work, it has been observed that the water quality in some of the places is below the standards of water quality prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Proper functioning of Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) need to be checked and Industrial waste should be properly treated before going to the catchment areas.


Quality of water refers to the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of water (Diersing Nancy 2009; Mary et al. 2011). It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species to any human need (Johnson, 1997). Sources of drinking water are subjected to contamination and require appropriate treatment to remove disease-causing contaminants. Contamination of drinking water supplies can occur in the source water as well as in the distribution system even after water treatment process. The presence of contaminants in water can lead to adverse health effects like gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders in people with weak immune systems.

In recent years, the interest in water quality control has increased considerably, since water quality interventions have a great influence on all living organisms including human. Although water covers 80% of the earth surface but only 1% is available to use directly without any purification. The composition and concentration of substances in ground and surface water is a resultant of geological structure of the earth’s crust and anthropogenic activity associated with agriculture, industry and public utilities (Lahiry, 1996). As water travels through the soil’s profile, various water-soluble substances are added with water (Pulikowski et al. 2006).

High level of alkalinity in industrial phases make water unpalatable and the soil is affected by percolating water (Sawyer and McCarty, 1967,Sundaray et al., 2009). Generally degree of hardness is categorized into soft (0 to 60 mg/L), moderately hard (60 to 120 mg/L), hard (120 to 180 mg/L) and very hard (180 mg/L) (Durfer and Backer, 1964). The optimal range of hardness in drinking water is from 80-100 mg/L. In areas where drinking water is harder than 500 mg/L, higher incidence rates of gallbladder disease, urinary stones, arthritis and arthropathies (Memon et al., 2011 ; Muzalevskaya et al. 1993), and cancer (Memon et al., 2011; Golubev and Zimin 1994) have been reported. So, regular monitoring of water quality is required.

There are different specifications of water for different uses. Water for domestic use should be clean, colorless, odorless and free from disease producing microorganisms. Its total hardness should not exceed the limit of 600 ppm while pH should be in the range of 6.5-8.5 (Palanna, 2009; BIS, 2009). Bureuo of Indian Standards (BIS) has prescribed some standards for drinking water quality. Standard as well as permissible limits (IS 10500 second revision, 2009) of some of the parameters are provided below in the table (Table 1).

Generally water quality can be checked by analyzing water samples for the concentration of above parameters, heavy metals and microorganisms. The purposes and intent of the water quality related research is to provide better water quality and prevent it from pollution (Balan, 2012). Water quality research also help to maintain the water quality for agricultural, industrial, recreational and other reasonable and necessary uses and to maintain and improve the biological integrity of the waters of the region conservation of fishes, wildlife and other beneficial aquatic life, (EPA’s Water Quality Standards 1993).

In this review paper we have summarized the findings of water quality studies conducted in Chandigarh, Panchkula, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali) and Parwanoo by various researchers.

Page(s) 33-43
URL http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/517/3/11004_JCE_Sandeep.pdf
ISSN Print : 2349-7564, Online : 2349-7769
DOI https://doi.org/10.15415/jce.2014.11004

From the review of available reports and research papers on the water quality of selected regions, it can be concluded that water should not be used directly without proper purification. The levels of water quality parameters at some places are not within the safe range as prescribed by the WHO and BIS. The water needs prior treatment before being used for household and commercial purposes. The water may cause undesirable effects on public health and environment if consumed directly without any treatment. Higher values of hardness and TDS may cause adverse impact on the health of residents. High value of COD indicates the poor quality of water.

Functioning of sewerage treatment plants needs to be checked so that proper treatment of industrial wastes and sewerages can be done before discharge into nearby water bodies and catchment areas. It would reduce the risk of surface water and ground water pollution in this region. There is a great scarcity of the water quality research in this region hence more studies need to be conducted using highly sophisticated instruments for more accurate and authentic results

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