Quantitative Study on Microbial Pollution of River Yamuna at Delhi

V Goel, Grad IE Dr A Kumar, Member N K Verma, Non-member
Traditionally, the river pollution has been extensively studied with regard to physical and chemical characteristics. However, lately microbiological quality of the river has come under greater focus owing to deleterious effects of pollution on human health, especially in the context of Designated Best Use (DBU) of the river waters. With this intent, the paper presents pollutional aspects of river Yamuna at Delhi, the capital of India, during lean the period. Out of large number of microbial parameters linked with human health, some significant contaminating indicators, namely, heterotrophic plate count (total plate count, CFU/ml), total coliform (MPN/100 ml), Fecal Coliform (MPN/100 ml), pathogenic parasites, namely, Helminths (eggs/l), coliphages/100 ml have been identified and measured along with the related usual parameters, namely, dissolved oxygen (ppm), biochemical oxygen demand (ppm), chemical oxygen demand (ppm), pH, temperature (0C), total dissolved solids (ppm) and turbidity (NTU). Six sampling locations (bridge sites) were selected and total 24 sample sets were collected over a period of four months from March 2004 to June 2004. The high values of microbial indicators and pathogens detected revealed that the microbiological quality of Yamuna waters was poor, unsafe and not acceptable even for the lowest DBU. The results of the study have revealed the need for pollution abatement measures to ensure river water quality as per the requirement of DBU. Further, an attempt has been made for generating the rapid method for estimation of organic pollution and corresponding microbial pollution, during Delhi stretch of Yamuna river, through derived relationships, namely, Chemical oxygen demand (COD, mg/l) and Fecal Coliform (FC, MPN/100ml). The results of Fecal Coliform obtained by laboratory analysis can be verified by comparing the results obtained from various inter-relationships investigated in this study. The duplicate analysis or use of control tubes can be avoided in routine microbial analysis.
Keywords : Microbial; Water quality indicators; Pathogens; Yamuna river

INTRODUCTION Today water resources have become the most exploited natural systems since man strode the earth. According to United Nations (UN) report, fresh water is gradually becoming a matter of concern. With nearly 900 million people affected by diarrhea each year and an equal number suffering from disease caused by various worms, unclean water ranks at top of the world’s population problem1. River Yamuna, which is the main source of water supply to National Capital — Delhi, plays a crucial role in its growth. The river water is used for both abstractive and in stream purposes. The water is used as raw water source for drinking water supply, irrigation purposes, cooling water etc. Low economic group people use the river water for bathing purpose, cloth washing, irrigation in cultivation of all types of fruits, vegetables and wheat etc. Perennial increase of population and urban activities in Delhi are placing exigent pressures and demands on this natural riverine resource. There is
V Goel, Dr A Kumar are with the Department of Civil Engineering, echnology , Roorkee 247667 and N K V erma is Technology echnology, Verma Indian Institute of T with the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi. This paper was received on August 28, 2004. Written discussion on this paper will be entertained till May 30, 2008.

a heavy pressure of water supply and sanitation on river Yamuna at Delhi, leading to severe impact on water quality of the river2- 4. Report of the scientists at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, finds an alarming prevalence of various diseases causing microbes in drinking water and recreational water. The use of this water may lead to several life threatening diseases5. The causative microbial agents, also called pathogens, multiply in the intestinal tract of the persons suffering from the disease and are discharged in their faeces in large numbers. The disease is then transmitted to healthy individuals through water or food contaminated with the faeces. Since, the spread of these diseases is mainly through the water route they are also called as water borne diseases 6 . The pathogenic organism may belong to any of the group of microorganisms, such as, virus, bacteria, protozoa and helminths (worms). Since, it is impractical to test water for all pathogens related to water borne diseases due to the complexity of the testing, time and cost, indicator organisms are used. However, no simple indicator that complies with all the criteria is available, hence more than one indicator organism is employed7, 8. In spite of the problem of poor water quality in Delhi segment flow, few data exist on the microbial contents


IE(I) Journal–EN

9. (ii) ISBT Yamuna Bridge (ISBT): approximately 5. (v) Toll Bridge (TB): approximately 19 km D/s from WB. Kudsia bagh (1993) (MLD) (5) (7) (8) (6) (54) WB° ° 5. NCT — Delhi. was the daughter of Surya.5 km ISBT° ° 8. which is the north of Haridwar in the Himalayan Mountains. Okhala 18. Civil mill* 11. Khyber pass 5. (vi) Okhala Barrage (OB): approximately 22 km D/s from WB. This is more than that of all the class II cities of India put together. is facing the challenges of sanitation and environmental degradation due to increasing population and urbanization. Rajasthan.23 (606) * Mixed sewage source o Sampling station Figure 1 Conceptual linearised diagram of river Yamuna at Delhi 20. Yamunotri. Delhi is the largest contributor of pollution to the river2. Despite the smallest percentage of catchment area in Yamuna. N From Haryana 1. according to the legends. Trans Yamuna MCD (NA) 6. Maharani bagh (17) 16. The details of sampling stations selected and various drains outfalls in river Yamuna Delhi Segment are shown in Figure 1. Sweeper colony 4. Mori gate 10. popular belief is that those who take a dip in its holy water are not tormented by fears of death.(52) To mathura Vol 88. Uttranchal. Burari* drain and Najafgarh* drain 2. Haryana. the largest tributary of river Ganga has been one of the most prominent and sacred rivers of India through the ages. Bridges are normally the first choice for locating a stream sampling station. originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Banderpoonch peaks (38°59' N. Moat (negligible) flow 9. Magazine road 3. located at a latitude of 28°34'N and longitude of 77°07'E. a major tributary of river Ganges. (iv) Nizamuddin Bridge (NB): approximately 14.5 km D/s from WB. STUDY SITE AND SOURCES OF POLLUTION From Wazirabad barrage to Okhala barrage. Barapullah (156) 4. The entire Yamuna river right from its origin to confluence with the Ganga and its tributaries are subject to human activities. Most of the previous studies. Yamuna.of the river water. RIVER YAMUNA The river Yamuna. only 0. Kalkaji (negligible) flow 17. Metacalfe house 6. limits to the detection of coliforms as microbial indicator that may not indicate the exact concentration of pathogens in water. RA TIONALE FOR SAMPLING LOCA TIONS RATIONALE LOCATIONS The sampling stations were selected on the basis of the following major criteria10. The river Yamuna.5 km 7. The catchment of Yamuna river system covers parts of Uttar Pradesh. Drain number 14 (113) 2. Therefore the present study highlights the concentration of pathogenic parasites (Helminths. Power house* (125) (22) (17) ITO° ° 13. which directly or indirectly affect the water quality5. March 2008 57 . already done on Yamuna. Madhya Pradesh and National Capital Territory (NCT) Delhi. coliphages) along with the heterotrophic plate count (HPC). Tughlakabad (NA) (2) TB° ° 3 km Hindon cut canal (NA) OB° ° 19. total coliform (TC) and Fecal Coliform (FC) to determine the microbial quality of the river water. Himachal Pradesh. the God of Death.22.5 km NB° ° 14.21. Delhi alone contributes around 3 296 MLD/day of sewage by virtue of drains outfalling in Yamuna Delhi segment flow (22 km length).5 km D/s from WB. The different sampling stations selected are as follows: (i) Wazirabad Barrage (WB): entry point of Yamuna river in Delhi segment. Consequently. Further the bridges are clearly identifiable and the site can be precisely described.11 ♦ It should be accessible in all seasons of the year. is the source of the Yamuna. ♦ It should have proper mixing of pollutants thus representing water quality of river at that particular stretch. the whole Yamuna river Delhi Segment was considered for this study.5 km 12. ♦ Facilities to take water samples should be available there. the Sun God and sister to Yama. (iii) ITO Bridge (ITO): approximately 12 km D/s from WB. Sen nursing home* (113) 15.4% of total catchment area. 78°27' E) in the Mussourie range of the lower Himalayas at an elevation of about 6387 m above mean sea level in district Uttarkashi (Uttranchal). since they are not only provide ready access but also permit sampling at any point across the width of stream.

samples were brought in iced insulated container.♦ It should affect the quality of water — (i) before drains from city discharge. for BOD and COD determination were collected in non-reactive borosilicate glass bottles of 500 ml capacity each that had been cleansed and rinsed carefully. The DO was fixed by standard procedure Onsite. MPN/100 ml FC. centrifuge (1000 g). which had been cleansed and finally rinsed with distilled water14. (iii) Water samples for DO determination were collected in BOD bottles (non-reactive borosilicate glass bottles of 300 ml capacity). per ml Helminth eggs. As the samples cannot be processed within 1 h after collection. FC and coliphages Microscopic count Modified Bailenger method. 1993) Closed Reflux.5 ± 0. (i) Water samples for microbiological examination.0E08 38 1.0 4. other than Helminth eggs. Then turning the bottle until neck points slightly upward and mouth is directed toward the current.4E03 1. °C pH TDS. compound microscope Observed values Average Maximum 36 28 9.5 34. Samples were collected during lean season.9E03 Coliphages. mg/l BOD.1E04 3. Grab Sampling procedure was adopted as recommended by Standard Method for microbiological analysis.2E08 23 58 IE(I) Journal–EN . neck downward. Roorkee (India) were reported in Table 1. mg/l TC. colorimetric Hach COD system (DR/ 4000 U spectrophotometer) set at λ = 600 nm MPN index Lauryl tryptose broth. below the surface. and (iii) after the river leaves the city. The sampling bottle was not filled up to the brim and 20 mm to 30 mm space was left for effective shaking of the bottle13. therefore for most accurate results. CFU/ml Principle Metric Metric Metric Nephelometric Volumetric non-reactive plastic bottles of 5 l capacity. for a period of four months from March 2004 to June 2004.2 52.3E07 3.2E03 5 9. COD and DO values were shown in Figure 3.3E06 4.2 75. from each sampling location and for every sampling date. incubation for 3 days at 27°C (IS : 3025 part 4. Instruments/ technique used Minimum 19 7 190 3.0 32.9 E 07 1. per ml Thermometer Digital pH meter Digital TDS meter Digital Turbidity Meter Modified Winkler’s method Titrant — N/40 Na2S2O3 Ind — starch Volumetric Winkler’s method.5 700 460 52. mg/l COD. SAMPLE PRESER VATION AND STORAGE PRESERV Microbiological analysis of water samples was started as soon as possible after collection to avoid unpredictable changes in the microbial population15. digital colony counter Equations (APHA 9211 D 3) Inte-relationship between TC and coliphages. The Longitudinal profiles of BOD. MPN/100 ml HPC. which in some way typifies the aquatic system from which samples are drawn12. incubation temperature 35 ± 0.0 2.0 3. (ii) Water samples for Helminth eggs were collected in Table 1 Summary of analytic methods and observed values Parameters Temperature.0 6.1 8. just after collection13. RESULTS TS RESUL The variation in water quality parameters determined through the analysis on site and in laboratory at Indian Institute of Technology.6 0. The purpose of taking samples is to obtain information. SAMPLE COLLECTION Sample collection is a very important part of river study because conclusions drawn are based only on the testing of collected samples.0 120. The longitudinal profile of various microbial parameters is shown in Figure 2. on monthly basis. ANAL YSIS OF SAMPLES ANALYSIS The Samples were analyzed in accordance with the standard methods. incubation temperature 35°C for 48 h. NTU DO. given a final rinse with distilled water and sterilized. Samples were taken from the river by holding the bottle near its base in the hand and plunging it.6 E 06 2.5 9. incubation temperature 44. mg/l Turbidity. instruments and principles involved in arriving at different parameters are tabulated in Table 1. The techniques. (ii) inside city. Three sets of water samples. during transport from Delhi to IIT Roorkee laboratory. plate count agar. were collected for this study.2 7.5°C for 24 h to 48 h MPN index EC Medium.5E06 2.2°C for 24 ± 2 h Total plate count Pour plate method.6E05 5.

5 40.3 OB 1.0E 1. The pathogenic parasite Helminth (eggs/l) values found in Yamuna river are much higher and water was not suitable even for the irrigation purpose. INTER RELA TIONSHIP BETWEEN VARIOUS RELATIONSHIP MICROBIAL INDICA TORS INDICATORS Microbiological tests are generally complex and need a lot of training and practice to yield reasonably reliable results.00E+05 1. The relationship investigated as BOD = 0.9559 37.0E 1.8 38.17.23. The minimum value was found is 5 eggs/l which exceeds the permissible limit of 1 egg/l18.0791 TC1. mg/l BOD = 0. at various sampling locations and date have been plotted against the BOD in Figure 4(a).The total coliform. with the 60 50 BOD. MPN/100 ml (log scale) 87.0E+06 (c) 1. at various sampling locations and dates have been plotted against the HPC in Figure 4(b) and against TC in Figure 4(c). which disturbed the river ecosystem to a large extent.8 Average observed BOD values 105 Average observed COD values 90 HPC.00E + 06 1. The BOD values in river was found most of the times exceeding the permissible limit of 3 mg/l or less for both DBU class B and class C.454 COD have high degree of correlation.9312 40 30 20 10 0 0 20 40 60 (a) 80 100 120 140 Log scale COD.0E+03 60 40 20 0 8.0E + 07 1. the only practical way in which the COD test can be used for estimation of BOD is to develop a specific 1. mg/l Total plate count CFU/100 ml Total coliform MPN/100 ml Fecal coliform MPN/100 ml Coliphases/100 ml Helminths. observed in Yamuna river Delhi segment flow. ie.25 TB 1.00E + 05 1. CFU/ml (log scale) 83.0E+04 1.3 0 ISBT 0 ITO 0 NB 0. From D/S of WB to OB.5 1.0E+05 1. Also the COD test has a higher precision than the BOD test.00E+03 1. The FC values. The biodegradation of organic pollution resulted in release of nutrients. BOD and COD in river Yamuna at Delhi TC. The relationships evaluated.0E + 06 1.0E 1. MPN/100 ml (log scale) 1. The COD values.7 WB 39 FC = 0. March 2008 59 . which causes eutrophication of river.0E 1. for outdoor bathing and 5000 or less for DBU class C. which normally takes 3 days.0E + 04 1.00E + 03 1.0E 1. Fecal Coliform MPN is by far the most important microbial indicator from water quality point of view because of its direct health significance11.22. near zero DO level was the clear indication of relatively higher pollution loads. As polluted water bodies may have a varying proportion of degradable and non.0E 1.0E + 05 1.1047 R2 = 0.454 COD R2 = 0. Thus the precise and carefull determination of COD be better suited for routine analysis due to much shorter time requirement and not for needing an electric incubator.00E+06 1.degradable substances in them.0E + + + + + + + + + + 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00 WB ISBT correlation between COD and BOD values for specific case19-21.00E + 08 1.3 46. The depletion of oxygen was the major impact in the polluted stretch of the river due to excessive presence of organic matter.0E + 08 FC = 0. MPN/100 ml (log scale) Figure 4 Inter -relationship graphs Inter-relationship Vol 88. ie. observed in Yamuna river Delhi segment flow.9598 1.5343 R2 = 0.0E+08 Sampling locations Figure 3 Longitudinal profile of DO.3 FC.0182 HPC1.0E 1.7 3.0E + 03 1. for drinking water source after conventional treatment and disinfection16. eggs/l FC. INTER RELA TIONSHIP BETWEEN BOD AND COD RELATIONSHIP COD test gave a relatively quick estimation of the carbonaceous contents of the sample (within a matter of 3 h) compared to the BOD test.00E+04 (b) 1.0E 1. MPN/100ml values in river were always found exceeding the permissible limit of 500 or less for DBU class B.00E + 07 1.00E + 04 1.0E+07 1.0E 1.00E+07 ITO NB TB OB Sampling locations Figure 2 Average microbial profile of river Yamuna at Delhi 120 100 80 mg/l Average observed DO values 78.4 7.

MPN /100 ml = 0.yap. The relatively higher increase in Microbiological pollution load shows that little emphasis was given to control of the microbial quality of effluents being discharged in river. ASM Press. ‘Chlorination of Indicator Bacteria and Viruses in Primary Sewage Effluent’. CONCLUSIONS ♦ During the last 20 years. vol 69. Roorkee. 18. Arch Hydrobiol Suppl.06 E05 MPN/ 100 ml to 9. Civil Engg Deptt .3 E06 MPN/100 ml and 1.nic.in . ‘Method of Sampling and Microbiological Examination of Water’. New York. The duplicate analysis or use of control tubes can be avoided in routine microbial analysis. MPN /100 ml = 0. ‘Environmental Pollution and Control’. Reaffirmed 1996. 12. 19. ‘The Yamuna Sub-basin (1977 . 19801981. 14.426. no 4. N Dumouthier and J Schwartzbrod. An NHMRC Discussion Paper. ‘Monitoring of Bacterial and Parasitological Contamination During Various Treatment of Sludge’. NHMRC. London.2003. 20. pp 3763 .2003’. Assessment and Development Study of River Basin Series: ADSORBS. Part I. 2003.nic. New Delhi. TC and FC Values increased to 4000 % and 3000 % fold. TC and FC value. ‘Manual of Environmental Microbiology’. 1995. ‘Wastewater Treatment and Disposal’. C N Sawyer. 1999 2000. MPN/100ml ♦ FC.4742 /ml 3. are ♦ FC. 10. B K Sharma. 6. Metcalf and Eddy.0326 × HPC1.degree of correlation greater than 95 %. World Health Organization. Edition 2. 9. the annual average value of BOD. CPCB. Yamuna Action Plan Web Site. BIS. 2. C J Hurtz. Env Engg Section. N Kumar. 2003. Approximately 3296 MLD/day of sewage by virtue of above drains outfalls in Yamuna. has increases from 17. 4. S J Arceivala.in . Tata McGraw-Hill Publication Co Ltd. vol 32. CPCB .2043. ‘Chemistry for Environmental Engineering’. 1995 and 1998. the people of Delhi extensively use the water of river Yamuna for various purposes. New Delhi.2 mg/l. 8. ‘Basin Sub-basin Inventory of Water Pollution: The Ganga Basin’. Fifth Edition. CPCB Web Site. chemical oxygen demand and Fecal Coliform. respectively. The BOD value increases by 100 percent. can be helpful in routine analysis of river water quality. CPCB. WPCF. The results of Fecal Coliform obtained by laboratory analysis can be verified by comparing the results obtained from various inter-relationships investigated in this study. New York. ‘Pollution Studies on River Ramganga at Moradabad’. 1998. pp 405 .1978)’.2001)’. The results of the study have revealed the need for planning and implementation of various pollution abatement measures for improvement in the river water quality as per requirement of DBU. Inc Newyork and Basal.3770. 1997. ‘Ecological Analysis of The River Yamuna — a Functional Approach in a Diversified Ecosystem in India’. Journal of Water Research. unsafe and not acceptable even for the lowest DBU. vol 17. vol 2. 1985. Second Edition. 21.Delhi. Assessment and Development Study of River Basin Series: ADSORBS. P Gaspard. 11. ♦ The rapid method developed for estimation of organic pollution and microbial pollution. IS:1622-1981. Marcel Dekker. 2002 . 2003 to 2005. 2001. 5. J A Tree and M R Adams. 22. ‘Annual Report 2002 . ‘Water Quality in India. McGraw Hill International Book Company. 2002. ‘Water Quality Status of Yamuna River’. 7.1697. more frequently and in lesser time. 2001. The deterioration in water quality is found due to the regular outfalls of 23 drains carrying wastewater to river Yamuna during Delhi Segment. 2002. 2004. 60 IE(I) Journal–EN . A Huyard. Standards and Health’. Goel Publishing House. IWA Publishing. 2. through inter relationships. New Delhi. 1996. APHA.0232 × TC1. ‘Water Quality: Guidelines. New Delhi. 1981. www. ‘Analysis of Wastewater for use in Agriculture: A Laboratory Manual of Parasitological and Bacteriological Techniques’. P L McCarty and G F Parkin.cpcb. Monitoring of India National Aquatic Resources Series: MINARS.6 E06 MPN/100 ml. ‘Statistical Aspects of Water Quality Monitoring’. ‘Standard Methods for Examination of Water and Wastewater’. Status and Trend (1990 . ‘Microbial Indicators of Water Quality’.4 E05 MPN/100 ml to 4. CPCB. AWWA. pp 2038 . www. Tata McGraw-Hill Publication Co Ltd. C Gantzer. APH Publishing Corporation. Elsevier Science Publishers.4. 17. A H EL-Shaarawi and R E Kwiatkowski. respectively. M J Mclnerney and L D Stetzenbach. Washington. in river Yamuna. Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. P R Trevedi. This method can also be applied for evaluation of water treatment efficiency at the water treatment plant as well as sewage treatment plant installed in Delhi. 15 F A Gaudy. namely. World Health Organization. ME Thesis. REFERENCES 1. R L Crawford. Despite the above scenario.0 mg/l to 34. 19th Edition and 20th Edition. UOR. 2001.L Galvez. no 16. vol 35. ‘Water Pollution’. ‘Wastewater Engineering Treatment Disposal and Reuse’. UP. 16. 2003. ♦ The high values of microbial indicators and pathogens detected revealed that the microbiological quality of water was poor. India. 23. S Aggarwal and R C Trevedi. 13. vol 0945-3748/95/0101. ‘Microbiology for Environmental Scientists and Engineers’.

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