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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Volume 2, No 3, 2012

© Copyright 2010 All rights reserved Integrated Publishing Association

Research article ISSN 0976 – 4402

Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural


areas of Mysore district, Karnataka, India
Divya J, Belagali S.L.
Department of Studies in Environmental Science, University of Mysore,
Mysore-570 006, Karnataka, India
divyajenv@gmail.com
doi:10.6088/ijes.00202030030

ABSTRACT

Chemical fertilizers are used extensively in modern agriculture, in order to improve crop
yield. However, nutrient leaching from agricultural soil into ground water and surface water
cause a major environmental and public health concern. During present investigation, 24
water samples were collected from selected agricultural lands of Mysore District. The water
samples were analyzed for fertilizer residues and physico-chemical characteristics. From the
study it is concluded that, application of chemical fertilizers has severe impact on water
quality. The pH of the ground water was found to be alkaline in some of the water samples.
Nitrate and phosphate concentrations were found to be higher than the permissible limits of
WHO standards, due to leaching and surface run off of chemical fertilizers from agricultural
lands. In order to overcome water pollution problems, effective management of chemical
fertilizers has to be implemented.

Keywords: Chemical fertilizers, Ground water, Lake water, Channel water, Nitrate, Phosphate.

1. Introduction

Agriculture is the single largest user of fresh water on a global basis, which is one of the
route cause to degradation of surface and ground water through leaching and surface run off
of nutrients from agricultural farm lands. Most of the current concern with regard to
environmental quality is focused on water, because of its importance in maintaining the
health of human and aquatic ecosystem. The addition of various kinds of pollutants and
nutrients through the agricultural run off in to the water bodies brings about a series of
changes in the physico-chemical characteristics of water. The composition of surface and
groundwater is dependent on natural factors such as geological, topographical,
meteorological, hydrological and biological factors which vary with, seasonal difference in
run off volumes and weather conditions. Agricultural practices releases residues which may
degrade the quality of the water resource. The extent and magnitude of the degradation is
difficult to assess because of its non point source in nature. There is an extensive literature,
which stress deterioration of water quality particularly due to application of chemical
fertilizers. The present study carried out in the selected agricultural farm lands of Mysore
District with the objective to assess the effect of chemical fertilizers like urea and
diammonium phosphate to agriculture farm lands on surface and ground water quality.

2. Materials and Method

2.1 Study Area

Received on December, 2011 Published on February 2012 1449


Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

Agriculture is one of the major occupation in Mysore District, which is located between
latitude 110 45” to 12 0 40” N and longitude 75 0 57” to 770 15” E with annual rain fall of 782.0
mm. The total geographical area of the Mysore district covers about 6,76,382 hectares, out of
which 3,42,852 hectares of land is used for agricultural purpose. During the past 15 years,
the consumption of chemical fertilizers in Mysore was about 83,353 metric tones per year,
out of which 50% contribution was from nitrogenous fertilizers, particularly urea. The
commonly used chemical fertilizers in the study area- are urea and diammonium phosphate,
in addition to this, farmyard manures is also used. The average annual application rate of
nitrogenous and phosphorous fertilizers is over 200-300 kg/ha of urea and 150-200 kg/ha of
diammonium phosphate per cropping season, particularly in paddy cultivations. The soil
types, which are predominant in the study, were found to be sandy clay loam, clay loam and
sandy loam.
Table 1: Chemical fertilizer residues in water samples

Ground water Lake water Channel water


Sample Urea DAP Sample Urea DAP Sample Urea DAP
No No No
G-1 0.3 3.54 L-1 3.4 5.07 C-1 0.1 6.67
G-2 1.2 3.77 L-2 - 4.17 C-2 0.4 5.70
G-3 0.6 5.18 L-3 3.2 4.86 C-3 - 9.45
G-4 2.6 5.89 L-4 2.3 4.31 C-4 0.3 8.48
G-5 3.8 4.0 L-5 0.8 5.42 C-5 0.8 5.97
G-6 4.2 5.18 L-6 0.6 3.05 C-6 0.12 3.33
G-7 1.8 4.71 L-7 - 2.92 C-7 0.5 6.39
G-8 1.5 3.06 L-8 2.1 3.61 C-8 0.4 3.05

Note: All values are expressed in ppm

Table-2: Physico-chemical characteristics of water samples collected around selected


agricultural areas of Mysore district
Table-2: Ground water samples
Parameters WHO
Standards
G-1 G-2 G-3 G-4 G-5 G-6 G-7 G-8
pH 7-8.5 7.43 7.49 7.25 7.09 7.19 8.92 8.88 8.67

EC 2500 969 1688 980 1332.8 1479 775.2 1387.2 650

TDS 500 620 860 520 910 750 560 880 380
2-
CO3 50 130.8 152.6 109 152.6 109 165.5 610.4 109
-
HCO3 500 675.8 392.4 566.8 457.8 152.6 436 828.4 233.8
2+
Ca 100 172.34 208.41 180.36 68.136 196..3 48.09 56.11 92.18
2+
Mg 150 90.82 161.24 94.45 41.42 103.34 30.19 30.19 59.14
-
Cl 250-1000 1470.41 1044.76 2050.83 773.9 1431.71 309.56 1199.5 425.64

DO 6.0 6.56 7.43 8.32 6.32 7.01 7.12 7.21 6.45

COD 10 14.78 13.23 14.28 12.09 16.08 13.12 10.32 10.09


+
Na 200 440 540 660 390 240 500 680 400
+
K 12 12 22 12 16 17 90 14 22
-
NO3 50 1650 1400 770 390 790 100 550 170
3-
PO4 0.10 2.54 2.71 3.72 4.23 2.87 3.72 3.38 2.20

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1450


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

Table 2.1: Lake water samples


Parameters WHO
Standards
L-1 L-2 L-3 L-4 L-5 L-6 L-7 L-8
pH 7-8.5 8.51 7.92 8.02 7.34 7.98 8.33 7.94 7.61
EC 2500 540.8 285 601.4 1455 1071 785.7 240 970
TDS 500 320 140 480 740 740 480 110 527
2-
CO3 50 109 65.4 392.4 109 109 109 43.6 21.8
HCO3- 500 414.2 130.8 784.8 719.4 588.6 749.6 196.2 763
2+
Ca 100 20.04 24.04 64.12 116.23 80.16 68.13 36.07 184.3
Mg2+ 150 28.2 14.51 26.11 53.29 31.15 43.67 21.13 75.39
-
Cl 250-1000 309.56 349.25 232.12 812.59 889.98 270.86 1044.76 1973.44
DO 6.0 7.32 8.10 7.45 7.12 7.90 8.97 6.43 5.09
COD 10 10.53 14.28 11.43 14.98 13.21 12.78 6.23 10.89
+
Na 200 200 100 470 440 360 350 160 580
K+ 12 60 60 80 14 14 16 90 25
-
NO3 50 240 40 540 160 40 60 40 280
PO43- 0.10 3.64 2.99 3.49 3.09 3.89 2.19 2.09 1.87

Table 2.2: Channel water samples


Parameters WHO
Standards
C-1 C-2 C-3 C-4 C-5 C-6 C-7 C-8
pH 7-8.5 6.98 7.59 7.06 7.47 7.71 7.76 6.34 6.94
EC 2500 540 880 320 510 500 380 370 120
TDS 500 176 245 109 318 298 176 269 312
2-
CO3 50 64.2 96.8 114 56 197 146 36.3 152.3
HCO3- 500 176.2 198.6 214.2 108.6 208 197 98.7 216.8
Ca2+ 100 74.12 64.65 24.41 56.21 58.01 92.12 64.30 88.11
Mg2+ 150 36.02 38.12 16.41 29.36 28.91 56.61 46.23 59.62
Cl- 250-1000 35.14 97.00 35.14 23.89 50.60 36.55 33.73 29.52
DO 6.0 5.09 6.56 7.32 7.23 8.10 6.78 7.67 6.76
COD 10 13.12 14.06 11.28 11.37 10.41 10.08 9.47 9.97
Na+ 200 34 28 239 26 38 30 45 23
K+ 12 8 5 45 4 9 7 11 15
NO3- 50 50 30 120 40 20 90 30 80
PO43- 0.10 4.79 4.09 6.79 6.09 4.29 2.39 4.59 2.19

Note: All the units are expressed in mg/l, except pH, conductivity (mmhos/cm).

2.2 Collection of water samples

Twenty four water samples were collected from selected agricultural lands of Mysore district,
which includes ground water, lake water and channel water. The water samples were
collected in pre-sterilized plastic containers. The urea residues were quantified by diacetyl
monoxime method and diammonium phosphate residues were calculated by using amount of
phosphate present in water sample, considering molecular weight of DAP and atomic weight
of phosphate in DAP fertilizer. The pH and EC were measured by using pH meter and
conductivity meter. Carbonates and bicarbonates were determined by titrimetric method.
Calcium and magnesium were determined titrimetrically using standard EDTA method,
sodium and potassium were determined by flame photometric method, chloride was
determined by argentometric titration method. Nitrate was determined by phenoldisulphonic
acid method.

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1451


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

2.3 Graphical representation of fertilizer residues and physico-chemical characteristics


of water samples

6 6

5 5

4
4

c onc e nt r c onc e nt r a t
3
a t i on i n 3 i on i n ppm
Ur ea Ur ea
ppm
2 DAP
2 DAP

1
1

0
0
L-1 L-2 L- 3 L-4 L- 5 L- 6 L- 7 L-8
G- 1 G- 2 G- 3 G- 4 G- 5 G-6 G- 7 G- 8
La k e wa t e r sa mp l e s
Gr o u n d wa t e r sa m p l e s

1. Variation of Urea and DAP in Ground water 2. Variation of Urea and DAP in lake water

Physico- chemical characteristics of ground water

2500
10
9
2000
8
7
1500
6
m g/l

c onc e nt r a t
5
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4 Ur ea

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C- 1 C- 2 C-3 C-4 C- 5 C- 6 C- 7 C-8


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parameters

G-1 G-2 G-3 G-4 G-5 G-6 G-7 G-8

3. Variation of Urea and DAP in channel water 4.Variation of physico-chemical characteristics in ground water

Physico chemical characteristics of Lake water Physico- chemical chracteristics of Channel water

2500 1000

900

2000 800

700

1500 600
m g/l

m g/l

500

1000 400

300

500 200

100

0 0
pH

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Parameters parameters

L-1 L-2 L-3 L-4 L-5 L-6 L-7 L-8 C-1 C-2 C-3 C-4 C-5 C-6 C-7 C-8

5. Variation of physico-chemical characteristics in Lake water 6. Variation of physico-chemical characteristics in channel water

Figure 1: Graphs showing various characteristics of the water samples

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1452


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

2.4 Statistical analysis of physico-chemical characteristics with fertilizer residues.

Table 3: Correlation matrix for Urea and DAP in ground water

Urea DAP pH EC TDS CO32- HCO3- Ca2+ Mg2+ Cl- DO COD Na+ K+ NO3- PO43-
Urea 1
DAP 0.347 1
pH 0.240 -0.126 1
EC 0.0534 0.110 -0.454 1
TDS 0.150 0.378 -0.304 0.888** 1
2-
CO3 0.012 0.178 0.528* 0.274 0.461 1
HCO3- 0.465 -0.303 0.192 0.024 0.265 0.679** 1
2+
Ca 0.722* -0.405 -0.651** 0.292 0.284 -0.441 -0.0365 1
2+
Mg 0.128 0.461 -0.429 0.536 -0.050 0.016 -0.197 0.173 1
Cl- 0.508* 0.040 -0.602* 0.302 0.345 0.0064 0.325 0.644* 0.454 1
DO -0.207 0.229 -0.099 0.146 0.082 0.0733 0.210 0.442 0.354 0.608** 1
COD 0.107 -0.007 -0.671* 0.223 0.0206 0.529** -0.236 0.648** 0.530 -0.561 0.285 1
+
Na 0.421 0.284 0.333 -0.001 0.212 0.563 0.755** 0.153 0.142 0.271 -0.645** -0.364 1
+
K 0.648** 0.245 0.552* -0.394 0.042 -0.097 -0.158 -0.453 0.300 -0.629** 0.001 -0.028 0.002 1
-
NO3 -0.599**0.399 0.558* 0.434 0.255 -0.135 0.250 0.829** 0.121 0.590* 0.144 0.535* 0.004 -0.480 1
3-
PO4 0.345 0.999** 0.126 0.109 0.376 0.177 0.307 -0.404 -0.461 0.038 0.388 0.199 0.284 0.245 -0.399 1

Table 4: Correlation matrix for Urea and DAP in lake water


2- - 2+ 2+ - + + - 3-
Urea DAP pH EC TDS CO3 HCO3 Ca Mg Cl DO COD Na K NO3 PO4
Urea 1
DAP 0.384 1
pH 0.0301 0.117 1
EC -0.369 0.255 -0.553* 1
TDS -0.490 0.421 0.387 0. 994** 1
2-
CO3 0.425 0.435 0.170 0.012 0.197 1
HCO3--0.249 0.123 0.203 0.725** 0.803** 0.421 1
2+
Ca 0.139 -0.096 0.635* 0.693** 0.606* -0.207 -0.667** 1
2+
Mg -0.192 -0.229 -0.495 0.701** 0.578* -0.273 -0.697** 0.952** 1
-
Cl -0.152 0.282 -0.591* 0.381 0.204 -0.530* 0.166 0.788** 0.700** 1
DO -0.419 0.172 0.505 -0.093 0.026 0.273 0.064 -0.622** 0.731** 0.848** 1
COD -0.469 0.403 -0.277 0.571* 0.556* 0.104 0.316 0.199 0.164 -0.264 0.478 1
+
Na 0.0635 0.076 -0.460 0.713** 0.752** 0.288 0.922** 0.856** 0.812** 0.484 -0.396 0.210 1
+
K 0.806** -0.008 0.293 0.835** 0.783** 0.319 0.561* -0.599* -0.653** -0.264 -0.152 -0.661** 0.494 1
-
NO3 0.781* 0.331 -0.015 0.056 0.173 0.767**0.550** 0.246 0.181 -0.054 -0.304 0.072 0.299 0.745** 1
3-
PO4 0.301 0.947** 0.229 0.148 0.317 0.491 0.002 -0.362 -0.458 -0.325 0.403 0.393 0.131 0.007 0.208 1

Table 5: Correlation matrix for Urea and DAP in channel water


EC TDS CO32- HCO3- Ca
2+ 2+ - + +
Urea DAP pH Mg Cl DO COD Na K NO3- PO3-4
Urea 1
DAP 0.096 1
pH 0.0136 0.156 1
EC 0.007 0.222 0.431 1
TDS 0.673* -0.280 0.023 -0.004 1
2-
CO3 0.420 -0.463 0.569* -0.233 -0.059 1
-
HCO3 0.074 -0.342 0.427 -0.089 -0.353 0.794** 1
2+
Ca 0.544* -0.903 0.101 0.135 -0.315 0.159 0.653** 1
2+
Mg -0.326 -0.915 -0.119 -0.293 -0.303 -0.118 0.019 0.920** 1
Cl- 0.233 0.117 0.385 0.798* 0.086 0.132 0.323 0.039 -0.083 1
DO 0.793** 0.150 0.066 -0.210 0.361 0.313 -0.147 -0.367 -0.199 -0.061 1
COD -0.305 0.281 0.271 0.800* 0.259 -0.269 0.170 -0.168 -0.369 0.644* -0.619** 1
Na+ 0.390 0.623*- 0.183 -0.239 -0.689**-0.023 0.297 0.799* -0.635**-0.135 0.200 -0.012 1
K+ 0.270 0.464 0.287 -0.432 -0.611** 0.119 0.368 -0.681**-0.475 -0.217 0.192 -0.135 0.904 ** 1
NO3- -0.637** 0.023 0.004 -0.572* -0.668** 0.204 0.468 -0.148 0.005 -0.376 -0.133 -0.194 0.675** 0.745** 1
3-
PO4 0.096 0.999** 0.157 0.221 0.280 -0.463 -0.341 -0.903**-0.915* -0.157 -0.151 -0.281 0.623* 0.465 0.234 1

2.5 Results and Discussion

The results of chemical fertilizer residues in Table-1 and physico-chemical characteristics of


different water samples are presented in Table-2, 2.1 and 2.2. The graphical representation of
variations in fertilizer residues for different water samples are presented in graphs 1, 2, 3.

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1453


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

Similarly graphical representation of physico-chemical characteristics of different water


samples are presented in graphs 4, 5, 6.

2.5.1. Urea: Urea is one of the nitrogenous fertilizers that have received wider attention in
agriculture, because of its potential role for seedling damage, ammonia volatilization and
water pollution problems. Urea enters surface and ground water through leaching and surface
run off from agricultural lands. Its entry into ground water depends on physical properties of
soil like texture. During the present investigation, in ground water, the urea residues ranged
from 0.3 to 4.2 ppm, in lake water from 0.6 to 3.4 ppm and in channel water 0.1 to 0.12 ppm.
Highest concentration of urea was reported in ground water and lowest in channel water.

2.5.2 Diammonium phosphate residues: The DAP residues in ground water range from a
minimum of 3.06 ppm to a maximum of 5.18 ppm. In lake water, the DAP residues were
from 2.92 to 5.42 ppm. In channel water the DAP residues were 3.05 to 9.45 ppm. Highest
amount of DAP was reported in channel water, which is due to excessive run off of fertilizer
from agricultural lands to near-by channels.

2.5.3 pH: pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of water. During the present study, pH of
ground water samples ranged from a minimum of 7.09 to a maximum of 8.88. Similarly, in
lake water, the variation of pH ranged from 7.34 to 8.51. In case of channel water, the pH
values recorded were from 6.34 to 7.76. During the present investigation, the variation in
values of pH was noticed, for both ground and lake water samples. Except G (6), (7), (8) and
L (1), rest of water samples were found to be within the permissible limits of WHO standards.
The results also show that, the alkaline pH is particularly due to presence of cations like
Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. This was in conformity with the findings of Azeez et.al
(2000).

2.5.4 Electrical conductivity: Electrical conductivity is to measure capacity of water to carry


electric current. It signifies the amount of total dissolved salts present in solution. During the
present study, electrical conductivity of ground water ranged from a minimum of 650 to a
maximum of 1688 mmhos/cm. Similarly, in lake water, the variation of EC was from 240 to
1455 mmhos/cm. In case of channel water the EC values were from 120 to 880 mmhos/cm.
The EC values in all the water samples were found to be within the permissible limits of
WHO Standards.

2.5.5 Total dissolved solids: The TDS of ground water ranged from a minimum of 380 to a
maximum of 910 mg/l. In lake water, the variation of TDS was from 110 to 740 mg/l. In case
of channel water, the TDS values were from 36.3 to 197 mg/l. High TDS values were
reported in ground water and lowest for channel water.

2.5.6 Carbonates and bicarbonates: Alkalinity of water is the capacity to neutralize a


strong acid and it is normally due to the presence of carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxides
of calcium and magnesium. The carbonate values in ground water ranged from a minimum of
109 to a maximum of 610.4 mg/l. In lake water, the variation of carbonates was from 21.8 to
392 mg/l. In case of channel water, the carbonate values recorded were from 36.3 to 197 mg/l.
The bicarbonate values in ground water were from, a minimum of 152.6 to a maximum of
828.4 mg/l. Similarly, in lake water, the variation of bicarbonates was from 130.8 to 784.8
mg/l. In case of channel water, the bicarbonate value was from 98.7 to 216.8 mg/l. The total
alkalinity values for all the water samples were found to be higher except L (7), (8) and C (7).

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1454


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

In case of bicarbonate values except G (1), (3), (7) and L (3), (4), (5), (6), (8) all water
samples were found to be within the permissible limits.

2.5.7 Calcium and magnesium: Calcium and magnesium are directly related to hardness in
water. The calcium and magnesium of ground water ranged from, a minimum of 48.09 to a
maximum of 208.4 mg/l and 30.19 to 161.24 mg/l respectively. Similarly, in lake water
calcium and magnesium ranged from 20.04 to 184.36 mg/l and 14.51 to 75.39 mg/l. In case
of channel water, the values recorded were from 24.41 to 92.1 mg/l and 16.41 to 59.62 mg/l.
The high concentration of calcium and magnesium in the above water samples was due to the
dissolution of lime stone. During the present investigation except G (1), (2), (3), (5) and L (4),
(8), all water samples were found to be within WHO standards. In G (2) the magnesium
concentration was found to be above the permissible limits of WHO standards

2.5.8 Chloride: Chloride occurs naturally in all types of water samples. Chloride in natural
water results from agricultural activities or some times, it could be due to dissolution of
chloride from chloride containing rocks. During the present study, the chloride values in
ground water were from a minimum of 309.56 to a maximum of 2050.83 mg/l. Similarly, in
lake water the variation of chloride were from 232.12 to 1973.44 mg/l. In case of channel
water, the chloride concentration was from 20.89 to 97.00 mg/l. Except G (4), (6), (8), in all
the water samples chloride was found to be above the permissible limits. In lake water,
except L (7), (8), all water samples were found to be above the permissible limits.

2.5.9 Dissolved oxygen: During the present investigation the dissolved oxygen of ground
water were from a minimum of 6.32 to a maximum of 8.32 mg/l. Similarly the dissolved
oxygen in lake water were from a minimum of 5.09 to a maximum of 8.97 mg/l. The
variation of dissolved oxygen of channel water was found to be from 5.09 to 8.10 mg/l. In all
the sampling places, the dissolved oxygen content was found to be higher than the
permissible limits, which indicates the presence of high oxygen content in water samples.
The higher level of nutrient load and other factors result in decreased level of dissolved
oxygen in water samples.

2.5.10 Chemical oxygen demand: Chemical oxygen demand determines the oxygen
required for chemical oxidation of organic matter. During the present study, the COD in
ground water were from a minimum of 10.09 to a maximum of 16.08 mg/l. Similarly, in lake
water, the variation of COD values were from 6.23 to 14.98 mg/l. In case of channel water
the COD concentration recorded were from 9.47 to 14.06 mg/l. COD conveys the amount of
dissolved oxidisable organic matter including the non biodegradable matters present in it. The
minimum values of COD in different water samples indicates low organic pollutants, while
maximum concentration indicates higher concentration of pollutants.

2.5.11 Sodium and potassium: The sodium and potassium concentration in ground water
ranged from a minimum of 240 to a maximum of 680 mg/l and 12 to 90 mg/l respectively. In
lake water, the variation of sodium and potassium was from, 100 to 580 mg/l and 14 to 90
mg/l. In case of channel water, the sodium and potassium concentrations were from 23 to 239
mg/l and 4 to 49 mg/l respectively.

In Ground water and surface water, the potassium contamination can result from the
application of potassium fertilizers greater than the required concentration. Potassium
leaching from the soil is important from the perspective of plant nutrition. If fertilizer use and
application to irrigation water exeeds the crop requirement, excess water will carry with it,

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1455


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

soluble salts including potassium, which were shown from, a significant correlation between
urea and potassium for both ground and lake water with r-0.648 and r-0.806. This implies that,
enrichment of potassium in surface and ground water is due to influence of urea fertilizers.

2.5.12 Nitrate: The nitrate concentration in ground water was from a minimum of 100 to a
maximum of 1650 mg/l. In lake water, the variation of nitrate was from 40 to 540 mg/l. In
case of channel water, the concentration recorded were from 20 to 120 mg/l. Except C (5) and
(7) in all the water samples, nitrate concentration was found to be above the permissible
limits. In the soil, when urea is applied, it gets transformed to ammonium (NH4+) by soil
enzymes, which tends to be strongly adsorbed on soil particles. This adsorption inhibits the
movement of ammonium through the soil. Ammonium is an energy rich substance and
certain soil bacteria can utilize this energy by decomposing the ammonium to nitrate (NO3-).
Unlike ammonium, nitrate is not adsorbed on soil particles and therefore, moves readily with
water in the soil. Nitrate that is not taken up by plant roots or soil micro-organisms can be
transported to ground and surface water by a variety of mechanisms.

2.5.13 Phosphate: The phosphate content in ground water was from a minimum of 2.20 to a
maximum of 4.23 mg/l. In lake water, 1.87 to 3.89 mg/l of phosphate concentration was
observed. In channel water from a minimum of 2.19 to a maximum of 6.79 mg/l. In the
studied area, intensive crop production, continuous application of phosphate fertilizer and
farmyard manure have been used at levels exceeding crop requirements. Highest phosphate
concentration was reported in channel water, which indicated that, diammonium phosphate is
the major source of enrichment of phosphate in water samples.

3. Statistical analysis

In this study, correlation analysis between various attributes of ground, lake and channel
water with Urea and DAP residues were done and presented in Table 3, 4, 5.

A Correlation analysis is a bivariant method applied to describe the relation between two
different parameters. Inter relationship between two parameters was carried out using Pearson
correlation. A high correlation co-efficient (near +1 or -1) means a good relation between two
variables, and its concentration around zero means no relationship between them at a
significant level of 0.05 % level, it can be strongly correlated, if r>0.7, where as r values
between 0.5 to 0.7 shows moderate correlation between two different parameters.

In ground water samples, the Urea residues were strongly correlated with calcium and a
moderate correlation with potassium and nitrate. A significant correlation was noticed
between DAP and Phosphate which clearly implies that, phosphate enrichment is mainly due
to phosphatic fertilizers. pH is moderately correlated with carbonates, chloride, COD,
potassium, nitrate. Electrical conductivity strongly correlated with TDS, which indicates
dissolved ions in ground water are responsible for EC. Carbonates moderately correlated with
bicarbonates, COD and sodium, bicarbonates with sodium. Calcium is moderately correlated
with magnesium and COD strongly correlated with dissolved oxygen, which indicates
accumulation of pollutants, will affect dissolved oxygen level in water.

In lake water, Urea residues were strongly correlated with potassium and nitrate. DAP with
phosphate, pH with conductivity, calcium, chloride. Conductivity and TDS with bicarbonates,
calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium. A strong correlation was noticed between
carbonates and nitrate, bicarbonate with calcium, magnesium, sodium. Calcium moderately

Divya J, Belagali S.L. 1456


International Journal of Environmental Sciences Volume 2 No.3, 2012
Impact of chemical fertilizers on water quality in selected agricultural areas of Mysore district, Karnataka,
India

correlated with magnesium, chloride, dissolved oxygen. Sodium was strongly correlated with
calcium, magnesium was correlated with chloride, dissolved oxygen with sodium and
potassium. Chloride and potassium are strongly correlated with DO.

In channel water, a moderate correlation was observed between calcium and dissolved
oxygen which are strongly correlated with urea. Nitrate is moderately correlated with urea,
calcium, magnesium and for sodium. A moderate correlation was reported chloride and
nitrate with conductivity, TDS with sodium, potassium, nitrate, carbonates, and bicarbonates.
Bicarbonates with calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphate with magnesium.
A moderate correlation was reported between DO and chloride. sodium is strongly correlated
with potassium, nitrate and phosphate. Potassium was strongly correlated with nitrate.

From the statistical analysis, it can be concluded that, cations like, calcium, magnesium,
potassium and anions like phosphate and nitrate are found to be highly correlated with Urea
and DAP. In Urea applied soil, nitrate ions were formed as end product after hydrolysis of
Urea, which are not strongly adsorbed by the soil particles and will move down through soil
profile. The negatively charged nitrate ions will carry positively charged basic cations, such
as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium in order to maintain electric charge on soil
particles which will be ultimately leached to ground and surface water.

4. Conclusion

The present study confirms that, the application of chemical fertilizers has greater influence
on water quality. Except L (7) and C (3), in all the water samples Urea residues were detected.
Highest Urea residues was detected in G (10). In case of DAP residues, highest concentration
was recorded in C(4). From the statistical analysis, it concluded that, for all the water samples
nitrate was strongly correlated with urea, which indicates surface and ground water
contamination is mainly due to nitrogenous fertilizers. Similarly phosphate was highly
correlated with DAP; which indicates that DAP was the major source to enrich phosphate in
surface and ground water. In case of physico-chemical characteristics, in majority of the
water samples, total dissolved solids, carbonates, bicarbonates, calcium, magnesium,
chemical oxygen demand, sodium and potassium were found to be in high concentration. In
order to overcome water pollution problems, introduction of legislation by the state
government restricting the application of chemical fertilizers, splitting of fertilizer dose at
required concentration will help to reduce pollution of surface and ground water.

Acknowledgement

One of the authors, Miss Divya J is grateful to University Grants Commission, New Delhi for
providing financial assistance, in the form of Junior Research Fellowship.

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