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Subject Page No.

1.1 The Human 'Environment 1-3

1,2 Pollution j
1.3 (Effect of Pollution 3-4
1.4 ' Long distance movement of Pollutants 4-5
1.5 Types of Pollution 5
2.1 Introductwn 6-7
2.2 Criteria of ^ater quality 7-10
2. A Sources of water pollution 10-14
2.4 Classification of water pollutants 15-44
2.5 Effect of water pollution 44-46
2.6 Control of water pollution. 47-51
2.7 Jlcts to prevent water pollution. 51-52
4. 53
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Life cannot exist in a vaccum. It exists in a real environment on which it is wholely

dependent for its existence and well being. The atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the

biosphere and the life sustaining sunshine make up the human environemnt.
A. Atmosphere:
The atmosphere c* the earth has been studies using air craft, rocket if satellites,

ballons and after performing experiments on the Earth's surface. The ||{ atmosphere is made up of

the following distinct layers.

(i) Troposphere:

It is made up of 78 percent nitrogen 21% oxygen, with water vapour, carbon dioxide,

neon and argon forming the remaining 1 %. The average temperature at the top of Troposphere is

-16°C . This layer is nearest to the surface of the earth. The carbon dioxide in the troposphere absorbs

heat and keeps the Earths surface warm to sustain life.

(ii) Stratosphere: jj
Above the Troposphere there is a stable layer of air called stratosphere

This layer has a temperature varying from - 16SC to -4°C and it contains Ozone The -
Ozone layer absorbs the harmful Ultraviolet radiation and thus protects the life on the i|:

surface of the earth.

(iii) Mesosphere:

Above the stratosphere there is the Mesosphere. The temperature of ||!

ft -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ^
this layer falls with increase in altitude. Ozone concentration in the Mesosphere

decreases rapidly with height.

(iv) Ionosphere:

The next layer is called ionosphere and contains ionized air. This layer reflects short

radio waves making telecommunication possible over long distances.

(v) Exosphere :

The layer after ionosphere is called exsphere, where the air density is %

very low and the outer space begins after it.

8. Hydrosphere :

The oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, polar ice cap, water vapour etc. tog he-make up

the hydrosphere. Water is the elixir of life and without water, life is not possible
Living organisms contain large amounts of water. Water is the universal solvent and it!
" I"
carrier of nutrients in living organisms. Almost 70% of the surface of the earth is covered |!
. . ' II
with H,0.


C. Lithosphere :

Earth's crust is about 10 to 15 Km thick under the oceans and about 65 km thick

under the continents. The main elements of the crust are oxygen (47.3%) j Silicon (27.7%) and

aluminium, Iron, cadmium, sodium, potassium and magnesium f


together form about 23% and ail other elemets form only 2% of the total constituents The topmost

part of the crust is called lithosphere.


Living organisms are found only in the few inches to few feet of the i earth called

soil, which has been formed over millions of years by the combined j action of physical, chemical

and biological processes.

A constant flow of energy ro an ecosystem in the force that keens the

engine of life running. The life sustaining energy comes from the process o4

I photosynthesis. When energy flow stops ;'e stops. The materials of life, its chemicals

are constantly cycling from orga- srr environment and back again. Non collects

food and other materials of industry and commerce and demps its wastes into

environment. The environment is the source of basis of man's habitat, food Industirai

materials, energy, health, happiness and everything. The environment makes up a

huge enormously living machine ''cr-s a thin dynamic layer is on the earth's

surface and every human activity :s very existence depending the integrity

and proper functioning of the machine. We have only one earth. This environment stands now



Definition :

The presence of chemical substances or heat or radioactivity at undesirable places

in undesirable amounts which affects adversity, the ecosystem or the living, organism in same way

or other, directly or indirectly may be called pollution.

It is easier to describe pollution than to define it. Environmental pollution may De

described as the unfavourable alternation of our surroundings which occurs |

mainly because of man's action.Environmectal pollution takes place through changes

in energy patterns, radiation level chemical and physical constitution and abundance oforganism.


Pollution may be natural or man made. Environmental pollution can affect humans,

animals, plants and aiso materials. While it may cause illness or even death in case of humans and

animals, It may reduce the growth of desirable plants and in


li> some cases may cause them severe injury. The effect of materia! includes corrosfo
iii 'ofI metals and marble as we! as d'scolouring the paints. Any pollution can afreet %?>-■ |
iii causes visible harm. It befools the air and poisier. fish and other

aquatic animals in rivers and lakes. Pollution includes release of materials in to the atmosphere which

make air unsuitable forbreathing, harm the quality of water or soil, and emit substances which

damage the health of human being , plants and animals . Though the other environmental pollutants,

odour and noise, merely irretaie or disturb, they can also sometimes be a danger to health.

An idea about the adverse effect of environmental pollution car ~-rom the fact that

nearly 4000 persons died of respiratory diseases in London in 1852, \

hundreds ofJapanese suffered from diesease and death on eating polluted fish from If!
Minimata Bay during 1953-60. Nearly 500 iraqis died after consuming polluted whea? | in 1972. The

fifties . Thick forests extending over large areas around copperhill, Tennesee (USA) got

converted into a barren land with the setting up of a copper plant in coperhill and so on.

mediterranian sea could not support aquatic life for several years in the


There is sufficient evidence to establish that many ty di \i\
■ |]
pollutants get distributed over the entire earth in short pefiods. Radioactive I

fall out from atmospheric nuclear tests conducted in any part of the world

becomes detectable in all parts of the world within days or weeks and from the

analysis of the fall out the scientist car easily learn a groat deal about the pi type of the test carried out.

Chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT and its metabolities get disturbed throughout the

world having been transported by air or by some other means not vet
fully understood. Thus, DDT at the level of 10 ppb has been detected in the rive*' fat of animals.

Living in Antarctica, thousands of kilometers away from the sites wh the pesticides are actually


Many chronic diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis are

environmentally induced. The aiergy problem being induced by parthenium (Congress grass )whose

seed was inadvertently brought in to the country along with the imported wheat during the period in

which India had a shortage of food grain.The world health organization has estimated that 80% -

90% of all human cancers are llj enviromentally related or induced.

The inordinate population growth, rapid industrailisation , fast !{|
unbanisation and modified agricultural operations have intensified the interaction at
- • " Is!
man with the invironment. As a result there is alarming increase in the pollution of air, I!
water and soil. Humanhealth is seriously affected by environmental and ecological !!


Mandkind is faced with several types of pollutions.

I) Air pollution if

iii) Soil pollution

iv) Industrial pollution

v) Noise pollution

vi) Thermal pollution

vii) Radiation pollution In this project, we shall deai with the cause source,

hazardness and |
remedies of water pollution.


Water is one of the abundantly available substances in nature. There is

no shortage of water. 71% of the earth;s surface is covered with water and the total

annual global precipitation is around 126.000 cubic miles. Water is the prime media of

physical and chemical reaction of bioiogicai significance. It is also essentialingredieni Ij

of animal and plant life. But fresh water is only 3% and 97% of the earth's water is ■ l|
' jl
salty. This alarmingly small propertion of freshwater is a naturaljreasure which ought jj
to be conserved in the best of its natural form so that plants animals and human ijj beings can make

maximum use of :

Water is a universal solvent and renewable resource. These unique ij

properties of water make it to get polluted. Water can be regarded polluted when it jji
changed its quality or composition either naturally or as a result of human activities, |||

thus, becoming less suitable for drinking .domestic, agricultural, Industrial, recreational,

wild life and other uses for which it would have been otherwise suitable in its natural I

and unmodified state.

Although pollution is proceed by the activities of organisms (including it

man) ,it is usualy recognized only when It adversly affects other living organisms'i.-e jl
fishes are killed, algae growth is enhanced, people acquire a disease. If

The term 'water pollution' is refered to the addition to water of an excess


of material that is harmful to humans, animals or desirable aquatic life or other - wise j) causes

significant departures from the normal activities of various living communities in or near bodies or

In other words, water pollution is defined as the adverse change In ■*

composition or condition of water such that it becomes iess suitable forthe purpose for which it

would be suitable in its natural state. The change include physical, cbemica, or biological change.


The quality of water is of vital importance for man and other animals. There are

several general criteria relating to the quality of fresh water that depend on one characteristic

which is shared oy a variety of compounds. Measurement of that one characteristic is thus more

important than analysis for each individual compounds PH ,80D COD etc. are such quality

indicators of water. The potential and capacity for oxidation or reduction are important criteria of

water quality. The products of most such reactions are non-poisinous and in case of it ! !;:

macronutrients usually are inorganic forms readily assimilated by piants it.

Removal of macronutrients elements from contaminated water.
liI! :li
Table -1
Elements Principal product obtained Principal product obtained under
under conditions of high P? i
conditions of low PE (aerobic)
Carbon C02, C032- (depending on PH) CH.
Hydrogen H20 i
Nitrogen NO-3 NH3, NH/ (depending on PH)
Sulphur ' so42- H2S, HS- (dependino on P""
Phosphorous HPO* H,PO • HP042, H2P04 ■
(depending on PH) i|

When organic wastes decompose in the absence of dioxygen (anaerobic ij

conditions) or other oxidising agents, the products obtained are often poisonous and are certainly

not in forms appropriate for plant and animal nutrition, although anaerobic decomposition, can. be

benefecial fn sc~e cases,

The capacity for reduction of a polluted water can be measured by the biochemical

oxygen demand (BOD) . Since, nearly all of the oxidising capability of natural water is supplied by

atmcsc-e' c ~r photosynthesised O yi the oxygen demand || of a sample is a good indicator of the

reducing capacity of the polluted water.

When an efficient such as sewage or other organic pollutant are discharged in to a

living waterway, it may provide the bacteria and other microorganism living there with such a rich

food sour6e that they rapidly reproduce, consuming all the if oxygen in the water such an efficient is

said to have high BOD. BOD is one of the officials measures of how polluting a liquid is when it is

discharged in to a living water course.

In the BOD test a water sample (dilutes if 0 demand is expected to be

high ) is saturated with dioxygen . It is then incubated at constant temperature (usually l|| 20° C

) for a known period (usually 5 days designated by BODs) . This allows time for j j

microorganisms in the waste water to mediate oxidation of organic matter. Then the jj
remaining amount of dissolved 0 is determined and BOD is obtained by subtraction |
. The procession of such a technique is not very high (± 20% ) hut it has the advantage jlj
of paralleling the microbial oxidation which would occur in natural waters.

In order to avoid the minimum of 5 days required for determination of !

• I!
BOD, to include those wastes which are only slowly oxidised by 07 (some have 10
day half-lives) and to avoid problems of poisoning of microorganisms by toxic $
substances in the wastes, the chemicai oxygen demand (COD) test has been devised, jj
in this case the.water sample is re a ted with a known quantity of a strong oxidising agents usually

K2Cr207 which rapidly oxides most of the organic matter. The remaining K2 Cr 207 is then determined

by back titration with a suitable reducing agent.

Although COD can be determined in 2.5 hours and reprod.ucable, it may not give a

complete picture on the amount of pollution, either, for instance, dichromite j oxides c f to Cl 2 . and

thus an uncorrected COD includes the c F content of sample,

even though c f would not be oxidised in natural waters and not a pollutant at all

It should be emphasized that BOD and COD were designed for and f apply best to

organic wastes. Benzene and other aromatics pyridine and straight chain -
aliphatic hydrocarbon are not determined by either tests. Thus , a wide variety of jjj
0 Jsi
potential pollutants may be missed of only BOD and COD is considered. Never the ||
" I1 less, oxygen demand is.a good
indication of industrial pollution as well as municipal f

sewage. <

While pure water have BOD and COD in the range of 1-5 , those from
domestic sewage (170), paper mills (336) textile mills (304) etc are much high.

The bacteria feed upon the organic matter in the efficient, consuming more of the

oxygen dissolved in the water. All efflucient with a high BOD will do more harm in summer, when flow

rates are low and the oxygen level is reduced: less oxygen j will dissolve in warm water than cold jj

The bacteria continue to feed and begin to multiply , initially doubling j their numbers

each generation. As a result of the dissolved oxygen in the water is. ] further reduced.When weather

accelerates the whole process by enabling the bacteria |j to reproduce even faster.
f------—....... —■"--------- '

If the BOD of the efficient is too high, or the receiving water way is unable to

dilute it to a the safe level, D.O .will fall to such an extent fact that fish and other aquatic animals

suffocate . One of the main aims of sewage treatment is to reduce the BODof the sewage.


The source of water pollution are numerous. Most industiria! effluents are discharged

into rivers. The sources of water pollution can be classified as. i) Municipal and domestic

oxygen demanding wastes, if) Industrial wastes.

iii) Agricultural wastes.

iv) Radioactive wastes.

(i) Municipal and domestic wastes :

Domestic refuse, municipal garbage and other wastes like animai waste, crop and

yard wastes and garbage are mainly of organic origin.

The orgin of the pollutants is clearly connected with human metabolism and vital

activities. Public sewage contains various micro-organisms like bacteria yeast and other moulds,

algae, eggs, viruses etc,

Discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage into the river and other water

bodies can produce.

1) Depletion in oxygen content caused by biological and of organic matter.

2) Stimulation of algal growth and a shift in algal diversity towards due green algae,

leading to the production of obnoxious blooms.

3) The public sewage containing various microorganisms, bacteria, yeast

and other moulds, algae eggs of helminthes, viruses etc are dangerous

with respect to epidemic diseases of man and animals,

(ii) Industriai Waste :

The industiral waste water contains raw materials, processed chemicals, final

products, process intermediates, processed by products and impurities from the industries. The

industrial pollutants may ce classified as.

a) Organic substances that deplete the oxygen content and increase

biological oxygen demand (BOD).

o) Inorganic substances like carbonates, chlorides and nitrogen that render

the water body unfit for use and encourage growth of microplants.

c) Acids and alkalis which affect the growth of fish and other aquatic life

d) Toxic substances like cyanide, actylene, phenol, heavy metals like . *

mercurry, lead, arsenic, which course damage to both flora and fauna

e) Colour producing materials like dyes which are aesthetically


f) Oil and other floating substances which interfere with self - purificatic

of water bodies,
Important characteristics o- waste water from some major industries.

industries Important Characteristic

Acid manufacture Low PH
Beet Sugar High BOD due to the presence of
dissolved and suspended organic matter.
Coal Washery High suspended solids, low PH, H.S04
and FeS04 are present.
Coke manufacture High suspended solids, ammonia,
hydrogen sulphides, phenols and oils.
Distillery High BOD, high suspended and
dissolved solids, brown colour
and disagreable'odour.
Electroplating Highly acidic, highly COD
(Chemical Oxygen demand, contains
heavy metals and toxic substances.
Paint manufacture Synthetic resins, solvents, pigments,
varnishes etc. also contains
heavy metals such as lead, chromium, .
aluminium,high BOD.-
Petroleum refinary Hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes,
ketones acids, phenols, oils, metals,
high suspended dissolved and
colloidal solids, resistances to
biological oxidation. -
Plastic manufacture Acids, Phenols, Formaldehyde.
Pulp, paper and board Alkaline, intense brown colour,
Industry characteristic odour, high suspended
particles, resistance to biological oxidation.
Steel industry Low PH, presence of phenols, suspended
and dissolved solids, metals.
Tannery Obnoxious odour, high suspended and
dissolved solids, high BOD and COD, Oil-
and grease, chromium.
Textile Processing Coloured, high BOD, suspended and
dissolved solids, acids, chlorine
dyes chromium, phenolic sunstances
---------------------,—— -----■ ---------- "'- ................ . — '"j'!?*" "*"'______i _i_M^^^M^^^M^^^^MMr^MMMM'^^^^M»T|-|~-~Tr~~"-llMi'ill II I I I I' I I --------------------------'~ '" ------------------ """"~*~"

ill Agricultural Chemicals

a) Fertilizers:

Modern agricultural partices require the use of large amounts of fertilizers.

Excessive and in discnminat& use of inorganic fertilizers often leads to the accumulation of

nitrates in water. The nitrates when they enter the human body are converted to toxic nitrites by

intestinai bacteria which in turn combones with the haemoglobin to form methaemoglobin which

impairs the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

■ \.

The phosphates enters into the water bodies and supports luxuriant growth of algae

resulting in deplecticn of dissoved oxygen content and couse deterioration of water resources by


b) Pesticides :,

Pesticides are biologically active chemicals used for pest control. Huge I

amout of different kinds of poisonous agricultural chemicals are being used these jj days. Many

of these chemicals are know to persist for long periods in the environment and become toxic to

aquatic organisms. Pesticides are used to control the pest population which is considered to be

harmiful to human welfare. Increase use of pesticides has posed a potential hazard not only to live

stock and wildlife but also to fish and other animal organo chlorine pesticides like DDT

(dichlorodiphenyltrichloro ethane) and BHC (benzenehexachloride) are quite persistent and

accumulate in the tissues of aquatic and other animals. Some general properties of pesticides are

(i) They often strike not only the intended pests but also servera! nontarget and beneficial


ii) Many of these chemicals persist and cannot be disposed of.

iii) They caused unintended effects like resistance faunal displacement and othei

population change

They are carried away to paces for removed from points of application There may

V) be bioaccumuiation and biomagnification.

± "ES^'C'DES <r

Dust and Leaching

AIR rain and SOIL

-Dust and Run off

-=> ------
Vegetation Phytoplankton
A I i
Herbivores Zooplankton I
4, Man Small invertebrates
Predatory fish
Micro organisms I
Small invertebrates I
I Man

------ >-

( Pesticide cycle of the environment)

iv) Radio active wastes and heat:

In general, a significant lowering of temperature will decrease trie-reaction

rate whereas, an increase in tempture will tend to increase the. reaction rate until the enzymes

are denatured in lower organisms. If the reaction catalysed by enzymes, is essential to the

organism it will result in death of the organism,

The radio active substances are the most toxic substances whose injurious

effect is tremendously high Nuclear waste materials, test explosions, increased use of power

reactor and radioactive material in medical industry an d r es earc h m t he principal sources

of radioactive exposure that threaten the environment.


The signs of water pollution have been obvious to even the most casuas

observer. To aid in a systematic discussion of water pollutants, they are classified in to 10

categories given below. ,

(i) Sewage and Oxyge- :£~and:r,g waste.

(ii) Deasease causing agents.

(iii) Plant nutrients.

(iv) Synthetie organic compounds,

.(v) Oil.

(vi) Inorganic chemicals and mineral substances.

(vii) Sediments.

(viii) Radio active materials.

(ix) Thermal or heat.

(x) Detergents. ,•

(i) Sewage and Oxygen demanding waste :

Sewage from municipalities and other oxygen demanding wastes from'

industry and agriculture comprise of organic matter which undergoes oxidation readily under the

action of microorganisms. Dissolved oxygen Do has been a fundamental requirement of life for

the plant and animal population in any given body of water Their survival is dependent upon the

ability of the water to maintain certain mineral concentration of this vital substance.

These wastes are generally disposed off by dumping them into nearbv rivers, if

the amount of sewage or other wastes discharged is relatively small, the

dissolved oxygen is sufficient to convert carbon into carbon dioxide, sulphur into sulphates,

phosphorous into phosphates and'nitrogen into ammonia and nitrates and the river water

is not so badly polluted. If, however the amount of discharge is heavi

and the dissolved oxygen is sufficient, carbon is converted to methane and nitrogen compounds are

converted to amines which gives offensive odour of rotten fish decaying in 8 cesspool. The sulphur

compounds change into hydrogen sulphide which gives smell like that of rotten eggs and

phosphorous compounds produced give a wormy odour. Thus, sewage and other oxyge-

demanding wastes becomes water pollutants on two accounts.

(i) They give rise to compounds which have an extremely annoying odour. ■

(ii) They deplete the dissolved oxygen from water which is rundered harmful because water

deviod of dissolved oxygen cannot sustain aquatic life. It affects or even kill fish and other aquatic

living beings.

A body of water has been classified as polluted when concentration drops below the

level necessary for sustaining a normal biota for that water.

The primary cause of water deoxygenation has been the presence of jf substances

collectively called oxygen demanding wastes. These substances easily j broken down by bacterial

activity in the presence of oxygen. The dissolved oxygen has been consumed, by bacterial activity

and thus , this gives rise to depletion of dissolved oxygen..


Sewage and other oxygen demanding wastes have been classified as I water
pollutants because their degradation leads to oxygen depletion, which affects fish and other aquatic

life, because they cause annoying odours, they impair domestic and live stock water supplies by

affecting taste odours and they give rise to seum and solids that make water unfit for recreational


Although some inorgance substances occur in this category, most jj oxygen

demanding wastes are organic compound. Most compounds involved

type of pollution have carbon as their most abundant elements. One reaction they undergo, with

bacterial help, is the oxidation of carbon to C02.

c-o 2 -*co 2
An oxygen demanding wastes rapidly deplete the Do of water, it is

important to estimate the amount of these pollutants in a given body of wa ter . The

biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of water has been a quantity related to the amount

of wastes presents. ..

(ii) Disease causing agents ;

Water has been a potential carrier of pathogenic micro-organisms end can

endanger health and life. The pathogens more frequently transmitted through water have been

those responsible for infections of the intestinal tract (typhoid and

para -typhoid fevers dysentery and cholera) and those responsible for polio and
• ij infections hepatitis. Historically, the
prevention of water borne diseases was the primary

reasons for pollution control in H20,

Modern disinfection techniques have greatly reduced this danger. Thjs is not

true for some large parts of the world, where for ex, cholera epidemic are still common.

Waste water released from municipalities, anitoria, tanning and slaughtering

lambs and goats may be sources of bacteria and other micro-organisms, which are capable of

producing desease in men and animals includingJive stock.

''"here have been several types of human infections not all of which are

transmissible through water. Many of the diseases whose epedemics recurrently decimate

human populations got transmitted by water Ex cholera and typhoid.

Ex. of human infections :

A. . Animal infections that are of public health importance because they are [I
transmissible to man.

(i) Tetanus from horses and cattle transmitted by inoculation orcantact with animal ljj faces.

(ii) Bubonic plague from wild rodents by insect bite.

(iii) Anthrax from herbivorous animals by direct contanct.

(iv) Rabies from dogs, bats etc by bites.

(v) Bovine tuberoculosis from cattle through ingestion or air borne transmission.

(vi) ■ Jungle yellow fever from monkeys through mosquito bites.

(vii) Several types ofencephalitis from birds and fowl.

(viii) Trichinosis from swine through ingestion •\

B. Primarily human infections in which the infective agent has a certain period >f extrahuman

residence before transmission.

(i) Schistosomiasis ('Snain fever) from water from snaits.

(ii) Urban yellow fever from mosquitoes.

(iii) Hookworm from soil by skin penetration.

(iv) Malaria from Mosquitoes.

(v) Typhus from liee.

C. Infections that persist or multiply in the external environment, and are

transmissible from man to man.


(i) Cholera, typhoid fever, bacil'ary dysentery, poliomyelitis, and infectious hepatifi;
from water and food through ingestions.

(ii) Staphylococoal and streptococeal diseases from food, air and the proximate

environment through contact and inhalation.

(iii) Small pax from air, dust and proximate environment through inhalation

(iv) CoXsackie and ECHO virus diseases from H20 through ingestion.

(iii) Plant Nutrients :

Nutrients are an important4imiting factorin the growth of all plants with

all other factors equal, the rate and profuseness of plant growth are proportional, to

the amount of nutrient available . ________________________________ ------------- ...

Plant nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen ) enter fresh and marine |l

• I^i system and lead to or intensify eutrophication of these system-.These
nutrients tend

to accumulate in groundwater since it is out of the euphotec zone .As the ground

water moves laterally and reaches the surface waters , these materials add to the

nutrient levels already present.


The enrichment of water with nutrients is a naturally occuring biological

process called eutrophication . The term comes from two Greak words meaning "well nourished"

The enrichment leads to other slow processes collectively referee! to as. natural aging of lakes .In

some pollution articles the term eutrophication includes both nutrient enrichment and lake aging

processes .The steps kof eutrophication and aging have been to king place in the past and this is

as follows .

(i) Streams from a drainage basin gradually bring soil and nutrients to a newly.

- formed lake , increasing the fertility of the lake water.

(ii) The increased feitility loads to an accumulating growth of aquatic organ.sms both plant

and animal .

(iii) As living matter is increasing and organic deposites pile up on the bottom or the lake,it

becomes more shallow .warmer and richer in nutrients

(iv) Plants take root at the bottom and gradually occupy more andmore of the space |
Their remains accelerate the filling of the basin.

(v) T he lake gradually becomes a marsh and finally a field or forest as it it has been

overrun by vegetation.


Eutrophication is the process of feeding well-very well.(eutrophic comes from

Greak word eu=well, trophic=to feed)

When sewage and agricultural runoff water containing phosphates or other

nutrients enter natural water bodies , they cause over nutrition , leading to

eutrophication .

Eutrophication denotes the enrichment of lakes and reservoirs by input or

inorganic and organic nutrients (nitrate,phosphate,chloride etc) .Under natural |jj conditions

this may occurs very slowly ,often over a period of hundreds of years .Human activity is

generally responsible for rapid eutrophication as domestic waste, agricultural and land

drainage .organic waste from industries and their decomposition products reach the water

bodies The nutrient rich wastes induce productivity and composition of aquatic life .

In the sewage and agricultural runoff disposal high amounts of NPK

nutrients are present which supports the aquatic life .A lake'starts its life cycle as'

oligotrophic ie, a clear body of water with the introduction of nutrients through the land

runoff and growth and decay of a aquatic life, the lake collects a good amount of orga n ic

s ubs t anc es . Due to organic substances , eventually there is algal bloom and o th er

microorganisms, when the land becomes marsh and-debris. This state is eutrophic when

the lake is filled with sediments. Due to the group death ana decomposition of this

phyloplankton, the BOD becomes low and toxicity increases

and several pollutants release. These are health hazards to water living animals. The

penetration power of solar ray ceases inside the water and productivity of ecosystem is

hampered. It will turn to dry land

Eutrophication leads to increased growth of algal blooms and aquatic plants .The

eccess growth of algal blooms results in the death offish and other animals by interfering with

aeration , decreasing light intensity necessary for photosynthesis by other aquatic plants and

depleting the oxygen content through decay and respiration with the blooms .Some algal blooms

release toxic substance that kills fishes, domestic an.imals and birds and the water begin to shink.

Evidence of Eutrophication: ■s

Many parameters have been tested by investigators to deteci eutrophication. The

parameters of outrophication may be broadly placed under two groups i.e . indirect and direct.

The indirect parameter includes of total solid, calcium, sodium, potassium sulphate, phosphate,

nitrate etc. due to humal, industrial and agricultural waste waterwhich possibly stimulates biological

growth. The direct method-of evaluating eutrophication may be subdivided into qualitative and

quantitative type oh'gotrophic and eutrophic lakes.

Parameter Oligotrophia . Eutrophic I


Production (Plant and animals) Low High \>

15 .«
Variety Distrubution To great depths Trophogenic la yer
Diurnal migration Extensive Limited \l
If Ii
Water blooms Very rare Frequent Ii
Plant nutrient flux
Oxygen in lower layer
Absent •ii

Water quality for domestic use Good Poor Ifj

ill if!



Certain organisms aiso act as indicators of the onset of eutrophication

Oscillatoria rubeseens and few species of Anabaena indicate the arrival of eutrophic

conditions. Salmonid fishes serve as indicators of oligotrophic conditions of deep lakes and

their absence and the presence of other forms is considered as evidence of eutrophic conditions. .

measure of oxygen, biological productivity and nutrient level (nitrogen, j]

■ ' v l|
phosphorous and nitrogen-phosphorous ratio) can asses the degree of eutrophication j j

in lakes and reservoirs.

Measurements of biological productivity is the most direct way of jf

evaluating entrophication. dose monitoring of the nitrogen phosphorous ratios are If significant

in predicting biological productivity.

The water conturning nitrogen and phosphorous in ratios greater tahn Ij

15.1 will show nitrogen dependent productivities and water with the ratios less than I
'" ;l
15.1 will have phosphorous dependent productivities. Excess phosphorous in the latter
would stimulate the devlopment and growth of blue green algae. jj
The desirability of eutrophication depends on the purpose for which the II
lake or reservoir, is used and the degree of eutrophication j?

Control of Eutrophication :

Co ntr o l of entrophication is now given to s t o p or reverse the ! -i


eu tr op h ic at i on pr oc es s with a view to ensure supply of clean water for drinking, j I navigation

and other recreational purpose. The various measures suggested to control $ eutrophication

are as follows.

(I) Limited in p ut of nutrients through treatment of wastewater before being

discharged to water bodies.

(ii) Reduction in the amount of nutrient dissolved in water through stimulation of

bacterial multiplication which will lead to disruption of the algae food web

(iii) Harvesting and removal of algae blooms to check recycling of nutrients into the
water upon death and decomposition.
(iv) Removal of dissolved nutrients from water through physical, chemical and
biological.methods like precipitation, biological nitrification and denitrification, ion
exchange, electrolysis and reverse osmosis.

Effect of eutrophication :
Eutrophication has an adverse effect on fish as well. The aquatic plants
which bloom in lakes sink in autumn and winter and decay the next summer depleting
cxygen from the lower colder parts of the lake. The cold water fish require mors oxygen
fo r their growth. Due to shortage of dissolve oxygen the cold water fish lose oui warm
water fish which needless oxygen. Human, who prefer cold water fish are thus deprived

Plant nutrients (N and P)'occur in small amounts in natural water but their

concentration increases by activity of man

Nitrogen (N) Phosphorous (P)
Sewage : Population of 10 million 6000 15,000
Per capita generation 400 lit/day
River Water: discharge 500 m3/Sec
(approx. 15,000 c/s) 300 7
Subsurface seawater : 20 vols of
sea water mixing with each vol.
of river water 3000 900
Storm water run off 75 an (30 inch)
peryeararea. 6000 800

AS ---

of getting their choice fish.

Drinking water standards in India

(in mg/!itre except pH)

Parameter I.C.M.R standards W.H.O standards

Physical Permissive Excessive Permissive Excessive

Turbidity 5.0 25.0.

Taste & Odour Nothing Disagreeable

Colour (unit on Nothing Disagreeable

5.0 25.0





platinum cobalt scale)

PH ' 7 to 8.5 6 to 9.2 7 to 8.5" 6.5 tc
Total solids - 500 1500
Total hardness 3000 6000 -
AS caco 3 -' - - - h;
Calcium 75 200 ■m - Ii
Magnesium 50 150 50 150
Iron 0.3 1.0 0.3 1.0
Manganese 1.0 3.0 1,0 1.5
Zinc 5.0 15.0 5.0 • 15.0
Chloride 250 1,000 200 600
Phenolic 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002
as Phenol
Sulphate - - 500 1,000
Fluoride 1.2 2.0 0.5 1.0 to
Nitrates 20.0 50.0 20 50.0

h S!


^ers classified into A,B,C,D in India on the basis of Pollution

Mahanadi ~1| Classed as class c Rivers water

Brahmani 1 to be treated and disinfected prior

Baitarani I to use as drinking water

Subarnarekha J*

• Table -1

Chemicals of Health Significance in drinking water inorganic constituents

Guideline value Remarks

(mg/litre) 0.05 (P)8

Antimony 0.01B(P)
Arsenic For excess skin cancer risk of 6

0.7 * 10-4 NADC


Beryllium 0.3

Boron 0.003

Cadmium 0.05(P)

Chromium 2(P) ATod

Copper 0.07 Climatic conditions, volume of

Cyanide 1.5 water consumed & intake from

Fluoride other sources should

It is recognised that not ali

0.0' water will meet the guideline
Le a d
value immediately, mean while,

all other recommened

measures to reduce the total