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Dr A P Singh
Associate Professor & Head
PG Department of Zoology
SGGS College, Chandigarh
(Panjab University, Chandigarh, India)
Water is primacy of life. It comprises part of
protoplasm, as medium for body fluids, creates
internal environment and conditions, and serve as
medium to live for aquatic organism.
All this it owes to various unique physical and
chemical properties
Earth as Blue or Water Planet: 73% of its surface covered
with water; of these 70 % oceans and 3 % are fresh water
Of total water available on earth, 94% salt water (in
seas, oceans) and 6% fresh water
Of total fresh water: 99% frozen (ice caps and glaciers)
or occurs deep underground and beyond human reach;
only 0.06% available to humans
Water is necessary for drinking; Plants need water for
survival; Aquatic organisms need it as medium to live
Water Cycle
Use of Water
Domestic Use: for drinking, washing,
bathing, flushing toilets, coolers, watering
lawns/potted plants, kitchen gardens
[ per capita consumption 10-20 litres per day;
wastage in domestic use; 20 % due to
leaking pipes and casual attitude]
Agricultural Use: irrigation of crops (account
for 90-97% of total use)
Industrial Use: For cooling or flushing out
industrial wastes; Generation of steam in
thermal power plants
In-stream Use: generation of electricity,
recreation, navigation, transportation and
disposal of wastes
Sources of Water
Precipitation: Rain, Snow, Dew,
Surface Waters: Rivers, Streams,
Canals, Tanks, Pools, Lakes
(Exclude Ice Caps Glaciers, Ground
Water, Oceans)
Oceans (Seas & Estuaries)
(account for more than 94 %
Ground Water (Aquifer)
Superficial Polluted
Safe Vs Wholesome Vs Potable
Safe water is one whose ingestion over
prolonged period of time by animals or humans
does not harm them. It should be free from
pathogens or parasites (or their harmful products
; not contaminated) or harmful chemicals (or
suspensions or factors ; not polluted)
Wholesome water is not only safe but also
acceptable (without disagreeable taste and
obnoxious smell)to consumers for use in
domestic purposes
Potable Water is wholesome and fit for supply to
consumer; it does not corrode pipes and tankers
Potable Water
Potable water is water is the one which
is fit for consumption by humans and
other animals. It is also called drinking
water, in a reference to its intended use.
Water may be naturally potable, as is
the case with pristine springs, or it may
need to be treated in order to be safe.
Term is used for the water which could
be supplied for drinking
97 % of Water of earth is undrinkable
Permissible Limits of Potable Water
Physical Parameters of Water
Colour Transparent
Odour Odourless
Taste Tasteless
Turbidity 5 10 Units
pH 6.5 to 8.5

Chemical Parameters of Water (mg/l)

BOD 3.0 Sulphate 200 - 400
DO 5-6 Fluoride 1.0 1.5
DS 600-1000 Cadmiu 0.01
Iron 0.1 Lead 0.1
Copper 0.05-2.0

Biological Parameters
Coliform 100/lt
Escherchia coli 1 5/lt
Addition of any Substance or Changing of
waters Physical and Chemical Characteristics
in any way: which interferes with its use for
legitimate purposes
Presence of natural impurities does not mean
water is polluted
Polluted water can be turbid, unpleasant, bad
smelling and may be unfit for drinking, bath
or washing, etc.
May serve as vehicle for many diseases
Polluted Vs
Contaminated water is one which is not
safe and contains pathogens or
parasites or their harmful products
which spread diseases
Polluted water is also not safe as it
contains unwanted substances
(suspensions, salts, heavy metals,
pesticides, fertilizers) or factors like
heat beyond permissible limit which can
cause harm to organisms, instruments
and equipments
Waste Water
Water which has been rendered
contaminated and polluted due to previous
use and as such is not reusable (has to be
treated before use or for recycling)
Community and industrial waste water carry
variety of loads and should not be released
as such into rivers, underground waters or
on to land; as can spread diseases, disorders
and destroy crops and equipments.
There is need to be treatment of waste water
before release into environment
Main Types of Sources of Water
Point Source Water Pollution: Localised
entry at particular point, e.g., industrial
discharge, dug pits, sewer drains.
Non-Point (Dispersed or Diffused)
Source Water Pollution. Entry of
pollutants through broad and
generalised area almost from all sides
into river or underground water
e.g., surface runoff from agricultural
area or urban areas to river
Major Sources of Water
Domestic Wastes
Urban Runoff
Agricultural Runoff
Industrial Waste Water & Effluents
[Major Water Polluting Industries: Leather, Pulp,
Paper, Textile, Chemicals and Food Processing]
Discharges from Fossil Fuel Plants
Discharges from Nuclear Power Plants
[Problem of Water Pollution is mainly due to
inadequate adoption of Effluent Treatment
(industries) and Sewage Treatment ]
Waterborne waste from domestic
and animal or food processing
Excreta, Paper, cloth, soap,
detergents, etc.
Decomposition by aerobes
develops BOD
Phosphates Cause
Growth of Pathogens on
Industrial Effluents
Wide variety of Inorganic and Organic
Breweries, tanneries, textile dyeing,
paper and pulp mills
Oils, grease, plastics, metal wastes,
suspended solids, phenols, toxins,
salts, dyes, cyanides, pesticides,
acids, heavy metals
Toxicity, Eutrophication, COD
Daily Discharges
Agricultural Discharges
Fertilisers, herbicides, Pesticides and other
agricultural Chemicals
Average use of fertilisers 16kg/ha (world
average 54kg/ha; Netherland 709kg/ha)
Nitrates cause methaemoglobinemia (nitrate
poisoning): Nitrates join Haemoglobin to form
methaemoglobin, which interferes with O2
transport capacity
0.8 % Methaemoglobin is normal; but at 10 %
causes methaemoglobinemia; at 20 %causes
headache and giddiness; above 60 %
unconciousness, stiffness and occular
problems and at 80 % causes death
25% pesticides are passed on to seas
Increase in concentration of persistent substance with
successive rise in trophic levels
Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Nickel and chlorinated
hydrocarbons like DDT, Endrin; Organophosphates,
Carbamate derivatives
Lipofilic nature
DDT known to effect reproduction of several animal
species through thinning (break on incubation)of egg
shells and abnormal functioning of sex hormones
Population of many birds has declined in several parts of
the world
Mrs Rachel Carson (1962) highlighted the plight of Pelican
Birds in Lousiana Sate of USA
Later DDT was banned in USA
In India, DDT was banned for agriculture in 1985
Phenomenon of nutrient enrichment of water
body making it highly productive
Nitrates and Phosphates from agricultural
fertilizers, Phosphates from Detergents and
organic nutrients from sewage and food
processing plants find their way into water bodies
to stimulate luxuriant growth of algae (algal
This cuts of sunlight and kill other plants growing
Decomposition of these plants and also algal
blooms deplete DO. This suffocates animals and
fishes to death
Minimata (Minamata) Disease
A crippling disease resulting from eating of animals
poisoned by dimethyl mercury (soluble and shows
biomagnification upto 1 million)
Seen first in Minamata town and Minimata Lake, 1952
Victim develops numbness of lips and limbs,
impairmenbt of touch, speech, hearing, vision;
diarrhoea, hemolysis, meningitis, leading to death

Itai Itai Disease

Ouch Ouch (English Translation of Japanese word)
Seen first Toyoma City of Japan in 1947
Bioaccumulation of Cadmium in Liver, kidneys and
Cadmium from Mines, Metal, Welding, Electroplating,
pesticides and phosphate industries
Characterised by Skeletal deformities and multiple
fractures due to osteoporosis
Testicular atrophy, cancer of liver and lungs
Major Categories of Water Pollutants
Untreated or Improperly Treated Human Wastes from
homes, offices, hospitals, clinics
Animal Wastes from farm houses, factories, tanneries
Oxygen Demanding Substances:
Inorganic and organic substances/Chemicals:
Reduce DO
Plant Nutrients Causing Eutrophication
Toxic Inorganic materials
Heavy Metals: Hg, Pb, Cd, Ni, Tin, from natural
mineral cycles, ore mining and processing
[Poisoning at Low concentration and bioaccumulation
in the body and biomagnification or
bioconcentration] [Minimata Disease: Mercury
Poisoning of fishes]
Non-metallic Salts: Soluble salts
from desert soils leach down and
poison ground water; produce
poison springs, evaporation
further concentrates the salts
Chlorine: formed naturally in
waters is toxic to biota
Mineral Acids: Acids due to acid
rains enter water and kill biota
and increase mineral load by
dissolution of rocks or bottom
Toxic Organics
Fuel Oils: surface runoff from roads,
petrol stations, automobile
workshops, oil wells, tankers
[reduce DO, cause fires, kill planktons,
fishes and birds (by clogging
respiratory surface]
Synthetic Chemicals: Pesticides,
chemicals used in manufacture of
pesticides, plastics, pigments,
[agricultural runoff, industrial
discharges; cause poisoning,
mutations, cancers, birth defects]
Thermal Pollution
Heat: water picks up heat when used as coolant;
[ hot water released from industries, thermal power
plants causes thermal pollution]
Reduction of DO: cause suffocation of fishes
Increased Metabolism: lead to depletion of bodys
food reserves
Effect Natural Reproductive Cycles: premature
hatching of fish eggs and mass death of young
Increased Susceptibility to Parasites and Diseases
Increased Solubility of toxic Chemicals
Thermal Shocks: due to sudden release or
withdrawal of hot water
Emergence of Heat tolerant species
Sudden Shutdown may lead to their disappearance
80 % requirement of water for industries is for
Ill Effects of Water
About 40% of Deaths worldwide
are caused by Water Pollution.
Water Borne Diseases like
Cholera, Malaria, Typhoid (during
the rainy season )
Aquatic life gets destroyed
Agriculture produce gets
Control of Water Pollution
(Adoption of Practices)
Appropriate Land Use
Careful Disposal of Industrial, Domestic
& Agricultural Wastes
Careful disposal of dead bodies
Washing of clothes on Ghats should be
Treatment of Industrial Effluents
Treatment of Sewage
Pre-cooling of Hot Water before
Why Water Treatment?
Making water fit for Public Use
Primary aim being prevention of
spread of diseases and
protection of public health
Removal of physical, chemical
and biological factors which can
harm health, equipment, and the
Treatment depends on quality of
available water and the
Raw Water Treatment
Sedimentatio Removal of Suspended materials by settling in standing
n water
Clarifier/Sedimentation Tank/Settling Tank
Coagulation Removal of colloidal particles (impart turbidity)escaping
or sedimentation
Precipitation Stir mixing with alum, ammonium sulphate
Precipitates removed by sedimentation
Filtration Passing through a layer or bed of porous granular material
like gravel, sand
Removal of suspended particulates, precipitates and
Most important for surface waters
Sedimentation, Coagulation and filtration together called Clarification
Disinfection Destruction of inactivation of pathogens
Safe & Potable
Chlorination Chlorine from Chlorine Tablets/Liquids/Bleaching Powder to
destroy pathogens
Ozonization Passing of Ozone to destroy germs
Exposure to UV Rays Kill germs
Water Removal of dissolved salts of Calcium & Magnesium
Softening (otherwise cause hardness) by precipitating them as
CaCO3 & Mg(OH)2; ; Lime Soda method and Ion Exchange
Method; passing of CO2 to precipitate Ca and maintain
Sewage Treatment
Stages of Treatment
Primary Treatment: Coarse and soild organic and
inorganic matter removed
Shredding and Churning
Passed through Screens
Screened material called Sludge
Settling Tank: Sediment removed
Remaining Sewage Water passed to Secondary Stage
Secondary Treatment:
Decomposition of Organic matter by
Trickling Filters : Thick Gravel Bed with Sewage Bacteria
& Fungus
Activated Sludge Method: Oxidation Tanks with Sludge of
Algae and Decomposers
Water Hyacinth Ponds: Oxidation Tanks with Water
Hyacinth which also pick up minerals (prevent
Chlorination: Clear waste water passed through chamber
Tertiary Treatment: Needed for recycling
Dissolved components removed
Precipitation: by mixture of alum, ferric
chloride and lime; Zirconium
Filtration: use of filters, sand beds to
remove precipitate
Aeration: Air blown to remove H2S and CO2
Purification: Reverse Osmosis and Ion
Exchange resins to remove dissolved
Yamuna The Open Sewer
Delhi treats the Yamuna like one giant toilet,
according to the Central Pollution Control
Boards recent report on pollution in the river
to the Supreme Court.
Untreated human waste from nearly 45% of
Delhis population flows directly into the river
as these homes are not connected to the
sewage network.
Another reason for the rise in the pollution of
the river in Delhi is that while the city
generates about 3,800 million litres per day
(mld) of waste water, its sewage treatment
plants have a capacity of 2,460 mld, of which
only 1,558 mld can actually be used. Thats
2,242 mld of untreated sewage discharged
through drains to the river, on top of all the
Yamuna The Open Sewer
The reasons are not a secreta spurt in
urban population over three decades,
poorly connected sewage treatment plants,
as well as a creaking, haphazard drainage
system that consists of 18 major drains.
There has been no shortage of action plans
to cleanse the river. None of them have
shown the slightest sign of working.
Ghat Pooja by Arvind Kejriwal was
performed to give tag of sacredness for
stopping pollution
Ganga: The Polluted
River Ganga (Ganges)along with its tributaries,
Bhagirathi and Gangotri is the largest river
basin of India.
Held sacred by Hindus;
Curves through different states after origin and
joining by tributries
Holy cities like Rishikesh, Hardwar, Varanasi
located on its banks
Once considered to have self-purifying capacity
But continuous and severe pollution has
rendered it polluted; and received a tag now
Polluted Purifier
Causes of Pollution of
Sewage discharge from 114 cities
Effluent discharge from Industries
Solid waste dumping on its banks
Runoff water from cities, towns, villages
Throwing of carcases of animals and infants
Burning of human dead on banks and immersion of
holy celebrations on banks to throw Prashad,
flowers and holy dip
Megaevent Organisation like Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh
Industrial Pollutants account for 20% and municipal
pollutants up to extent of 80%
90 % of pollution load of Ganga comes from UP alone
Water of Ganga is unfit for domestic, industrial and
agricultural use
Ganga Action Plan (GAP)
In view of pathetic state of Ganga an extensive
studies on Ganga and its tributaries were started by
GOI in 1981
1n 1984, PM Indira Gandhi directed the Union Govt to
draw an action plan to curb pollution problem
ravaging Ganga.
CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) drew up a 5
Year project.
In 1985, Central Ganga Authority was created to
frame a plan to prevent pollution.
1n 1986, GAP was formally launched and on its
completion, pollution load was expected to be
reduced by 75%.
It has significantly reduced pollution.
Main Objectives
Interception, diversion and treatment of domestic
[planned to handle 1,000 MT of sewage daily].
Conversion of Sewage into valuable energy source.
Development of River Ghats to reduce pollution through.
preventing entry of runoff from land.
Construction of community toilets.
Establishment of Electric Crematoria.
Modernisation of Solid Waste management System to
reduce load in Ganga.
Monitoring Industries so as to identify polluting units
and to force them to adopt effluent treatment means
before discharging them.
Success Story
GAP is a success story; but a lot is
In 1995, CGA reconstituted as
National River Authority and
another National River Action
Plan initiated to reduce pollution
load of Yamuna and Gomti along
with Ganga
Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act
1974 (Amended 1988)
Prevention & control of water pollution ; and
restoration and maintenance of
wholesomeness of water
Establishment of Central & State Pollution
Control Boards (CPCB & SPCB) and conferring
powers on them and functions under this act.
Applicable to states which suggested
parliament to pass it and subsequently
adopted it;
Applicable to all Union Territories
Definition of Pollution
1. Contamination of Water;
2. Alteration of Physical, chemical or biological
properties of water;
3.Discharge of any sewage or trade effluents or any
other liquid, gaseous or solid substance into water
(directly or indirectly), which is likely to :
a)create a nuisance, or
b)Render it harmful or injurious
I. to public health or safety or to domestic,
commercial, industrial, agricultural or other uses; or
II. To the life and health of Animals or plants or aquatic
.Establishment, functioning and Powers of CPCB &
.Prohibition of disposal of polluting matter into
stream or well
. Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act,
1977 (Amended 1991)