One of the highly polluted areas in India located at Ranipet occupies around 200 tanneries and other small scale chemical industries. Partially treated industrial effluents combined with sewage and other wastes discharged on the surface cause severe groundwater pollution in the industrial belt. This poses a problem of supply of safe drinking water in the rural parts of the country. A study was carried out to assess the groundwater pollution and identify major variables affecting the groundwater quality in Ranipet industrial area. Twenty five wells were monitored during pre- and post-monsoon in 2008 and analyzed for the major physico-chemical variables. The water quality variables such as total dissolved solids (TDS), Iron (Fe2+), Hexavalent Chromium (Cr6+), at most of the sampling locations exceeded the ISI and WHO guideline levels for drinking water. Multivariate statistical techniques such as factor analysis were applied to identify the major factors (variables) corresponding to the different source of variation in groundwater quality. The water quality of groundwater is influenced by both anthropogenic and chemical weathering. The most serious pollution threat to groundwater is from TDS, Cr6+ and Fe2+, which are associated with sewage and pollution of tannery waste. The study reveals that the groundwater quality changed due to anthropogenic and natural influences such as agricultural, natural weathering process.
Volume 129, 2020
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