Groundwater Quality Characteristics of Kattampally and Biyyam Wetlands of Kerala, India

Harikumar PS, Nimmi N, Shiji M


Abstract: Groundwater is an essential component of our life-supporting system and its quality determination and management is of primary concern. The objective of the study is to assess the quality of groundwater samples collected from the Kattampally and Biyyam wetlands of Kerala. A total of 24 groundwater samples were collected from each wetland during pre-monsoon season and physico-chemical and bacteriological analysis were carried out. The percentage of samples having pH below 6.5 is 88% and 71% in Kattampally and Biyyam wetlands respectively. The bacteriological analysis revealed that 58% of samples from Biyyam wetland and 20% of the samples from Kattampally wetland were contaminated with Escherichia coli. No significant concentration of heavy metals was observed. Pearson Correlation Coefficients were calculated to identify the relationships among various water quality parameters. Water Quality Index of the samples were calculated to determine their suitability for drinking purpose. The results indicated that 71% of samples collected from Biyyam and 96% of samples collected from Kattampally wetland are excellent for human consumption. Only 4% of the samples were poor in the two wetlands. The outcome of the analysis proved that most of the groundwater samples were found to be suitable for drinking purpose and the rest of them can be used only after appropriate treatment methods. Spatial distribution maps of certain water quality parameters were plotted using GIS to identify the vulnerable sites. Evaluation of groundwater chemistry revealed that Ca-Na-Cl-HCO3 type (21%) in Biyyam wetland and Na-Ca-Cl (25%) and Na-Cl types (25%) in Kattampally wetland were predominant water types. Soluble Sodium Percent, Sodium Adsorption Ratio, Kelly’s Ratio and Magnesium Hazard were calculated to determine Irrigation Water Quality Status of the wetlands and interpreted that majority of the samples were suitable for irrigation purpose.




Key words: Water Quality Index; GIS; Pearson Correlation Coefficient; Groundwater chemistry; Irrigation water quality;


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