Chemical fertilisers polluting groundwater table in Sohna area of Gurugram: Survey
Groundwater contamination in rural areas under the Sohna Municipal Council (MC) has exceeded beyond the permissible limit, due to heavy use of chemical fertilisers by farmers in the area, revealed a recent report on integrated water resources management of Sohna division by GuruJal and the TERI School of Advanced Studies. GuruJal is an integrated water management initiative, which aims to address the issues of water scarcity, groundwater depletion, flooding and stagnation in the Gurugram district.
Of the samples collected from 10 different locations in Sohna, the quality of groundwater has depreciated in Ward 7, which is primarily a rural area. It includes Lakhuwas village under the Sohna MC. The alkalinity and hardness in the water in the area have exceeded to 640 mg/l and 620 mg/l against the permissible limit of 600mg/l. Similarly, the chloride level has increased to 1,060 mg/l, which should be less than 1,000mg/l, the dissolved solid level has increased to 2,903 mg/l against the limit of 2,000mg/l, and the fluoride level has increased to 1.6 mg/l against the permissible limit of 1 mg/l.
“The water sample collected from the bore wells in the area shows a high level of contamination. This is due to the leaching of chemical fertilisers into groundwater,” Fawzia Tarannum, assistant professor, department of regional water studies, TERI, who conducted the study, said.
Going by the study, currently, 23 villages in the Sohna MC area are fluoride-affected. According to Tarannum, certain contaminants, such as high fluoride levels, are geogenic, but the rest can be attributed to man-made activities in the region. She said, “While conducting the study, we found several youngsters complaining of joint pain or problems of kidney stones, which are due to the high level of fluoride and dissolved solids in water. Although compared to Mewat, the fluoride level is less in Sohna MC.”
For water sampling, the team selected four major sites within the block. It included urban and rural areas under Sohna MC, Gairatpur Bas, Ullahawas and Ghangola. It reviewed the current status of water projects in Sohna and mapped the qualitative and quantitative analysis of drinking water, surface water, groundwater, and wastewater.
The data collected from Sohna MC shows that 13% of the population is extracting water from private bore wells, 6% from public taps, 4% from public bore wells and 77% from the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) supply. “Before the 27 MLD water treatment plant, which became operational in 2016, the water in the area was sourced from bore wells installed in the PHED premises,” Tarannum said.
Residents are also dependent on Shiv Kund, a natural hot water spring in the area, for daily consumption. Shubhi Kesarwani, programme manager, GuruJal, said, “We noticed people drawing water from the kund through bore wells due to certain beliefs and practices. Despite the PHED supply, people are using this water for daily consumption, which is not suitable.”
HT contacted Pushpa Devi, municipal councillor, Ward 7, but she was unavailable for comment.