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Publication Detail
Groundwater Quality beneath an Asian Megacity on a Delta: Kolkata's (Calcutta's) Disappearing Arsenic and Present Manganese
© 2018 American Chemical Society. Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, exploits groundwater for public water-supply. The groundwater has been reported to be widely polluted by arsenic (As). Analysis for As in 280 groundwaters from across Kolkata, failed to detect As concentrations > 10 μg/L from natural processes. Arsenic concentrations between 10 and 79 μg/L found in 14 of the 280 groundwaters are remnant from a pollution-plume emanating from a single factory site where Paris Green, an arsenical pesticide, was manufactured between 1965 and 1985. In 45% of groundwaters sampled, concentrations of Mn exceed 0.4 mg/L, a putative health guideline value for drinking water. Sporadic minor hazards are posed by Pb > 10 μg/L introduced into groundwater from well-fittings, from 4% of groundwaters with F concentrations between 0.75 and 1 mg/L, and the 14% of groundwaters containing more than 500 mg/L Na, concentrations that might contribute to excessive daily intake of Na. Compounding hazards from As, F, Mn, Na, and Pb, shows that 64% of public wells and 40% of municipal wells supply groundwater of suspect quality. Groundwaters comply with WHO Guideline Values for drinking water in terms of Cr, Cu, Co, NO 2 , NO 3 , Sb, Se, and U. Aesthetic guideline values for Fe, Mn, SO 4 , and Cl are exceeded for many groundwaters.
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