Investigation of groundwater and soil quality near to a municipal waste disposal site in Silchar, Assam, India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Energy and Water Resources


Unscientific management of municipal solid waste is one of the direct sources of contamination in developing countries, such as India. The present investigation carried out during Oct–Dec 2019 attempts to assess the parameters, such as quality of groundwater and soil along three depths (0–5, 5–15 and 15–30 cm), in proximity to a dumping site in Silchar, a rapidly evolving city of North-East India. Standard protocols of soil and water quality assessments were carried out. The pH values of the surface soils were found to be slightly acidic. Decrease in acidity with increasing depth was observed in the study site. The relative abundance of the analyzed elements at all soil depths was Zn > Fe > Ni > Cu > Cr. Weak correlation between the concentration of Cu, Fe and Zn, and the bulk density of the soil highlighted the micronutrient status of the soil. The impact of the nearby dumpsite on trace element contamination is indicated by the ‘extremely contaminated’ status of the soils with respect to geo-accumulation index. Majority of the groundwater samples exhibited pH levels below the desired limits, making it unfit for consumption by local communities. While Fe, Cu and Ni levels in groundwater samples exceeded the guideline values, Cr and Zn concentrations were found to be within limits except one sample. Principal Component Analysis of the observed data was carried out to ascertain the predominant sources of contamination. The observations indicate the negative impacts of nearby dumpsite on environmental parameters, such as groundwater and soil quality, as highlighted in this research.

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Open Access, Bronze

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