Necessity of the Study The Government of India has emphasized the objective of safe water supply to the population and desired that Maharashtra State Government to undertake water quality assessment of all the ground water sources used for public water supply schemes. Recently, it was observed that in some of the development blocks of Yavatmal district, drinking water sources have excessive fluoride, iron, nitrate and salinity. The State government had taken the cognizance of the problem and an immediate action was taken for the corrective measures through water quality assessment of all the ground water sources for organised drinking water supply in the Yavatmal district. The water supply and Sanitation Department, Govt. of Maharashtra retained NEERI to carry out this work in February 2001.
Water samples were collected from 1844 villages and hamlets from 16 talukas of the district. An average of 200 water samples were received at NEERI every day and were analyzed on the same day for the parameters of health significance viz. fluoride, iron, brackishness, nitrate and arsenic. The source specific information for above parameters is generated that acts as a hand on information for the drinking water sources and may protect the people from further impairment of the health. The work is an important resource for decision makers, administrators, water supply engineers and health professionals in Yavatmal district for design and implementation of safe rural water supply schemes. The work may also crossover the boundaries of Maharashtra and may other States and developing Nations will be benefited in their endeavor to provide safe drinking water to their people. Map of Yavatmal District Map Showing Location of Yavatmal District In Maharashtra Objectives The main objective of the project was the assessment of water quality of identified sources for organised rural water supply.
The design and construction of which was supported with high degree of enthusiasm and encouragement right from inception. Senior officers of Government of Maharashtra had detailed discussion with Director and senior scientists of NEERI to undertake the assessment of water quality and aim, objectives and modalities were formulated jointly. Water Quality Analysis An average of 200 water samples was received at NEERI every day and was analysed on the same day. The first lot of water samples was received on February 12, 2001 and samples were delivered upto April 30, 2001. As planned the schedule time for analyzing 9389 water samples was 60 working days, however, the task was completed fairly within the target period in 48 working days. A team of 30 scientists had participated in water quality analysis. Results Water Quality Data The samples were collected from 9389 sources in 1840 villages of 16 talukas of Yavatmal district and pertained to the sources categories - hand pumps (3702), open dug wells (4739), regional piped water supply schemes (275) and other piped water supply schemes (673). Sources with concentrations more than the desirable limits of TDS, fluoride, iron and nitrate can be accepted for public water supply in absence of alternate sources provided the concentration of the above parameters are within the permissible limit, viz. TDS ≤ 2000 mg/L, fluoride ≤ 1.5 mg/L, iron ≤ 1.0 mg/L and nitrate ≤ 100 mg/L. There are 5730 sources under this category. Sources exceeding the permissible limit of all the four parameters, viz. TDS > 2000 mg/L, fluoride > 1.5 mg/L, iron > 1.0 mg/L and nitrate > 100 mg/L should be discarded as per BIS specifications as far as drinking water supply is concerned. There is only one such source in Yavatmal district.