Evaluating Pollution Levels in an Industrial Wastewater Canal

Jim Crocker
2nd March, 2024

Evaluating Pollution Levels in an Industrial Wastewater Canal

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study in Punjab, India found Kala Sanghian drain water highly contaminated, unfit for use
  • High correlation between water temperature, dissolved solids, and oxygen levels indicates pollution
  • Analysis suggests human activities like waste disposal and industrial effluents degrade water quality
Industrial activities such as tannery, textile, and electroplating operations have long been known for their detrimental effects on the environment, particularly on water resources. The discharge of untreated effluents into water bodies not only compromises water quality but also poses serious threats to ecosystems and human health. A recent study by researchers from Lovely Professional University has taken a closer look at the impact of such industrial effluents on the Kala Sanghian drain in Jalandhar, Punjab, India[1]. The findings are concerning, highlighting an urgent need for sustainable management of industrial waste. The study involved analyzing 12 samples from four different sites along the Kala Sanghian drain, focusing on the physicochemical properties of the water during the dry season. The Water Quality Index (WQI), a tool used to summarize the overall water quality status, was found to exceed 100, which classifies the drain as highly contaminated and the water as unfit for any use, including irrigation and agricultural activities. This is particularly alarming, considering the importance of water in agriculture and the potential health risks to local populations. The researchers found a strong positive correlation between various water quality parameters. Total dissolved solids (TDS) and temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH, biological oxygen demand (BOD) and temperature, as well as BOD and TDS, all showed significant correlations. These relationships are indicative of the heavy pollution load the drain is bearing. High levels of TDS, for instance, can be a sign of various pollutants, including the heavy metals and chemicals from industrial processes[2]. The study also employed principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) to better understand the data. PCA revealed that one principal component accounted for over 89% of the variance and was heavily influenced by TDS, temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), and BOD. HCA grouped related water quality parameters into two clusters, emphasizing the impact of human activities, such as the use of agricultural chemicals, disposal of municipal waste, and industrial effluents, on water quality degradation. These findings resonate with earlier studies that have shown how heavy metals and other pollutants from industrial sources can cause significant harm to aquatic life and ecosystems[2]. Fish, for example, are particularly vulnerable to heavy metal toxicity, which can lead to severe physiological changes, including damage to major organs and disruption of hormonal and immunological systems. Moreover, the relationship between water pH and other physicochemical properties, as highlighted in another study[3], is complex and varies between confined groundwater systems and more variable surface water systems. This complexity is evident in the current study, where the interaction of various pollutants results in a highly contaminated water source. The contamination of water bodies by synthetic dyes from the textile industry further compounds the problem[4]. These dyes can increase the water's biochemical and chemical oxygen demand, disrupt the growth of aquatic plants, and enter the food chain, leading to potential toxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity. The Kala Sanghian drain's poor water quality is likely exacerbated by such pollutants, emphasizing the need for more effective wastewater treatment technologies. The study by the team at Lovely Professional University is a call to action for the sustainable management of industrial effluents. By highlighting the severely contaminated state of the Kala Sanghian drain, the research underscores the importance of implementing eco-friendly treatment solutions and stricter regulatory measures to protect water resources, ecosystems, and public health. The study not only adds to the existing body of knowledge on water pollution but also provides a data-driven basis for policymakers and industry stakeholders to devise and enforce strategies to mitigate the environmental impact of industrial activities.



Main Study

1) Physicochemical assessment of industrial effluents of Kala Sanghian drain, Punjab, India.

Published 29th February, 2024


Related Studies

2) Effects of heavy metals on fish physiology - A review.


3) Examining the dynamics of the relationship between water pH and other water quality parameters in ground and surface water systems.


4) A critical review on the treatment of dye-containing wastewater: Ecotoxicological and health concerns of textile dyes and possible remediation approaches for environmental safety.


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