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Assessment of Arsenic Contamination in Deep Groundwater Resources of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.310013    2,894 Downloads   3,520 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT


This study was carried out to assess arsenic in deep groundwater resources in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal and to predict arsenic mobilization process in relation to iron, manganese, pH and ORP. Forty-one deep groundwater samples were collected during pre monsoon and post monsoon in 2013. The depths of the wells were ranged from 84 to 304 m. In pre monsoon and post monsoon, arsenic concentration in 17% and 26% of examined groundwater wells, respectively exceeded permissible World Health Organization (WHO) guideline value of 0.010 mg/L for drinking water. The concentrations of arsenic were in the range between < 0.003 to 0.137 mg/L. The study demonstrated elevated concentrations of iron and manganese in the groundwater. Arsenic is highly correlated with iron and manganese. The strong negative correlation between arsenic and ORP indicates that arsenic mobilization occurs under reducing condition. These distinct relationships indicate that arsenic release is considered to be affected by the reductive dissolution of Fe/Mn oxides in the groundwater. Arsenic has very weak negative correlation with pH suggesting less effect of pH on arsenic mobilization. Arsenic is not significantly correlated with the season which infers similar distribution of arsenic in both seasons. Arsenic varies spatially in groundwater of the valley showing high concentrations in central groundwater district.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Shrestha, S. , Rijal, K. and Pokhrel, M. (2015) Assessment of Arsenic Contamination in Deep Groundwater Resources of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 79-89. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.310013.

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