India is a vast country having diversified geological, climatological and topographical set-up giving rise to divergent groundwater situation.

The high relief areas of northern and north eastern regions occupied by Himalyan ranges, the hilly tracts of Rajasthan and Peninsular regions with steep topographic slope and characteristic geological set-up, offer high run-off and little scope for rain water infiltration. groundwater potential in these areas are limited to 'Intermountain Valleys'.

The large alluvial tract in Ganga-Brahmputra plains extending over 2000 km has extensively thick and hydraulically interconnected, moderate to high yielding aquifers. To the north of this tract all along the Himalyan foot hills and 'terai' belt down slope occur the linear belt with characteristics 'auto-flowing' conditions.

Entire peninsular India is occupied by hard rock formation with rugged topography and fissured nature of rocks. They give rise to discontinuous aquifers with limited to moderate yield potentials. In these areas the aquifer formations are limited to near-surface weathered mantle, abandoned river channels,

Coastal and deltaic tracts in the country form narrow linear strip around the peninsula. The eastern coastal, deltaic tracts and estuarial areas of Gujarat are receptacles of thick alluvial sediments. Though highly productive aquifers occur in these tracts, Salinity hazard impose quality constraints for groundwater development. In this terrain, groundwater abstraction requires to be regulated so as not to exceed annual recharge and also not to disturb hydro-chemical balance leading to sea water ingress.

Table 6: Ground Water Quality in problem Areas



Industrial Activities

Ground Water Quality Problem*


Dhanbad (Bihar)

Fertilizers, Chemicals, Coke plants, Cement explosive factory and Ancillary units

Low pH, whereas NO3, Al, Ca, TDS, TH ,Fe, Mn, Cr, Zn, Cu ,Hg & Cd, and also Pesticides exceeded standards


Digboi (Assam)

Oil Refinery

Fe and Mn exceeded standards



(West Bengal)

Coal fields, Power and Chemical units

Heavy metals except Cu exceeded standards . Hg was also reported as high as 9.5 mg/l. Phenolic compounds & CN were in traces. Total pesticides levels have exceeded standards



(West Bengal)

Foundries, Electroplating & other mechanical manufacturing units

Heavy metals viz. Pb, Cd, Cr, Fe & Mn were very high. EC, TH, Cl, TDS were some time very high Pesticides were also on high side CN & Phenolic compounds in traces.


Bolaram-Patancheru (AP)

Pesticide, Pharmaceuticals

Phosphates, Hg, As, Cd, Fe, Mn & Pb TDS, TH, Ca exceeded standards, Pesticides were also found to be present.


Greater Cochin (Kerala)

Fertilizer, Pesticides, Chemicals, Chlor ľalkali

Predominantly acidic. The presence of coliform of faecal origin was high.


North Arcot (TN)

Tanneries, dying units

Zn, Cu, Cr, Fe & Mn, total coliform exceeded standards at several locations.


Bhadravathi (Karnataka)

Steel, Paper Mills

Zn, Fe & Mn , Pesticides like Aldrin, Dieldrin, Lindane & DDT Pathogenic organisms reported to be high.


Ratlam-Nagda (MP)

Distillery , Dye (intermediates) Pharmaceutical (intermediates)

Colour, TDS, TH, Hg, Pb were on higher side , considerable amounts of Pesticides were also reported. Fecal Coliform were also present particularly at Nagda


Vapi (Gujarat)

Dyes, Pesticides, Paper & Pulp mills, organic & inorganic chemicals

Phenolic compounds, Cyanide & heavy metals were present within limit as per drinking standards.


Chembur (Maharashtra)

Petroleum, Refineries, Fertilizer & Petrochemical, Thermal Power Plant.

TDS, Alkativity, TH were higher, Heavy metals, Pesticides, phenolic compounds were present in concentrations, but not very significant. Coliform were on higher side.


Korba (MP)

Thermal Power Plants, Ancillary Units, Alluminium industries, Mining

The presence of Cd, Fe, Cr & Cu has exceeded standards , Pesticides were also present. Coliform , F, TDS, CN, B & phenolic compounds also exceeded the standards.


Singrauli (UP)

Thermal Power Plants, Alluminium Plant, Organic chemicals industries, Carbon Black plant, Caustic soda & pesticides.

Fe, Cr & Cu were present in predominance, Presence of high Aldrine, Dieldrin & Lindane levels were also observed. Beside this F, Ca, Mg, B, Coliform, Phenols exceeded standards .


Mandi Gobindgarh (Punjab)

Wooden, Chemicals, Electroplating units and other Steel metals units.

Pb, Cu, Cd exceeded standards , Phenolic compounds & Cyanide was also present on higher side.


Parwanoo (HP)

Ancillary , general industries, Fruit proceeding plant, pesticides.

Presence of Cd, Pb, Fe, Mn were observed on higher side. Traces of pesticides were also present. Phenolic exceeded standards .


Kala-Amb (HP)

Paper Mills

Phenolic compounds exceeded standards; Heavy metals like Cd, Pb & Mn and also pesticides are above limits


Pali (Rajasthan)

Textile, dyes

Colour, Lead, Zinc Fluoride TDS, Cl, Sn were in concentrates exceeding standards.



Textile, Steel, Engineering foundry, Chemicals, minerals dye plastic, oil, pulses and rubber.

Colour, Heavy metals such as Fe, Cr, Mn NO3 Na, TDS exceeded standards


Drain Basin Area, Najafgarh (Delhi)

Insecticides, Caustic Soda, Vanaspati, Electroplating etc.

EC, TDS Coliform, F, NO3, Fe & Cr both exceeded the drinking water standards.


Angul- Talcher


Thermal Power station, Fertilizers, chemicals, Mining activities & aluminum

Cr, Fe, Cd, Pb , F and NO3 were found in concentrates level exceeding standards


Manali ( TN)

Thermal Power Station, Fertilizer,

Petroleum Refining

High microbial contamination have been reported, Nitrates, Fluoride have exceeded standards



(Andhra Pradesh)

Zinc Smelting, Fertilizer, Petroleum Refining

Heavy Metal, Fluoride and Nitrates exceeded standards

* with reference to BIS standards for drinking water ; Source: Central Pollution Control Board