Academic & Law Serials


Volume 19 (1), Jan-June, 2014, pp.1-15


V. S. Joji 1, P. Mohamed Rafeekh 2, M. Somasekharan Pillai 3 and M. A.Mohammed-Aslam 4
1 Scientist C, Rajiv Gandhi National Ground Water Training and Research Institute, Raipur - 492001, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Civil Engineering, Govt. Engineering College
Thrissur - 680009, Kerala, India
3 Department of Statistics, University College
Thiruvananthapuram - 695004, Kerala, India
4 Department of Geology, Govt. College, Kasaragod, Kerala, India


Multi-temporal and statistical analysis of the water chemistry of deep aquifers of Alapuzha district of southern Kerala, India was attempted. High-fluoride ground waters are present in the deeper aquifers of this area. The phreatic aquifer zone comprises weathered to partly weathered formations and that of the deep aquifer tertiary sedimentary formations and fractured crystalline formations at places. The country rocks are identified as the source of this high fluoride for deep aquifers. The water quality is analysed by the Piper diagram and the common ions noticed are Na+ and Cl-. Dental fluorosis is observed from many areas of the study. Since groundwater finds domestic use remedial measures including rainwater harvesting are needed in the area.

Key words: Hydrochemistry, Fluoride, Aquifer, Ground Water, Factor Analysis, Alapuzha


Alappuzha is a well developed coastal district of Kerala state, India, where groundwater caters the majority of the need for the domestic requirements. Situated in the southern Kerala, Alapuzha district is known for its tourist potential and a large network of inland canals make the sobriquet “Venice of the East” quite appropriate. Groundwater from deep aquifers has been the principal source of water supply. The poor quality of surface and shallow groundwater conditions compel the people to seek alternate sources to meet their drinking and domestic needs or succumb to the consequences of drinking contaminated water. The deeper aquifers have been relied for groundwater resources, which are exploited heavily in the district. Characterisation of the quality of deep aquifers is important for assessing the suitability of usages and saline ingress. Groundwater quality in Alapuzha district, southern Kerala, India has been studied with special reference to the fluoride contamination in deeper aquifers. Fluoride in groundwater has been observed, above the guideline values of WHO (World Health Organization), in numerous groundwater samples of the deeper aquifers from Cherthala, Kuttanad and Ambalapuzha taluks in Alapuzha district. Sources of fluoride in ground water are amphibole (hornblende), fluorapatite, fluorite and mica (Todd, 2005). Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table, and is found in the soil and the content of fluorine in the lithosphere varies between 100 and 1500 g/ton. The majority of fluorine found in nature is present in rocks, soils, waters, plants, other living organisms, slags and fluxes and depends on temperature, pH, solubility of fluorine bearing minerals and anion exchange capacity of aquifer materials (OH- for F- ) and the nature of geological formations drained by water and also the contact time of water with a particular formation. Fluoride concentrations above maximum permissible limit may cause mottling in the enamel of teeth, dental caries, dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis (Karanth, 1987). Dental caries are usually resulted if the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/l. Fluorosis is a disease affecting bones and teeth and is reported in areas where fluoride content in drinking water is in excess of 1 ppm and fluoride generally occurs less than 1 ppm in natural waters in most places and the fluoride content increases with depth (Rajagopal and Tobin, 1991). The fluoride contents have positive correlation with K+ and Na+, pH and EC, and negative correlation with Ca2+, Mg2+ and total hardness. The hydrochemical studies were carried out by Sen (1968), Handa (1975), Seyhan et al (1985), Razack and Dazy (1990), Malini et al (2003), Jeevanandam et al (2006), Olobaniyi and Owoyemi (2006) and many others. The present study on Hydrochemistry of deep aquifers of Coastal plains of Alapuzha district, southern Kerala, India is an attempt to understand the various parameters affecting water quality of deep aquifers using statistical techniques.

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