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Journal of Research in Ecology

Journal of Research in Ecology

An International Scientific Research Journal

Original Research

Quality assessment of water samples from the river Tamiraparani: a physico-chemical parameter analysis Authors: Raghavan K and Ramesh U

Institution: Department of Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai - 625 021, Tamil Nadu, India.

Corresponding author: Raghavan K


Web Address: documents/EC0027.pdf

Journal of Research in Ecology An International Scientific Research Journal

ABSTRACT: Water is an essential natural resource on earth that plays a vital role in our life. Surface water and ground water are the major sources of water. Quality of the water samples collected from the Tamiraparani basin were analyzed for its physicochemical properties. The water samples were collected from the randomly selected 13 sampling stations. Water analysis for physico-chemical parameters such as temperature, pH, Total Dissolved solids (TDS), Electrical Conductivity (EC), salinity and turbidity were performed to ascertain its quality. Some sites showed significantly increased levels of Temperature (22-39°C), TDS (22.6-286 mg/L), EC (24.8-318 Οmhos/ cm), pH (6.8-8.5), Salinity (23.4-319 mg/L) and turbidity (1.02-3.45NTUs) than the standard IS 10500: 2012 limits. Keywords: Tamiraparani river, physicochemical characteristics, water quality

Article Citation: Raghavan K and Ramesh U Quality assessment of water samples from the river Tamiraparani: a physico-chemical parameter analysis. Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2): 115-120 Dates: Received: 15 January 2015 Accepted: 15 April 2015 Published: 14 June 2015

This article is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0), which gives permission for unrestricted use, non-commercial, distribution and reproduction in all medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

115-120 | JRE | 2015 | Vol 2 | No 2

Raghavan and Ramesh, 2015 cotton, sorghum, ragi, pulses and ginger are the other

INTRODUCTION Water is one of the abundantly available resource

crop varieties planted in the rain fed lands of

on earth. Tamiraparani river is a perennial river

Tamiraparani river basin. The present study was initiated

categorized as a major river of Southern India.

in order to assess the quality of water in the random sites

Tamiraparani river water is used for various agricultural,

of Tamiraparani river to study the effect of pollutants of


the river.





(Garrels et al., 1975), natural factors, such as rainfall, temperature, weathering of rocks and


activities that significantly alter the hydrochemistry of

MATERIALS AND METHODS Collection of water samples

the river water (Raj and Azeez, 2009).

Water samples were collected in one liter

Tamiraparani river basin is located at 8°30′ to 9°

capacity plastic bottles. Prior to the collection, the plastic

15′N and 77°10′ and 78°10′E. The main river originates

bottles were rinsed once with distilled water and thrice

on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats at an altitude

with the respective water sample. During collection, care

of 2,000 m above mean sea level, and runs for about 125

was taken to avoid the trapping of air within the bottle,

km in the hills and plains, where it drains an area of

by completely immersing the bottle with the respective


5,869 km (Ravichandran et al., 1996; Kumarasamy et

water sample, until the bottle is completely filled.

al., 2012). This river is being used, intensively, for agricultural





Samples were analyzed for various physico-


chemical parameters such as Temperature, pH, Electrical

Tuticorin districts. The irrigated land is supplied with

Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS),

48% of direct water irrigation (34,934 ha) and the other

Turbidity and Salinity, as per standard procedures

52 % is accomplished by indirect methods through

(APHA, 2006). The quality of water was assessed by

numerous tanks, which are available in the river basin

comparing each parameter with the standard desirable

(IWS, 1988) .The mainly planted crop varieties are

limit, as prescribed by BIS 10500: 2012.

paddy, banana, groundnut and coconut. Additionally, Table 1. List of sample collection sites and their

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION pH, salinity, turbidity, total dissolved solids,

geographic location Site ID S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7




Agasthiyar Falls Papanasam Kallidaikurichi Cheranmadevi Melapalayam Kokkirakulam Narayamaal-

08°42’15.2’’ 08°42’46.5’’ 08°41’36.3’’ 08°42’15.2’’ 08°42’54.9’’ 08°44’15.5’’ 08°45’25.3’’

77°21’49.0’’ 77°22’09.6’’ 77°27’48.8’’ 77°33’54.0’’ 77°41’56.5’’ 77°43’03.4’’ 77°44’20.7’’

S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13

puram Seevalaperi Vallanadu Srivaikundam Eral Athoor Punnakauyal

08°46’53.5’’ 08°42’57.5’’ 08°37’42.0’’ 08°37’08.6’’ 08°37’33.4’’ 08°38’28.7’’

77°48’35.9’’ 77°50’03.0’’ 77°54’36.6’’ 78°01’06.1’’ 78°04’04.1’’ 78°06’23.8’’


electrical conductivity were measured as per standard protocols. The results obtained are summarized below, Temperature Temperature was measured using thermometer. Temperature values varied between 24°C and 36°C, were found to be in accordance with the limits prescribed by IS 10500: 2012. pH Most of the waters analyzed were slightly acidic in nature. The pH values of water samples varied between 6.5 and 8.4 and were found to be in accordance with the limits prescribed by (BIS 10500: 2012). The highest pH 8.4 and lowest 6.8 are observed at locations Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2):115-120

Raghavan and Ramesh, 2015 Table 2. Standard values of parameters analyzed as per IS: 10500:2012 Parameters pH

other particles which affects the salinity. The water containing

more than 500 mg/L of TDS is not

IS: 10500

considered for drinking but in certain cases, 1500 mg/L

6.5 – 8.5

is allowed, but only, for domestic purposes (Rao et al.,

Electrical conductivity μmhos/cm

2000). The maximum value (286 mg/L) is recorded at







location S13 and the minimum value 22.6 mg/L is recorded at location S1. In some places (Site ID: S4, S12 and S13), the TDS levels were found to be higher due to


the increased turbidity levels .The higher TDS levels also

ISI - Indian Standard Institution

cause increased EC levels. The location S5 showed

S13 and S1 respectively which are concordant to the

sudden decreases (80.2 mg/L) in TDS and it may be

results of Mophin et al. (2010).

cation chemical compound mixed with industry effluent.

Electrical Conductivity (EC)

Observed TDS values varied from 22.6 mg/L to

Electrical conductivity is a measure of the

286 mg/L as per Krishna kumar et al. (2013). These

capacity of water to conduct electric current. It signifies

values were found to be higher than the prescribed limit

the total amount of dissolved salts in water (Dahiya et

given by (BIS 10500: 2012).

al., 1999). The observed EC values were in the range of


24.8 μmhos/cm to 318 μmhos/cm. The site S4 showed a

Turbidity is mainly influenced by the presence of

significant increase of EC. This could be due to the

colloidal and extremely fine dispersions (Mophin and

presence of the ionized form of the dissolved inorganic

Murugesan 2011). The maximum value 3.45 NTUs is

substances as per Kumarasamy et al. (2013).

recorded at location S5 and minimum value 1.02 NTUs is

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

recorded at location S1. The turbidity values varied

The levels of total dissolved solids indicate the

between 1.02 to 3.45 NTUs and were found to be in

presence of anion chemical compound and salts sodium,

accordance with the limits prescribed by BIS 10500:

potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, carbonates,


bicarbonates, chlorides, phosphates, organic maters and Table 3. Summary of the parameters analyzed in 13 different sampling stations Site ID

Temperature (°C)


EC (μmohs/cm)

TDS (mg/L)

Salinity (mg/L)

Turbidity (NTUs)

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13

22 24 25 27 27 29 30 30 31 32 34 34 35

6.8 6.9 7.1 7.5 7.7 7.6 7.6 7.8 7.9 8.0 8.1 8.3 8.4

24.8 34.1 75.4 210 118.4 117 124 156 175 189 220 256 318

22.6 23.5 53.5 157 80.2 104 116 137 159 170 196 249 286

23.4 22.1 40.1 121 56.8 82 105 127 167 170 196 249 319

1.02 1.06 1.04 1.87 3.45 2.10 1.76 1.79 1.56 1.93 2.09 2.15 2.39

Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2):115-120


Raghavan and Ramesh, 2015




4 3




2 1

70 0

S9 S1 0 S1 1 S1 2 S1 3





Figure 2. Measurement of turbidity using reflection

Figure 1. Measurement of salinity using electrode method

Electrical Conductivity

Total Dissolved Solids






ď ­ mohs/cm




S9 S1 0 S1 1 S1 2 S1 3
















S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9S10S11S12S13

0 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S1 0 S1 1 S1 2 S1 3


Figure 4. Measurement of TDS using electrode method

Figure 3. Measurement of EC using electrode method




The salinity levels range between 23.4 mg/L and 319 mg/L. The site S13 showed the highest salinity levels



due to its close vicinity to the coastal area of Bay of Bengal. The maximum value (319 mg/L) is recorded at


location S13 and minimum value 22.1 mg/L is recorded at 7

location S2. In other sites, the subsurface water was more saline than surface water. The salinity levels increased S9 S1 0 S1 1 S1 2 S1 3










Figure 5. Measurement of pH using digital pH meter 118

gradually from the original site of the river (Mophin and Murugesan 2011). It is also due to the influx of sea water into the river. High salinity levels could considerably affect the soluble oxygen levels of water. Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2):115-120

Raghavan and Ramesh, 2015

Figure 6. Sample collection site S1

Figure 7. Sample collection site S2

Figure 8. Field test on water quality at Site S4

Figure 9. Sample collection site S6

Based on this study, the pH, salinity, turbidity,

quality of water when compared to the


total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity in site S1

Therefore there is needed to initiate some remedial

was 6.8, 23.4, 1.02, 22.6, 24.8 and S13 8.4, 319, 2.39,

measures in polluted sites to reduce the pollutants

286, 318 was respectively. Interestingly, the turbidity of

causing decrease in water quality .

station S5 was 3.45 which is significantly higher than other stations. The significant variation from S1 to S13


may possibly be due to the pollutants which affects the quality of water.

This project was funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi.

CONCLUSION In this study, the entire Tamiraparani river water


was analyzed. Some sites water are found to be polluted

American Public Health Association (APHA). (1998).

by industrial and anthropogenic domestic utilization. The

Standard Methods of Examination of Water and Wastewater,

site S1 is found to have good quality and S13 has very low

20th American Public Health Association.

Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2):115-120


Raghavan and Ramesh, 2015 BIS. (2012). Indian Standard Specification for drinking water

Tosham subdivisions, Bhiwani district, Haryana. Journal of

IS 10500, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi (2012).

Environmental Pollution, 6(4):281.

Garrels RM Mackenzie, FT Hunt C. (1975). Chemical Cycle


and the Global Environment, William Kaufman, New York.

Physicochemical Analysis of Selected Groundwater Samples.


Indian Journal of Environmental Protection, 20(3):161.







Institute of Water Studies (IWS). (1988). Assessment of irrigation system management in the Tamiraparani river basin. Technical Report 120. Kumarasamy P, Govindaraj S, Vignesh S, Babu Rajendran R and James RA. (2012). Anthropogenic nexus on organochlorine pesticide pollution: a Tamiraparani




case study with



Monitoring and Assessment, 184(6):3861–3873 Kumarasamy P, Hans-One

Dahms, Huoung – Joo

Jean A and Rajendran R. (2013). Arthur James Irrigation water quality assessment—an example from the Tamiraparani river, Southern India. Krishna Kumar S, Karthikeyan N and Sashikkumar MC. (2013). Surface water quality monitoring for Tamiraparani river basin, Tamil Nadu using GIS. International Journal of Remote Sensing and Geoscience 2(3):22-29. Mophin – Kani and Murugasan AG. (2010). Determination of water quality deterioration using coliforms as pollution indicators at river Tamirabarani, Tamilnadu, India. Journal of Basic and Applied Biology, 4(1 and2):209-215 Mophin-Kani K and Murugesan AG. (2011). Evaluation and Classification







Tamirabarani through Aggregation of Water Quality Index. International Journal of Environmental Protection, 1(5):24-33. Raj N and Azeez PA. (2009). Spatial and temporal variation in surface water chemistry of a tropical river, the river Bharathapuzha, India. Current Science 96(2):245-251. Ravichandran S, Ramanibai R and Pundarikanthan NV (1996). Ecoregions for describing water quality patterns in Tamiraparani basin, South India. Journal of Hydrology, 178 (1and4):257–276. Sudhir Dahiya and Amarjeet Kaur. (1999). Physico

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Journal of Research in Ecology (2015) 2(2):115-120

Quality assessment of water samples from the river Tamiraparani: a physico-chemical parameter analys  

Water is an essential natural resource on earth that plays a vital role in our life. Surface water and ground water are the major sources of...

Quality assessment of water samples from the river Tamiraparani: a physico-chemical parameter analys  

Water is an essential natural resource on earth that plays a vital role in our life. Surface water and ground water are the major sources of...