Assessment of Arsenic Removal Units in Arsenic-Prone Rural Area in Uttar Pradesh, India

  • Abhishek KumarEmail author
  • Malabika Biswas RoyEmail author
  • Pankaj Kumar Roy
  • John Mike Wallace
Original Contribution


To mitigate arsenic contamination in Uttar Pradesh, India, the state government installed 365 arsenic removal units (ARUs) in arsenic-prone areas of the Ballia District for last 10 years. Each unit was capable of serving approximately 200–300 households. The local communities were to assume responsibility for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the filters. A field survey was conducted to determine the outcome of the state government project based on a sample of 200 ARUs, very few of which are still functioning. It is shown that the project failed because the siting of the ARUs was less than optimal, many families living in villages with ARUs were denied access to or chose not to use the filtered water for socioeconomic reasons, and the ARUs were not properly maintained. Factors that contributed to the demise of the filters were the unavailability of filtration media and spare parts in local markets and a lack of participation of families in the communities responsible for maintaining the ARUs. The overall results conclude for operation and maintenance a constant monitoring is essential to sustain all installed ARUs at different locations. Also there is a training need assessment for the beneficiary group who run the individual unit through people’s participatory approach with optimum management related to hazardous sludge.


Arsenic filter Groundwater Performance assessment Social conflict 


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Copyright information

© The Institution of Engineers (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyWomen’s CollegeCalcuttaIndia
  3. 3.School of Water Resources EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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