Water Quality Assessment of an Untreated Effluent Impacted Urban Stream: The Bharalu Tributary of the Brahmaputra River, India
Guwahati, the lone city on the bank of the entire midstream of the Brahmaputra River, is facing acute civic problem due to severe depletion of water quality of its natural water bodies. This work is an attempt towards water quality assessment of a relatively small tributary of the Brahmaputra called the Bharalu River flowing through the city that has been transformed today into a city drainage channel. By analyzing the key physical, chemical and biological parameters for samples drawn from different locations, an assessment of the dissolved load and pollution levels at different segments in the river was made. Locations where the contaminants exceeded the permissible limits during different seasons were identified by examining spatial and temporal variations. A GIS developed for the watershed with four layers of data was used for evaluating the influence of catchment land use characteristics. BOD, DO and total phosphorus were found to be the sensitive parameters that adversely affected the water quality of Bharalu. Relationship among different parameters revealed that the causes and sources of water quality degradation in the study area were due to catchments input, anthropogenic activities and poor waste management. Elevated levels of total phosphorus, BOD and depleted DO level in the downstream were used to develop an ANN model by taking total phosphorus and BOD as inputs and dissolved oxygen as output, which indicated that an ANN based predictive tool can be utilized for monitoring water quality in the future.
KeywordsBharalu Brahmaputra land use water quality ANN
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