Exposure and Health

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 27–41 | Cite as

Investigation of Groundwater Quality and Its Suitability for Drinking and Agricultural Use in the South Central Part of the Coastal Region in Bangladesh

  • M. Atikul Islam
  • Anwar Zahid
  • Md. Mostafizur RahmanEmail author
  • Md. Shazadur Rahman
  • M. J. Islam
  • Yeasmin Akter
  • Mashura Shammi
  • Md. Bodrud-Doza
  • Balaram Roy
Original Paper


To examine the groundwater quality a total of 120 groundwater samples were collected from two southern districts; Barguna (27 points) and Patuakali (33 points) of Bangladesh in two seasons viz., pre-monsoon (60 samples) and post-monsoon (60 samples) in 2012. A comprehensive analysis has been conducted to explore the groundwater hydrochemistry and effects of major ions on the suitability for potable water and agricultural uses. Geochemical analyses have clearly shown that the seasonal effect does change the order of abundance of major ions in the groundwater, while principal component analysis confirmed the reasons of extreme salinity and hardness. Piper diagram showed that the predominant hydrochemical facies for the groundwater were Na+-Cl-SO4 2− and Na+-K+-HCO3 types. The chloroalkaline index confirmed that the ion exchange was governed mainly in water phase. Equiline diagram explained the relationship among the alkali with total cations and anions where cations were more dominant than anions at 1:1 ratio. The Gibb’s diagram illustrated the chemical composition of water mainly influenced by precipitation from the water sources. The molar ratio Cl/Σanions and Na+/Na++Cl indicated that the groundwater of the study area was affected by seawater intrusion. In addition to unsuitable salinity (>5000 µs/cm), Kelly’s ratio, total hardness, sodium absorption ratio, residual Sodium carbonate, and Na  % clearly indicated that the groundwater in the study area were not suitable for drinking, irrigation, and domestic uses. Moreover, the spatial distribution maps were drawn to observe the spatial extent of EC, TDS, SAR, and SSP using IDW technique. Thus, considering all the above findings this area needs special attention to ensure the supply of potable water and to maintain sustainable agricultural activities.


Salinity hazard Piper diagram Principal component analysis Chloroalkaline index (CAI) Irrigation Sodium absorption ration Hardness 



This work has been supported by the project entitled “Establishment of monitoring network and mathematical model study to assess salinity intrusion in groundwater in the coastal area of Bangladesh due to climate change” implemented by Bangladesh Water Development Board and sponsored by Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund, Ministry of Environment and Forest. The authors would like to thank BCSIR laboratory officials for their cordial support and very special thanks to Ms. SharminShishir for her constructive support and also thankful to project support team members.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

This is an original manuscript that has not been submitted elsewhere for publication. All authors have read the manuscript and agreed that the work is ready for submission to the journal with no conflict of interests. The author Md. Mostafizur Rahman will represent for all correspondence.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryHajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology UniversityDinajpurBangladesh
  2. 2.Groundwater HydrologyBangladesh Water Development BoardDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural ChemistryHajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology UniversityDinajpurBangladesh
  5. 5.Department of ChemistryUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  6. 6.Department of Environmental Pollution and Process Control, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  7. 7.Department of Environmental SciencesJahangirnagar UniversityDhakaBangladesh

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