An Overview of Agricultural Pollutants and Organic Contaminants in Groundwater of India

  • Srimanti Dutta Gupta
  • Abhijit MukherjeeEmail author
  • Jayanta Bhattacharya
  • Animesh Bhattacharya
Part of the Springer Hydrogeology book series (SPRINGERHYDRO)


Major part of Indian population depends on groundwater for drinking purpose. Recent reports of detection of trace quantities of agricultural pollutants and organic contaminants in groundwater have raised serious public health concern. Organic contaminants can enter into groundwater system both through infiltration and through interaction of surface water and groundwater. In addition, problems also arise from the disposal of large amounts of manure and slurries from the increasing numbers of animal rearing units. A series of problems emerge gradually with the utilization of contaminated groundwater. Groundwater wells in Ganges basin which occasionally has very high level of organic contaminants require careful monitoring. The detection of a number of pesticides in groundwater in recent years has been made possible due to development of analytical methods capable of measuring concentrations in parts per billion (ppb) or even lower. It has been found that mostly two herbicides, Alachlor and Atrazine, and one insecticide, Malathion, are found in significant levels in groundwater of India. In lower Ganges basin, Malathion concentration is much higher than the permissible limit. Significant amount of nitrate and phosphate fertilizers has also been detected in groundwater systems of India. Research on pesticide and fertilizer contamination and their dissemination in groundwater system is being studied. Adverse effect of these contaminants on human health in India is yet to be established, but research on such fields is been undertaken by different scientific communities.


Groundwater Organic pollution Pesticides Chemical fertilizers Malathion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srimanti Dutta Gupta
    • 1
  • Abhijit Mukherjee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jayanta Bhattacharya
    • 1
    • 4
  • Animesh Bhattacharya
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)—KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)—KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Applied Policy Advisory to HydrogeosciencesIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Department of Mining EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  5. 5.Water Supply Sanitation OrganizationPublic Health Engineering DepartmentShuklalpurIndia

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