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Research Article
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Water Quality of Boalia Khal Tributary of Halda River by Weighted Arithmetic Index Method

Md. Safiqul Islam, M. A. Azadi , Munira Nasiruddin, Md. Saiful Islam
American Journal of Water Resources. 2021, 9(1), 15-22. DOI: 10.12691/ajwr-9-1-3
Received February 12, 2021; Revised March 18, 2021; Accepted March 26, 2021

Abstract

Water quality index is a helpful tool to understand the pollution level of any water body. Out of 16 tributaries in lower Halda, Boalia Khal (canal) is one of the important tributaries, well known for capture fishery and also for carrying local agricultural and urban discharges to the Halda River, a well-known spawning ground of Indian major carps. This study was undertaken to know the water quality status of Boalia Khal by weighted arithmetic index method. For knowing this status ten physicochemical parameters from three selected stations of the tributary were studied for two years period from January 2017 to December 2018, which ranged as: water temperature 24.84±2.96°C to 29.71±1.72°C, transparency 24.17±4.40cm to 36.89±5.67cm, Electrical Conductivity 86.39±33.86µS/cm to 161.11±11.52µS/cm, TDS 30±10mg/l to 70±10mg/l, pH 7.04±0.18 to 7.44±0.06, DO 3.91±0.81mg/l to 7.93±1.98mg/l, Calcium 5.03±2.00mg/l to 10.78±2.40mg/l, Total Hardness 23.83±9.1mg/l to 47.83±4.69mg/l, Total Alkalinity 34.89±15.93mg/l to 44.22 ±11.56mg/l and BOD5 1.23±0.83mg/l to 1.55±1.06mg/l. The Water Quality Index (51.72±4.36 to 54.68±7.11) classified the water of three stations as poor (Grade-C) during different seasons except in winter (47.36±1.17) (Grade-B). However, annually, overall water quality of Boalia Khal was poor (53.24±1.31) (Grade-C) and detected as unsuitable for drinking without treatment, but could be used for irrigation and fish culture. The condition of water quality in present study felt the necessity to adopt proper management policy and conservation efforts to protect the water of the tributary from further deterioration and hence to protect the River Halda. This study might help to grow awareness among the users and policy makers to save the Halda River by keeping well its source water like Boalia Khal and also other tributaries.

1. Introduction

Tidal River Halda is well known as a major natural breeding ground of Indian major carps in southeastern Bangladesh, source of water of which is a lot of hilly origin streams and tidal water itself. Many small to big streams originating from the nearby hills join the Halda River and act as source water of the river. As such out of 16 tributaries at lower Halda, Boalia Khal (downstream: 22°31´3.88"N; 91°50´18.71" E; to upstream: 22°35´51.11" N; 91°48´49.14" E) is one of the big tidal tributaries of Halda River. This tributary is important for local capture fisheries mainly fin and shell fishes and also carrying dumping materials of surrounding areas to the Halda river. Boalia Khal tributary is situated about 25 kilometer upstream of Halda mouth and originated from the hills of western parts of Hathazari Upazilla and after traversing in a zigzag fashion about for 15 km, it meets with the western side of Halda river (22°31´3.88" N; 91°50´18.71" E) about 200 yards north of Sarta Ghat bridge on Chattogram- Rangamati highway.

Local people use its water for different purposes including irrigation, bathing, fishing, washing utensils and discharging household wastes. It also receives agricultural, urban and poultry wastes throughout the year directly and also through ten canals at different points, namely Fatika Khal, Charia Khal, Char Jura, Baissa Jura, Konijje Khal, Seranger Jura, Gura Chora, Zillani Chora, Kabir Khal, and Noa Khal.

The water quality of a water body largely depends on the interactions of various physicochemical factors 1. Physicochemical characteristics of any water body should be well known before using its water for different domestic purposes and also for different management needs 2. With the passage of time, due to increasing number of communities, pressures upon water resources are increased and detection of abnormal changes in water quality conditions has also increased 3. Water quality index (WQI) is one of the most effective ways to inform the policy makers and environmentalists about status of water quality for taking protection measures. WQI is a tool for assessing water quality through the determination of physicochemical parameters of surface water. It can act as an indicator of water pollution because of natural inputs and anthropogenic activities 4. WQI is generally applied to compare the quality of different water bodies of a particular region which gives an idea to the users regarding the quality of water 5, 6. Water quality assessment is essential to prevent and control river pollution and to get reliable information on the quality of water for effective management 7.

There are five methods to detect the WQI, i.e. (1) US- National Sanitation Foundation Water Quality Index (NSFWQI), (2) Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Water Quality Index (CCMEWQI), (3) British Columbia Water Quality Index (BCWQI), (4) Oregon Water Quality Index (OWQI) and (5) Weighted Arithmetic Water Quality Index (WAWQI). In this study WAWQI is used to evaluate the quality of water because in this method multiple physicochemical parameters are integrated into a mathematical equation and effectively convert them into single value that indicates the overall status of quality of a water body.

In Bangladesh, some research works have been done on the WQI, such as Islam et al. 6 in Halda River, Islam et al. 5 in three ponds, Hossen et al. 8 in Karnafully River, Karim et al. 9 in Halda River and Karim et al. 10 in Karnafully River, but no research work has been done on the water quality of Boalia Khal Tributary or any other source waters of Halda River. The key purpose of this study is to assess the water quality of Boalia Khal by WQI, which is very important to know the source water status of Halda River, which will help to protect the Halda River from any pollutants falling to the Halda from its’ source water.

2. Materials and Methods

Study area: Out of 16 tributaries in lower Halda, Boalia Khal is one of the biggest tributaries of the River Halda. This canal is originated from the hills of western parts of Hathazari Upazilla and after traversing 15 km through the different villages of Hathazari Upazila it meets with the western side of Halda river about 200 yards north of Sarta Ghat bridge on Chattogram- Rangamati highway. It is subjected to organic pollution by domestic household, agricultural and poultry wastes. To evaluate overall water quality of Boalia Khal, three sampling stations from downstream to upstream were selected namely:

Station-1: at Chandgazi Bridge (22°31´3.88" N; 91°50´18.71" E). Here water depth is 5.64 m during high tide (HT) and 2.5 m during low tide (LT), canal width 34.63m during HT and 10m during LT. This station is near to Boalia Khal mouth. Bottom is muddy.

Station-2: at Loharpul Bridge (22°31´52.16" N; 91°49´50.33" E). Water depth is 3.96m during HT and 2m during LT, canal width 24.69m during HT and 8m during LT. Bottom is muddy.

Station-3: at Zillanibazar Bridge (22°32´38.04" N, 91°49´24.94" E). Water depth is 2.9 m during HT and 1.7m during low tide LT, width 30m during HT and 10 m during LT. Bottom is muddy.

2.1. Sample Collection and Analysis Procedure

Water samples were collected in 500 ml nine brown glass bottles from 20-50 cm depth of subsurface layer of water from each sampling stations at regular monthly intervals from January 2017 to December 2018 within 9-11 am to assess the water quality. Physicochemical parameters of water like temperature, Total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, Conductivity were measured in the field immediately after taking 200 ml of water in a beaker then dipping different digital meters in that water. Water temperature was assessed by a centigrade thermometer (Taylor Rochester, New York, USA), Electrical Conductivity (EC) by a digital meter (ATC meter AP-2, China), TDS by a digital TDS meter (Dist-2 digital, HANNA instruments, Italy), and pH by a digital pH meter (HANNA Instruments, Italy). Transparency was measured by dipping a 20 cm diameter Secchi disc in the water body. Water samples for Dissolved Oxygen (DO) was preserved in the field following APHA 11 and estimated in the laboratory within 4-6 hours of collection by Azide modification of Iodometric method and water for Biological Oxygen demand (BOD5) was taken in 500 ml black bottle and taken to the laboratory and was kept for 5 days in dark at 20°C and after that analyzed following APHA 11. Water for assessing Calcium (Ca+2), Total Alkalinity (TA) and Total Hardness (TH) were collected in three 500 ml glass bottles and taken to the Fisheries and Limnology laboratory of Department of Zoology, University of Chittagong and analysed within 4-6 hours of collection. Calcium was analysed by EDTA titrimetric method 11, TA of water was determined by using the standard sulfuric acid as a titrant and Bromocresol green as an indicator [11, 12 & 13] and TH by EDTA titrimetric method 11. Statistical analysis (correlation coefficient, significant level and standard deviation) was done following MS Excel version 2013.

2.2. Calculation of Water Quality Index (WQI):

WQI was calculated using the Weighted Arithmatic Water Quality Index method proposed by Horton 14 and developed by Brown et al. 15 and then Cude 16 in which water parameters are multiplied by a weighting factor. The WQI values were found out for above mentioned ten physicochemical parameters by using following equations:

(1)
(2)
(3)

Qn is the Quality rating for the nth water quality parameter’

‘Wn is the Unit weight for nth parameters, n= water quality parameters

Vn = estimated value of nth parameter at a given water sampling station

Sn = standard permissible value for nth parameter,

Vio = ideal value of nth parameter, (0 for all) except pH=7 and DO =14.6 mg/l 17.

Monthly obtained results are presented seasonally. Yearly twelve months are divided into four seasons, namely Pre-monsoon (February–April), Monsoon (May-July), Post-monsoon (August–October) and Winter (November- January).

Water Quality Index level and water quality status based on Weighted Arithmetic Index method was determined following Table 1.

3. Results and Discussion

Table 2 shows the seasonal ranges and mean values (with±SD) of different physicochemical parameters at three stations of Boalia Khal. Table 3 shows the unit weight (Wn) of different parameters and their standards used for WQI determination. Tables 4-6 show the seasonal WQI at three stations (S1-S3) during four seasons. Table 7 represents the WQI of Boalia Khal along with its water quality status (WQS). Table 8 shows the WQI of Boalia Khal during 2017 and 2018 and for two years combined. Figure 1 depicts the WQI at the three stations of Boalia Khal in pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons, whereas Figure 2 depicts overall WQI rating of Boalia Khal during the four seasons in two years study period from January 2017 to December 2018. Figures 3 and 4 depict the seasonal and yearly WQI of Boalia Khal.

3.1. Water Temperature

During two years study period from January 2017 to December 2018 in three stations, the water temperature varied from 27.57 to 28.12°C (27.81±2.29°C) in pre-monsoon, 29.70 to 29.72°C (29.71±1.72°C) in monsoon, 29.07 to 29.93°C (29.43±2.12°C) in post-monsoon and 24.58 to 25.23°C (24.84±2.96°C) in winter (Table 2). The lowest water temperature (24.84±2.96°C) was recorded in the winter while the highest (29.71±1.72°C) in the monsoon (Table 2). The results of the present study agreed with the findings of Islam et al. 6 and Patra and Azadi 19 in the Halda River, Islam 20 in the Halda and Karnaphuli Rivers, and Islam 21 in the Madari Khal and Halda River. The water temperature did not show much variation in all the seasons except winter.

3.2. Transparency (Seechi Disc Visibility)

Water transparency varied from 31.17 to 42.00 cm (36.89±5.67 cm), 29 to 31.33 cm (29.83±4.72 cm), 21.17 to 26.17 cm (24.17±4.40 cm) and 28.17 to 30.50cm (29.50±6.42cm) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The lowest water transparency (24.17±4.40cm) was recorded in the post-monsoon and the highest (36.89±5.67cm) in the pre-monsoon (Table 2). Lowest transparency in post monsoon might be due to the presence of high silt laden water, while highest transparency in pre-monsoon might be due the presence of less turbid materials in water. Almost similar results were recorded by Islam (2011) and Islam (2013) in the Halda River.

3.3. Electrical Conductivity (EC)

EC is the capacity of water to conduct electricity, sound and heat. It is an important physical parameter of water body which indicates the electrolyte and nutrient level of water. EC varied from 151.50 to 159.3 µS/cm (156.55±30.57 µS/cm) in pre-monsoon, 79.83 to 90.50 µS/cm (86.39±33.86 µS/cm) in monsoon, 92 to 93.17 µS/cm (92.50±15 µS/cm) in post-monsoon and 153.83 to 168 µS/cm (161.11±11.52 µS/cm) in winter (Table 2). The lowest EC (86.39±33.86 µS/cm) was observed in monsoon, while the highest in winter (161.11±11.52 µS/cm), which might be due to the dilution of electrolytes in water due to heavy runoff during monsoon and highest conductivity in winter was due to concentration of electrolytes due to no shower in winter. Similar results were also recorded by Azadi 22, Patra and Azadi 19, Islam 20 in the Halda River, Islam 21 in the Halda River and Madari Khal and Islam et al. 6 in the Halda River.

3.4. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

TDS varied from 70 to 70 mg/l (70±20 mg/l), 40 to 50 mg/l (40±20 mg/l), 30 to 40 mg/l (30±10 mg/l) and 60 to 70 mg/l (70±10 mg/l) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The results of the present study agreed with the findings of Islam 20 in the Karnafully River and Islam 21 in the Madari Khal.

3.5. pH

pH varied from 7.07 to 7.20 (7.12±0.13), 7.02 to 7.08 (7.04±0.18), 7.40 to 7.48 (7.44±0.06) and 7.28 to 7.55 (7.42±0.14) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The lowest pH (7.04±0.18) was recorded in the monsoon and highest (7.44±0.06) in the post-monsoon might be due to presence of high decomposed organic matter in monsoon and less in post monsoon. Similar result was recorded by Islam 20 and Islam 21 in the Halda River. The water of Boalia Khal was alkaline in nature.

3.6. Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

DO varied from 5.10 to 6.37 mg/l (5.66±2.07 mg/l) in pre-monsoon, 3.88 to 3.95mg/l (3.91±0.81mg/l) in monsoon, 3.70 to 4.90mg/l (4.38±0.81mg/l) in post-monsoon and 7.45 to 8.47 mg/l (7.93±1.98mg/l) in winter (Table 2). The lowest DO (3.91±0.81mg/l) was recorded in the monsoon and the highest (7.93±1.98 mg/l) was in the winter (Table 2). Cold water has the capacity to hold more oxygen which was observed in winter, and lowest oxygen in monsoon might be due to high temperature in monsoon and surrounding polluted organic runoff mixing with the river water. This agreed with the findings of Patra and Azadi 19, Islam 20 and Islam 21 in the Halda River. The DO ranges of the water body were suitable for fish as well as other aquatic lives.

3.7. Calcium (Ca2+)

In Boalia Khal Ca2+ varied from 8.42 to 10.42mg/l (9.44±2.66 mg/l), 4.68 to 5.48 mg/l (5.03±2.00 mg/l), 5.08 to 6.01 mg/l (5.39±1.11 mg/l) and 9.68 to 12.87 mg/l (10.78±2.40 mg/l) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The lowest Ca2+ (5.03±2.00 mg/l) was found in the monsoon and the highest (10.78±2.40 mg/l) in the winter (Table 2), which might be due to dilution and concentration factors during monsoon and winter respectively. This is more or less similar with the findings of Patra and Azadi 19 in the Halda, Islam 20 in the Karnafully River and Islam 21 in the Madari Khal.

3.8. Total Hardness (TH)

TH ranged from 39.83 to 43.67 mg/l (41.67±7.37 mg/l), 22 to 26.33 mg/l (23.83±9.10 mg/l), 26.83 to 29.83 mg/l (28.44±5.80 mg/l) and 42.33 to 53.17 mg/l (47.83±4.69 mg/l) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The lowest TH (23.83±9.10 mg/l) was recorded in the monsoon and the highest (47.83±4.69 mg/l) in the winter (Table 2), which indicated soft nature water of Boalia Khal 2. This agreed with the findings of Islam 20 in the Halda and Karnafully Rivers and Islam 21 in the Madari Khal.

3.9. Total Alkalinity (TA)

TA ranged from 44 to 44.50 mg/l (44.22±11.56 mg/l) in pre-monsoon, 33.17 to 36 mg/l (34.89±15.93 mg/l) in monsoon, 34.83 to 37.17 mg/l (35.72±7.03 mg/l) in post-monsoon and 34.33 to 35.50 mg/l (35.05±8.51 mg/l) in winter (Table 2). The lowest TA (34.89±15.93 mg/l) was recorded in the monsoon, while the highest (44.22±11.56 mg/l) in the pre-monsoon (Table 2). Similar result was also recorded by Islam 20 in the Karnafully River.

3.10. Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD5)

BOD5 ranged from 1.17 to 1.55 mg/l (1.39±1.09 mg/l), 1.05 to 1.40 mg/l (1.23±0.83 mg/l), 1.27 to 1.83 mg/l (1.51±0.81 mg/l) and 1.45 to 1.73 mg/l (1.55±1.06 mg/l) in the pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons respectively (Table 2). The lowest BOD5 (1.23±0.83 mg/l) was recorded in the monsoon and the highest (1.55±1.06 mg/l) in the winter (Table 2). More or less similar findings were recorded by Islam 21 in the Madari Khal and Halda River.

The values of all analysed physicochemical parameters of water were found within the permissible limit of BIS 24, ICMR 25 and Santhos and Singh 26.

3.11. Water Quality Index (WQI)

During two years study period from January 2017 to December 2018, in three sampling stations and four seasons, the WQI values ranged from 50.50 (Station-1) to 51.96 (Station-2) in pre-monsoon, 52.93 (Station-1) to 56.38 (Station-3) in monsoon, 56.92 (Station-1) to 63.60 (Station-3) in post-monsoon and 46.53 (Station-1) to 48.70 (Station-2) in winter (Figure 1, Table 4 - Table 7). The mean values of WQI for three sampling stations during different seasons were 51.44±0.82 in pre-monsoon, 54.62±1.73 in monsoon, 59.53±3.57 in post-monsoon and 47.36±1.17 in winter (Figure 3, Table 7). The overall mean values of WQI in different stations were recorded as 51.72±4.36 (Station-1), 53.32±3.97 (Station-2) and 54.68±7.11 (Station-3) (Figure 2, Table 7) and the mean value of WQI for three stations combined during 2017 and 2018 and two years combined (2017-2018) was found to be 52.59, 53.89 and 53.24 respectively (Figure 4, Tables 7-8). This result indicated that the water quality status of Boalia Khal was poor (C-grade) in all the seasons except winter (good condition, B-grade). Almost similar results were reported by Pathak et al. 27 in Bhagirathi River, Ranjith et al. 28 in the Tungabhadra River, and Bora and Gowsami 29 in the Kolong River.

WQI in the three studied stations were poor during all the seasons except winter due to dumping of organic matters i.e. poultry litters and Upazila level urban pollutants in to the Khal. Boalia Khal finally joined the Halda River, thus assisted to contaminate the River Halda, which was indicated by poor water quality round the year in the lower region of Halda 6.

4. Conclusion

From the two years study (January 2017-December 2018), it can be concluded that the water quality of Boalia Khal was poor at all the three stations and unfit for human drinking without treatment but can be used for other consumptions i.e. irrigation and industrial purposes. However, for keeping the Halda River pollution free, the spawning ground of major carps, its source water like Boalia Khal tributary and other Khals (canals) should be kept pollution free, for which dumping of poultry litters and urban pollutants through Fatika Khal and other canals should be stopped or treated before discharging to the Khal. Awareness program should be taken among the community peoples residing in the vicinity of Boalia Khal and Halda River to keep the Khal free from pollution, which finally will save the River Halda from contamination.

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Normal Style
Md. Safiqul Islam, M. A. Azadi, Munira Nasiruddin, Md. Saiful Islam. Water Quality of Boalia Khal Tributary of Halda River by Weighted Arithmetic Index Method. American Journal of Water Resources. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2021, pp 15-22. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajwr/9/1/3
MLA Style
Islam, Md. Safiqul, et al. "Water Quality of Boalia Khal Tributary of Halda River by Weighted Arithmetic Index Method." American Journal of Water Resources 9.1 (2021): 15-22.
APA Style
Islam, M. S. , Azadi, M. A. , Nasiruddin, M. , & Islam, M. S. (2021). Water Quality of Boalia Khal Tributary of Halda River by Weighted Arithmetic Index Method. American Journal of Water Resources, 9(1), 15-22.
Chicago Style
Islam, Md. Safiqul, M. A. Azadi, Munira Nasiruddin, and Md. Saiful Islam. "Water Quality of Boalia Khal Tributary of Halda River by Weighted Arithmetic Index Method." American Journal of Water Resources 9, no. 1 (2021): 15-22.
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[1]  Momtaz, H., Alam, AKMR, and Hoque, S. 2010. A comparative study of phytoplankton diversity in relation to water quality of migratory birds visiting and non-visiting wetlands of Savar. Bangladesh J Environ. Res., 8, 31-38.
In article      
 
[2]  Islam, M.S., Azadi, M.A., Nasiruddin, M. and Islam, M.S. 2020. Limnology of three ponds in Chittagong University campus, Bangladesh. American J. Environ. Engin., 10(2), 21-34.
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