Impact of Solid Waste on Ground Water in Varanasi City

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV2IS120114

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Impact of Solid Waste on Ground Water in Varanasi City

Pragya Singp, D. D. Maithani1, Virendra Kumar2

¹ Deptt. of Geography, H. N. B. (A Central University), Srinagar-Garhwal, Uttarakhand

2Remote Sensing Applications Centre-Uttar Pradesh Lucknow.


Varanasi city is a religious Indian City with having 1597051 population and the extent of solid waste generated from the City is estimated to be 0.400 (Generation Rate Kg/capita/day). The solid wastes generated in Varanasi city are majorly disposed of as land fill in low lying areas. There has been a serious concern about the possible contamination of ground water when the wastes are, thus, disposed. For the present study two land fill sites Aurangabad and Badi Gaibi were selected. The impact of urban solid waste disposal on ground water quality was investigated by obtaining two ground water samples from Aurangabad and Badi Gaibi landfill site. In the study reported here, environmental pollution impacts of a solid waste disposal site were investigated. Samples of groundwater from sites suspected to be affected by the dumpsite were analyzed for chemical, physical, including heavy metals.

Keywords: Solid waste; Groundwater; Remote Sensing & GIS ;


Presently most of the waste is disposed in low- lying areas without taking proper precautions. This has led to the breeding of rodents, flies and other domestic pests and also tends to pollute the surface as well as ground water. Hence, it is necessary to adopt sanitary land filling techniques so that such problems are avoided (Jeevan Rao, 1994f). Impact of solid waste on ground water in the city is mainly sourced from heaps of garbage. The solid and liquid wastes generated out of the household and industrial activities are dumped and released in uncontrolled sites. On an average, 661 million tons of solid waste in a day is produced in the city, but only 87% of which is collected for ultimate disposal, and the rest is left uncollected. This is primarily due to lack of effective labour strength and fleet of vehicles for collection, transportation and disposal. These wastes are disposed off in the low lying areas of the city where the tanks and ponds are located, which were once important sources of ground water recharge in the city.

In study area, ground water table dropped by

    1. m (7 feet) in 2006 from a level of 17.68 m (58 feet) in 2005. Report of the State Ground water Department states that the ground water in the city of Varanasi is depleting at a rate of 23 cm /a1 (Report of the Hindustan 2006). Lowering of ground water in the southern part is 9 times faster than the rest part of the city. (Mohan K., Srivastava A., et al., 2011)

      Objective of the Study

      • The main aim of this study is find out the impact of solid waste on ground water quality in the study area.

Study Area

Varanasi as a city is situated on the left bank of Ganga river in broad crescent shaped. The urban agglomeration of Varanasi city stretched between 82° 56E – 83° 03E and 25° 14N – 25° 23.5N. The

"Varanasi Urban Agglomeration" an agglomeration of seven urban sub-units covers an area of 112.26 km 2 . It is situated on the left part of the Ganga, where the latter forcer a gigantic bow. The north ward flow of river imparts religious significance to the place. A relatively higher concave bank in the form of levees from Assi nala in the south to Varuna in north provides a dry points location skirting the Ganga. Presently the city is expanding towards Sarnath the Ghazipur road in the north east, towards Shivpur along the Jaunpur road in the north west, towards BHU in the south west and towards Diesel Locomotive Work (DLW) in the south-west. Rapid growth of population over the last two decades has rendered the central part of the city over crowded and too congested. The City of Varanasi spreads over an area of

    1. sq km. According to census 2011 the total population of the city is 1597051. Location of the study area with land use /land cover map are shown in the fig.1.


      Location Map of the Study Area

      Location Map of the Study Area

      Material and Data used

      In order to fulfill the necessity of the study, following data were collected to perform objective of the study.

      • Topographical Data

Survey of India (SOI) topographical map 63O/2, 63O/3, 63O/4, 63K/14, 63K/15. 63K/16 are used for the base map study on the scale of 1:50000.

  • Primary data collection

  • Data used Collateral/ Ancillary data from various state/central Govt. departments.

  • Satellite Data


Satellite data of Indian Remote Sensing Satellite RESOURCE SAT-2/ (23.5m resolution) acquired in 2012 was used for the Preparation of base-layer- Road/Railway/Transport network and Landuse/Landcover map of the study area that was collected and produced in a digital format from UP-RSAC through Landuse and Urban Survey Division (GIS Section). The performance of Resource sat-2/ LISS-III is summarized in table-1.

Table-1: IRS-1C/1D LISS-III Performance Summary



Orbit/Cycle Visits / year


Semi major axis



817 km


98.69 deg



Number of Orbits/day


Orbit period

101.35 min


24 days

Distance between adjacent paths

117.5 km

Distance between successive ground tracks

2820 km

Ground trace velocity

6.65 km/sec

Equatorial crossing velocity

10:30 AM (At

Descending node)


23.5 m

Spectral Bands

B2, B3, B4 and B5


141 km


7 bits SWIR band has

10 bit quantization, selected 7 bits out of 10 bits will be transmitted by the data handling system

No. of gains



A simple methodology has been adopted in carrying out the study. Preparing the data is a primary requirement before undertaking image interpretation and subsequent analysis. Preparation of database is described hereunder: Satellite data which is available in a raster form needs to be geo-referenced to a map coordinate system so as to generate spatial information to be used subsequently in a GIS environment. The IRS P6 satellite LISS-III sensors having the resolution 23.5m simultaneous data has been used for the preparation of

base-layer Road/Railway/Transport network and Landuse/Landcover map using on screen digitization in Arc-GIS software version 10 on 1:24000 scale.

In order to know the impact of wastes on ground water quality, water samples from 2 sites (hand pumps) around garbage dumps were analyzed. At two sites (Aurangabad and Badi Gaibi), samples were taken in summer season and the results are listed in Table-28.The ground water from these two sites appears to be unremarkably affected by the solid wste dump in terms of chemical contents. The considered parameters analysis was done in the laboratory of the Remote Sensing Applications Centre, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.

Result and Discussion

As per findings (Table-2) of analysis of dumping Site-1 and Site-2, observation shows that except Hardness almost all parameter are within limit as per IS:10500, while due to dumping of wastes in both the sites only Hardness of ground water is majorly affected.

Table-2: Ground Water Quality

Paramete rs


Accept able limits (As per IS- 10500:2


Maximum Permissi- ble limits (As per

IS- 10500:201


Site- 1

Site- 2


Alkalinity( mg/l)





2. pH



6.5 8.5

No Relaxation

4.Total dissolved solid (TDS) (mg/l)





5.Sulphate( mg/l)





6. Hardness ( mg/l)





14. Nitrate( mg/l)




No Relaxation


It is concluded that solid waste is majorly affecting the hardness of ground water in both the waste disposal sites in the study area. This was observed mainly to be due to the indiscriminate dumping of wastes into the environment. This is a major threat to human population, especially those within the area. Consequently, it is therefore recommended that effective disposal mechanism of waste in Varanasi city, be introduced that would enhance sustainable development. In addition, a program of effective monitoring of water quality needs to be re- emphasized.


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