Assessment of Groundwater Quality Status in Medawachchiya DS Division in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka

Rajapaksha P.R.S.H., M. Rajendran


Medawachchiya DS division in Anuradhapura district is a major agricultural area. Majority of people depend on groundwater for their domestic consumption and agricultural activities. Farmers apply excess amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in crop production and a number of CKDu patients are identified in this division. Hence, analysis of groundwater quality in this region is vital to ensure its suitability for various purposes. The present study aimed to assess the groundwater quality in Medawachchiya DS division. Groundwater samples at 25 locations were collected and analysed for major physio-chemical parameters. Water Quality Index (WQI) was estimated to assess the suitability of groundwater for drinking purpose. Results releveled that the quality of groundwater varies spatially in the study area. Groundwater near industrial and dumping sites was acidic. The Color and Turbidity of groundwater exceeded the permissible limit at Kadawathrambewa and Medawachchiya West. Groundwater at more than 50% of the sampling locations was very hard The TDS and Alkalinity levels exceeded the maximum permissible limit at 52% of the sampling locations. Fluoride content was above the acceptable limit at 20% of the sampling locations. The elevated level of Nitrate and Phosphate were observed in the farming areas. However, the Chloride level was within the acceptable limit. According to the estimated WQI, the quality of groundwater was excellent at 44% of the sampling locations. However, groundwater quality at Abayapura, Helabagaswewa, Walpola, and Wiralmurippuwa was very poor and the groundwater at Mahakubukgollewa was unsuitable for drinking purpose. Promoting the usage of organic manure in agriculture, monitoring the industrial wastewater discharge, and converting the open dumpsite to sanitary landfill would be viable options to reduce groundwater pollution in these areas.  


Groundwater pollution, WQI, Water quality

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