Heavy Metal Pollution in Mining Regions – Case Study of Sonebhadra District
Mining activities as well as thermal power plant operations release a large number of heavy metals into the atmosphere in the form of dust, which reaches back to the earth surface as fallouts or washout again polluting aquatic/terrestrial ecosystems. Heavy Metals do not remain soluble in water, and therefore, reach the sediment where they become bound to various components of the sediments. This study is an attempt to assess the basic parameters and toxic heavy metals, including Fe, Hg, Zn, Mn, Ca, Cr As in surface water, groundwater, treated water, effluent water, and recirculated mine water in thermal power plant and villages adjacent to these areas. The analytical results of the water samples collected indicates high level of Hg, Cr, As in effluent and recirculated water compared to the effluent discharge standards. Cr was found higher than the permissible concentration for drinking purposes in surface water and treated water which poses a threat to humans and wildlife accessing this water for various purposes. On the other hand, Zn, As, Fe, Ca was within the permissible Indian standards for drinking water except for the ground water. The mean concentration of Cr in treated drinking water and surface water is above the critical limit raising concerns for humans and the ecosystem, while increased levels of Hg, Cr, As in effluent and recirculating water of thermal powerplant poses serious health concerns for the inhabitants nearby.