Fluoride in weathered rock aquifers of southern India: managed aquifer recharge for mitigation
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Brindha, Karthikeyan; Jagadeshan, G.; Kalpana, L.; Elango, L. 2016. Fluoride in weathered rock aquifers of southern India: managed aquifer recharge for mitigation. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(9):8302-8316. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-6069-7
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/76245
Climatic condition, geology, and geochemical processes in an area play a major role on groundwater quality. Impact of these on the fluoride content of groundwater was studied in three regions-part of Nalgonda district in Telangana, Pambar River basin, and Vaniyar River basin in Tamil Nadu, southern India, which experience semi-arid climate and are predominantly made of Precambrian rocks. High concentration of fluoride in groundwater above 4 mg/l was recorded. Human exposure dose for fluoride through groundwater was higher in Nalgonda than the other areas. With evaporation and rainfall being one of the major contributors for high fluoride apart from the weathering of fluoride rich minerals from rocks, the effect of increase in groundwater level on fluoride concentration was studied. This study reveals that groundwater in shallow environment of all three regions shows dilution effect due to rainfall recharge. Suitable managed aquifer recharge (MAR) methods can be adopted to dilute the fluoride rich groundwater in such regions which is explained with two case studies. However, in deep groundwater, increase in fluoride concentration with increase in groundwater level due to leaching of fluoride rich salts from the unsaturated zone was observed. Occurrence of fluoride above 1.5 mg/l was more in areas with deeper groundwater environment. Hence, practicing MAR in these regions will increase the fluoride content in groundwater and so physica or chemical treatment has to be adopted. This study brought out the fact that MAR cannot be practiced in all regions for dilution of ions in groundwater and that it is essential to analyze the fluctuation in groundwater level and the fluoride content before suggesting it as a suitable solution. Also, this study emphasizes that long-term monitoring of these factors is an important criterion for choosing the recharge areas.
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