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Associate Professor, Dept. of Zoology., K.L.E.Society’s R.L.Sc.Institute, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
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River Malaprabha is the one of the prominent rivers of Krishna basin. The total catchment area at Khanapur is about 520 sq km. River originates in the Western Ghat at Kanakumbi village. It flows towards east and confluence with river Krishna at Kudalasangam. The monitoring of water quality of Malaprabha river was carried out for one year from June 2011 to May 2012. Two sampling points were selected, one at upstream of Khanapur and another at downstream of Khanapur town. The collected water samples were analysed by following standard methods. Parameters such as pH, temperature, were measured at site. It is very clear that at the first site all the parameters were well below the permissible limits. But at down stream point chloride , BOD are above the permissible limits and DO in monsoon months were recorded less but within the permissible limits.


Malaprabha river, Khanapur upstream, Khanapur downstream Western ghat


In most of the developing countries surface waters have been the most available sources of water used for various purposes such as drinking, irrigation, fishing, domestic purpose such as washing cloths, washing domestic animals, vehicles and also for aesthetic activities. Quality of the water is getting vastly deteriorated due to unscientific waste disposal, improper water management and carelessness towards environment. Water quality is even more severe due to the dependence of modern economy on industrialization [1 ]. Anthropogenic influences as well as natural processes degrade surface waters and impair use for drinking, industrial, agricultural , recreation or other purposes. Drinking water contaminated with sewage leading to several water waterborne diseases such as cholera, paratyphoid, diarrhea etc. According to the World Commission on water for the 21st century, more than half of the world major rivers are so depleted and polluted that they endanger human health[ 2] . Providing drinking water is a challenging task, because of various reasons like poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness[ 3]. It is essential to monitor water quality of river or small water bodies regularly to protect biodiversity and cosystems. Thus, it is an attempt to study the water quality of river Malaprabha at upstream and downstream near Khanapur of Belgaum district.


River Malaprabha is the one of the prominent river of Krishna basin. The total catchment area at Khanapur is about 520 sq km. River originates in the Western Ghat at Kanakumbi village which is located between 150 42’ 20” North Latitude and 74,13’,9” East Longitude. It flows towards east and pass Khanapur town finally confluence with river Krishna at Kudalasangam. Study area located between 150 37’ 50” North Latitude and 74,30’,12” East Longitude .The monitoring of water quality of Malaprabha river was carried out for one year.
Sampling points were selected, Khanapur up stream ( S II) and down stream (S III). Water samples were collected during 7.30 to 9.00 am and this was uniformly maintained throughout the study period. Collected samples were brought to the laboratory for analysis following the procedures of standard methods APHA [ 4] and methods for water pollution studies by Trivedy and Goel [5 ]. Parameters such as pH, temperature, were measured at site and remaining parameters such as Dissolved oxygen, BOD, Conductivity, Total solids, Sodium Potassium Potassium, Total Hardness ,Calcium and Magnesium analyzed in the laboratory. Statistical application such as coefficient correlation was used.


Results are presented in Table -1and 2 and correlation coefficient is presented in Table 3, 4 And 5.
Temperature is an important physical parameter of the water body which regulates natural process within the environment and governs physiological functions in organisms [6] . At upstream site, temperature varied from 21oC to 30 oC. Highest temperature was recorded in April and May and lowest temperature was recorded in July and August. Temperature significantly correlated at 1% level with almost all parameters. At downstream , temperature is fluctuated from 22 oC to 30 oC . Minimum temperature recorded in June and July. Maximum values recorded in April and May.
pH is a valuable parameter which guided not only the acid alkaline balance of the water and also serves an important index for the degradation [1 ]. pH values in upstream site ranged between 7.2 and 8.23. Maximum values recorded in May and minimum values recorded in March. pH values are maximum in summer. Similar variation trend has been recorded in Kanhan river of Maharashtra [7 ] .
BOD is an important parameter to assess the pollution of surface water and ground water. In upstream site, values were varied from 0.46 mg/l ( Oct) to 1.86 mg/l ( May). It is correlated significantly with temperature, Ca, Chloride, EC, Mg, SO4, TDS, TH at 1% level and negatively correlated with DO, and Nitrate at 1% level. In downstream site BOD values shows higher than upstream site. Values fluctuate from 0.9 mg/l ( July) to 4.02 mg/l ( March). High values might be due to high rate of organic decomposition. Similar trends were observed in Coovam river [8 ] and in temple pond of Puri [9 ]. It is negatively correlated with DO and Nitrate and positively correlated with TDS, EC at 1% level.
Dissolved oxygen is essential for organisms to maintain their biological process [10]. Presence of oxygen in river is the result of photosynthesis by plants and by dissolution of oxygen from the atmosphere into the water. DO values in the upstream were ranged from 5.3 mg/l ( March) to 7.9 mg/l ( Oct).In down stream values were fluctuated from 5.5mg/l ( Dec) to 8.5 mg/l ( August). Low values of DO in down stream during March to May months are due to addition of sewage. Similar findings are recorded in Hamber estuary [11].
Total dissolved solids is an important parameter for drinking and irrigation purposes. In upstream, values were ranged between 88 mg/ ( July) and 320 mg/l ( May). In downstream values were ranged between 98 mg/l ( Oct) and 390 mg/l ( March) . Values were little higher than the upstream site, it is due to the mix of domestic sewage from the Khanapur town. Similar observations are recorded Rakasakoppa reservoir of Belgaum [12 ]. Values are below the permissible limits. High values beyond the permissible limits influence the taste, hardness and corrosive property of water.
Electrical conductivity is a measure of water capacity to conduct electric current, It is directly related to the concentration of salts. Most of the salts present in the water are in ionic form, are responsible to conduct electric current. In upstream values were ranged between 100 μMhos/cm to 490 μMhos/cm and in upstream it was 150 to 600 μMhos/cm. High values are due to sewage and other pollutants.
Chloride is a basic parameter of detecting pollution of water by sewage. The contribution of chloride in water may be due to animal waste. Chloride values in upstream site ranged between 18 mg/l and 108 mg/l. Higher values are observed in summer followed by monsoon. In downstream values ranges between 20 mg/l ( July) and 118 mg/l ( Feb). Chloride is correlated significantly with EC, K, TDS , Temp at 0.01 level and negatively correlated with nitrate at 1% level. Seasonally higher values observed in summer.
Sulphate ion is one of the important anions present in natural waters and produce cathartic effect on human beings when present in excessive limits. In the upstream site values of sulphate ranges between 7 and 34.4 mg/l. Maximum values recorded in summer and minimum values found in monsoon. Statistically SO4 is positively correlated with temperature, BOD, Ca, Chloride, EC, Mg. Sodium, TDS. and total hardness and sulphate are negatively correlated with DO and nitrate at 1% level. In downstream site values fluctuate between 12 and 60 mg/l. Seasonally similar trends were found as in upstream. Values in downstream are comparatively higher than the upstream but values recorded in both the sites are below the permissible limits. In both sites lower values are observed in monsoon, it is due to the dilution of river water. Similar observation was recorded in Aliyan reservoir of Coimbatore district [13].
In fresh waters sodium occurs through weathering of rocks. In upstream site sodium quantities varied between 8 and 22 mg/l with its summer maxima and winter minima. In downstream it varies 10 to 36 mg/l. Seasonally it shows same results as in upstream. High sodium value make unfit.
Potassium occurs in natural water in low quantity and behaves like sodium and plays a vital role in the metabolism of fresh water environments and considered to be important micronutrient. In upstream values are 1.0 to 3.1 mg/l and in downstream values ranged 3.1 and 3.1 mg/l. Seasonally values are maximum during summer in both the sites.
In general, hard water has known effect on human health but is unsuitable for domestic uses. Hard water that contains high levels of dissolved Ca, Mg and other mineral salts. Total hardness values in upstream were recorded from 28 to 118 mg/l and in downstream values were 38 to 130 mg/l. Values in upstream are relatively higher than that of downstream site, where it receives domestic wastes. Similar observation was recorded in Koushalya river in the submountaneous Shivalik region[14]and temple pond in Kerala [15] . Seasonally high values are recorded in summer and low in monsoon. The lower values of this parameter in both the sites during the course of study showed potable nature of water. The maximum permissible limit for drinking water standard is 500 mg/l.
Calcium is a major component of natural waters comes mainly from the rocks, seepage, drainage waste water etc [14].Calcium values in upstream are ranged between 8.4 and 30 mg/l and in downstream were 8.6 to 29.1. Seasonally calcium level in both the sites maximum in summer and minimum in monsoon. Magnesium cat ions required as an essential nutrient for plants as well as for animals. Mg values ranged between 1.21 and 11.66 in upstream site and in downstream site 3.4 to 13.85 mg/l were recorded. These values are well below the permissible limit for drinking purpose.
Main source of nitrate is the decomposition and biodegradation of organic matter. Nitrate in river water promotes high primary productivity and excess of nitrate in surface water is taken as a warning for algal bloom. In this study nitrate levels were quite lower varying from 1.86 to 4.4 mg/l in upstream and 1.47 to 6.4 mg/l in downstream. Values were increased in the downstream the pollution input gives a sufficient indication of the deteriorating quality of water due to entry of waste water in river. Similar findings have been reported in Narmada river at Hoshingabad city [16]. The concentration of nitrate in both sites are higher in monsoon.


The study revealed the values of different Physico-chemical conditions from 2 sites (upstream and down stream) of Malaprabha river at Khanapur town. Water is alkaline throughout the study period. All physic-chemical parameters are below the permissible limits, except BOD and Iron. It is quite evident from the findings that the river is receiving lot of domestic waste from residential colonies in the adjoining areas. Animal waste added continuously to the river by grazing animals. This is the time to bring awareness in the public about water quality. Comprehensive assessment of river is required to assess the water quality. It is also essential to introduction of less water consuming agricultural technologies and methods to mobilize people to take action and how to value water for equitable use for people and the environment. Prevent throwing floral offerings into the river. Local authority may establish a body to monitor the river .


Author is grateful to University Grants Commission, New-Delhi for awarding Major Research Project & Financial assistance. He is also thankful to the Principal and Zoology Staff , R.L.Science Institute, Belgaum for their continuous encouragement and co-operation throughout the study period.

Tables at a glance

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Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4


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