Analysis of water quality parameters of River Ganga during Maha Kumbha, Haridwar, India

Analysis of water quality parameters of River Ganga during Maha Kumbha, Haridwar, India

This study represents the summary of the water quality of River Ganga during mass bathing in Haridwar during Maha Kumbha of 2010 in terms of microbiological and molecular analysis. The sample was collected from River Ganga during Makar Sankranti to Shakh Poornima and assessed for fecal indicator bacteria Escherichia colt along with Standard Plate Count (SPC) to determine total bacterial load in the river. Of all the nine days of sample collection (mass bathing days) results on the main royal bath (Baisakhi) displayed maximum SPC (log 6.79 cfu ml(-1)) and most probable number (210 and 150 MPN 100 ml(-1) for total and fecal coli form, respectively). The water was extremely contaminated and not suitable for drinking on Somvati Amavasya, Maghi Poornima, Maha Shivratri and Baisakhi. The results clearly indicated that the mass bathing coupled with ritual activities performed by bathers was most probable cause of increased values of different parameters. The polymerase chain reaction analysis targeting malate dehydrogenase (mdh) gene proved to be more rapid and sensitive than classical culture techniques.

Authors: Naveen Arora, Sakshi Tewari, Sachin Singh

Published by the Journal of Environmental Biology