Compliance report by Andhra Pradesh on the presence of arsenic and fluoride in the groundwater of the state, 29/03/2024

  • 29/03/2024

Compliance Report of Principal Secretary, Andhra Pradesh in OA NO 728 of 2023 (In re News item appearing in Hindustan dated 30.11.2023 titled Arsenic found in groundwater in 25 States, fluoride in 27 States Govt.).

The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has said that the groundwater sources in seven districts of Andhra Pradesh (Anantapur, East Godavari, Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool, Nellore and Prakasam) have arsenic levels greater than 0.01 mg/l. The maximum permissible limit of arsenic for drinking water purpose is 0.01mg/l at present.

The report by Andhra Pradesh said that the groundwater samples in which arsenic was found at the border levels of permissible limit of 0.01mg/l were collected from the National Hydrograph network monitoring stations and exploratory wells/dug wells (<11 meters below ground level) mainly in alluvium soils and not from the drinking water sources in the villages.

The arsenic concentration more than permissible limits in the districts is sporadic in nature and observed only in 23 water samples. The reasons for high arsenic content in these groundwater samples is not geogenic in nature but can mainly be attributed to application of phosphate fertilizers and pesticides and poor drainage conditions of soils. In all the samples analyzed in the drinking water sources in rural habitations of Andhra Pradesh, the concentration of arsenic remains within 0.01 mg/l - the permissible limit of BIS. This indicates that the situation is not alarming.

Further, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Andhra Pradesh is providing safe drinking water to all the arsenic affected rural habitations through single village schemes.

When it comes to fluoride, the groundwater sources in nineteen districts of the state have fluoride levels greater than 1.5mg/l. The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Andhra Pradesh is providing safe drinking water to the rural inhabitants affected by fluoride through single village/multi village schemes. The department has notified the groundwater sources in which the fluoride levels are more than the permissible limits as "Not fit for drinking purpose" with red paint and created awareness among the local public to use the water for other purposes and not for drinking.

Further, all the water supply sources in Andhra Pradesh were tested in the respective jurisdiction of water quality monitoring laboratories once a year for chemical parameters and twice in a year for bacteriological parameters(pre monsoon and post monsoon).

Note: The report of March 29, 2024 was uploaded to the NGT site, April 12, 2024.