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GLOBAL ENGINEERS & TECHNOLOGISTS REVIEW

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WATER QUALITY INDEX OF WATER BODIES ALONG


FARIDPUR-BARISAL ROAD IN BANGLADESH
RUMMAN MOWLA CHOWDHURY1, SARDAR YAFEE MUNTASIR2 and M. MONOWAR HOSSAIN3
1, 3

Institute of Water Modelling


Dhaka, BANGLADESH
1
rmc@iwmbd.org

Department of Civil Engineering


Stamford University Bangladesh
51, Siddeswari Road, Dhaka 1217, BANGLADESH
2
yafeebd@yahoo.com
3

Department of Water Resources Engineering


Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Dhaka-1000, BANGLADESH
3
mnh@iwmbd.org
ABSTRACT
Water quality parameters of 34 different water stations along the Faridpur-Barishal road in
Bangladesh were collected to determine water quality index (WQI). Six most important parameters pH, total dissolved solids, dissolves oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, electrical conductivity and
temperature difference were considered for WQI. The WQI was assessed using a weighted arithmetic
index method and National Sanitation Foundation method. According to the arithmetic mean
method WQI values vary between 19 and 96, wherein NSF Method WQI values vary between 55
and 91. In weighted arithmetic index method highest favourable value gives a low statistical value to
the index whereas lowest favourable value gives a low statistical value to the index in NSF method.
The values of the WQI showed that the water of the maximum stations are poor and very poor in
condition, few of them can be referred to as good, and among all water stations only one of the
stations Id(p-7) contains excellent water quality parameter for human consumption and other uses.
The results revealed that although WQI of most of the water bodies are beyond acceptable limit but
could be used for domestic and household purpose after purification.
Keywords: Water Quality Index, Pre-Monsoon, Dissolved Oxygen, Biochemical Oxygen Demand,
Total Dissolved Solids.

1.0

INTRODUCTION

Water is a unique resource because it is essential for all life and it constantly cycles between the land and the
atmosphere. The same water that is used for crop and animal production can also be shared with the public and
the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (Cooper et al., 1998). Water resources are of great environmental issues
and studied by a wide range of specialists including hydrologists, engineers, ecologists, geologists and geo
morphologists (Kumar and Dua, 2009). It has become an important issue for them as it affects not only human
uses but also plant and animal life.
For healthy living, potable safe water is absolutely essential. It is a basic need of all human being to get the
adequate supply of safe and fresh drinking water. One of the most effective ways to communicate water quality
is Water Quality Index (WQI), where the water quality is assessed on the basis of calculated water quality
indices. Quality of water is defined in terms of its physical, chemical, and biological parameters. However, the
quality is difficult to evaluate from a large number of samples, each containing concentrations for many
parameters (Almeida, 2007). Horton (1965) proposed the first WQI, a great deal of consideration has been given
to the development of index methods. A water quality index provides a single number that expresses overall
water quality at a certain location on several water quality parameters and turns complex water quality data
into information that is understandable and useable by the general people. WQI is a mathematical instrument
used to transform large quantities of water quality data into a single number which represents the water quality
level while eliminating the subjective assessments of water quality and biases of individual water quality
experts. Basically a WQI attempts to provide a mechanism for presenting a cumulatively derived, numerical
expression defining a certain level of water quality (Miller et al., 1986). Comparison can be made through the
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G.L.O.B.A.L E.N.G.I.N.E.E.R.S. .& . .T.E.C.H.N.O.L.O.G.I.S.T.S R.E.V.I.E.W

Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.3

(2012)

WQI among the water bodies and a general analysis of water quality on different levels can be made. A water
quality index is a means to summarize large amounts of water quality data into simple terms (e.g., poor, good
etc.) for reporting to management and the public in a consistent manner.
Importance of water bodies along the roadside is evident in terms of water quality, biodiversity
conservation and use for aquaculture, as maximum of the water bodies of Bangladesh are expected to be
productive. So utilization of the existing resources is very much vital. In the way to improving the condition of
these water resources, its proper management is very much necessary and for doing this all information on the
resources namely physico-graphic, chemical and biological characteristic of these water resources must be
collected. The objective of this paper is to determine the WQI of 34 water bodies along Faridpur-Barishal road.
Drinking water contamination and variation of drinking water quality in pre-monsoon is the basis of calculated
values of WQI as concentrations of different water quality parameters tend to be at its worse condition during
pre-monsoon season. Based on the WQI an assessment was made whether these water bodies are acceptable for
domestic use and even for drinking purpose. Local people living along this road are completely dependent on
these water bodies as there is no proper water supply made to meet their needs. For this reason, this analysis is
extremely necessary so that people living in these areas can mark out the best water source available. Also if
they need more water badly they can also determine which water bodies can used after proper treatment is
done. Similar type of studies have been done in India by Chauhan and Singh, (2010), where WQI values were
determined in several stations along Ganges River so that quality of water can be seen along the river. Also
several studies have been performed to determine water qualities along streams (Abraho et al., 2010) where
effluents come from industries. But this study has its individual significance as WQI values of 34 stations were
taken along a roads length of a specific region in Bangladesh. Although in some places a confined research may
be done like determining WQI of local ponds, but along roadside water bodies this type of study is not available.

2.0

STUDY AREA AND METHODOLOGY

The present study was conducted along the priority road which is of 128 km in length, touching 4 districts
namely - Barishal, Madaripur, Gopalngonj and Faridpur. The parameters - water temperature, pH, dissolved
oxygen, total dissolved solids (TDS) and electrical conductivity (EC) of 34 different locations along FaridpurBarishal road during pre monsoon (March until April in 2011) was collected and analyzed immediately at the
sampling site using standard equipment. The study area is shown on a satellite image with 34 sampling stations
in Figure 1. Sampling stations were numbered arbitrarily for convenience of records. Sampling date, place and
time were recorded on the sampling bottles. For BOD measurement, a 500ml bottle was used for collection of
water samples and the oxygen was fixed at the sampling site before being carried to the laboratory for further
analysis.

Figure 1: Index map of study area

The examination and analysis of the water bodies including laboratory analysis was done as per the
standard methods of USEPA, (2004) and (Trivedi and Goel, 1986). The calculation of WQI was made using
weighted arithmetic index method (Brown et al., 1972) and National Sanitation Foundation method. Finally
assessment of surface water quality based on water quality index was done. Table 1 shows the details of analysis
methods and necessary equipments used in the study.

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Table 1: Details of physic-chemical parameters, analysis methods and the equipments


Serial Number
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

3.0

Temperature
Temperature
Salinity
pH
Transparency
Dissolved Oxygen
BOD
Conductivity
TDS

Methodology
Visible
Visible
Visible
Visible
Visible
Laboratory
Visible
Visible

Equipments
Centigrade Thermometer
Sensaso-CL 410,HACH,USA
Sensaso-CL 410,HACH,USA
Secchi Disk
Dissolved Oxygen Meter, (Model-YK22 DO),USA
Dissolved Oxygen Meter, (Model-YK22 DO),USA
Conductivity Meter, (Model-CD4302,USA)
Sensaso-CL 410,HACH,USA

WQI COMPUTATION EQUATIONS

The calculation of WQI, selection of parameters has great value. The water quality index will widen if too many
parameters are used. Importance of various parameters depends on the intended use of water. Four parameters
which is pH, TDS, T, DO were used to calculate WQI by national sanitation foundation method. Five physicochemical parameters namely pH, TDS, EC, DO, BOD were used to calculate wqi by the weighted arithmetic index
method. Several steps of weighted arithmetic index method are given (brown et al., 1972) in the following steps:
3.1 Calculation of Sub Index of Quality Rating (qn)
Let there be n water quality parameters where the quality rating or sub index (qn) corresponding to the
nth parameter is a number reflecting the relative value of this parameter in the polluted water with
respect to its standard permissible value. The value of qn is calculated using the following expression.
qn = 100[(Vn - Vio) / (Sn - Vio)]

(1)

Where,
qn = quality rating for the nth water quality parameter.
Vn = estimated value of the nth parameter at a given sampling station.
Sn = standard permissible value of nth parameter
Vio = ideal value of nth parameter in pure water.
All the ideal values (Vio) are taken as zero for drinking water except for pH = 7.0 and dissolved
oxygen=14.6mg/L. (Tripaty and Sahu, 2005).
3.2 Calculation of Quality Rating for pH
For pH the ideal value is 7.0 (for natural water) and a permissible value is 8.5 (for polluted water).
Therefore, the quality rating for pH is calculated from the following relation:
qpH = 100 [(VpH -7.0)/(8.5 -7.0)]

(2)

Where,
VpH = observed value of pH during the study period.
3.3
Calculation of Quality Rating for Dissolved Oxygen
The ideal value (VDO) for dissolved oxygen is 14.6 mg/L and standard permitted value for drinking water
is 5 mg/L. Therefore, quality rating is calculated from following relation:
qDO = 100 [(VDO - 14.6)/(5 14.6)]

(3)

Where,
VDO = measured value of dissolved oxygen
3.4
Calculation of Unit Weight (Wn)
Calculation of unit weight (Wn) for various water quality parameters are inversely proportional to the
recommended standards for the corresponding parameters.
Wn = K/Sn

(4)

Where,
Wn = unit weight for nth parameters
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Sn = standard value for nth parameters


K = constant for proportionality
3.5
Calculation of WQI
WQI is calculated from the following equation:
n
n
WQI = qn Wn / Wn
n=1
n-1

(5)

3.6
Calculation of WQI by NSF method
The NSF water quality index was developed by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) in 1970. An
equation of NSF water quality index was found by using weighted factor of individual parameter and subindex of each water quality parameter based on their respective testing values which can be found by
water quality index calculator or water quality index curve of respective parameters. The water quality
index of individual parameter was calculated from water quality index calculator used by Environmental
Engineering and Earth Sciences, Center of Environmental Quality, Wilkes University (Islam et al., 2011).
WQI = 0.17IDO + 0.11IpH + 0.10I T + 0.07ITDS

4.0

(6)

RESULTS OF SUB-WATER QUALITY INDEX

Sub water quality index of five parameters for the former method (Brown arithmetic mean method) are given in
Table 2 and Sub water quality index of four parameters by the NSF method are given in Table 3.
Table 2: Sub water quality Index of the physico-chemical parameters according to Brown Method.
Station
P-1
P-2
P-3
P-4
P-5
P-6
P-7
P-8
P-9
K-1
R-1
R-2
P-10
BP-1
P-11
P-12
K-2
P-13
K-3
K-4
K-5
R-3
K-6
K-7
R-4
R-5
P-14
R-6
B-1
B-2
P-15
R-7
P-16
P-17

Sub water quality


Index
(PH)
5.125
4.371
4.974
-25.925
16.429
10.701
21.252
20.800
15.073
3.768
11.757
15.073
17.936
8.441
22.458
33.612
20.197
4.522
0.301
5.426
9.044
12.209
7.536
8.139
7.536
9.044
26.678
6.029
-3.165
1.507
4.522
20.046
0.000
18.087

Sub water quality


Index
(TDS)
0.334
0.264
0.278
0.122
0.116
0.073
0.056
0.104
0.117
0.142
0.079
0.078
0.116
0.118
0.098
0.124
0.132
0.171
0.148
0.137
0.165
0.123
0.159
0.151
0.083
0.126
0.113
0.086
0.589
0.410
0.115
0.229
0.361
0.119

Sub water quality


Index
(EC)
0.087
0.070
0.073
0.032
0.031
0.020
0.015
0.028
0.031
0.038
0.020
0.021
0.031
0.031
0.026
0.033
0.035
0.045
0.039
0.036
0.044
0.031
0.042
0.040
0.022
0.033
0.030
0.022
0.151
0.107
0.040
0.060
0.094
0.034

Sub water quality


Index
(BOD)
7.687
9.224
4.612
18.449
3.843
4.612
9.993
16.911
15.374
15.374
21.524
26.904
3.843
3.843
18.449
23.830
4.612
3.843
29.979
20.755
26.136
16.143
26.136
12.299
23.830
5.381
7.687
12.299
5.381
6.150
9.224
17.680
9.224
9.993

Sub water quality


Index
(DO)
36.433
38.035
26.824
26.024
28.025
46.843
29.627
27.625
40.437
45.241
32.830
30.428
41.237
44.440
41.638
38.035
26.024
32.429
45.641
36.433
42.038
34.431
50.446
46.042
41.638
52.047
34.431
45.641
52.047
48.444
46.042
35.232
45.641
32.830

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4.1
pH
pH is one of the most important factors that serves as an index for the pollution. The experimental water
bodies were found to be approximately neutral or slightly alkaline. The highest value of pH was 9.23 at P12 and lowest was 5.28 at P-4. The lowest mean value of pH was 7.67 0.05. A pH between 6.7 and 8.4 is
suitable, while pH below 5.0 and above 8.3 is detrimental. In the present investigation pH values were
within the ICMR standards (7.0 - 8.5) (Tripaty and Sahu, 2005). Maximum Sub water quality index for pH
was found 36 at P-12 station and Minimum was found as -36 at station P-4 according to Browns method.
The maximum and minimum values are 35 (P-4) and 95 (P-1) respectively.
Table 3: Sub water quality Index of the physico-chemical parameters according to NSF Method.
Station
P-1
P-2
P-3
P-4
P-5
P-6
P-7
P-8
P-9
K-1
R-1
R-2
P-10
BP-1
P-11
P-12
K-2
P-13
K-3
K-4
K-5
R-3
K-6
K-7
R-4
R-5
P-14
R-6
B-1
B-2
P-15
R-7
P-16
P-17

Sub water quality Index Sub water quality Index Sub water quality Index Sub water quality Index
(PH)
(TDS)
(T)
(DO)
93
42
84
78
92
54
84
66
93
52
89
99
35
78
91
99
81
79
87
99
91
84
88
25
69
86
77
98
70
80
70
99
84
79
85
53
92
75
85
33
90
83
81
84
84
83
89
93
77
79
74
53
92
79
82
33
67
81
79
53
41
77
73
68
72
76
84
99
93
70
82
88
88
74
87
30
93
75
89
75
92
71
83
46
90
78
89
87
93
72
85
15
92
73
81
27
93
83
84
45
92
77
85
11
57
79
73
87
93
82
86
30
83
20
77
11
90
20
84
20
93
79
87
30
72
60
74
87
88
36
68
30
77
78
83
88

4.2
Total Dissolved Solids
The TDS level found to fluctuate from 73.1 mg/l to 766 mg/l within the water bodies. The TDS content
was maximum in B-1 and minimum in P-7 with average of 219.61 1.79 mg/l. The amounts of total solids
are influenced by the activity of the plankton and organic materials. Slightly high value of TDS were
recorded at only one sampling stations and other values were less than the WHO limit. Water containing
more than 500 mg/L of TDS is not considered desirable for drinking water supply. Maximum Sub water
quality index for TDS is found close to 1 (Brown Method) at B-1 station. Minimum Sub water quality index
for TDS was found almost 0 at rest of the 33 stations (Brown Method). Maximum Sub water quality index
for TDS is found 86 (Station P-7) and minimum Sub water quality index for TDS was found as 20(Station
B-1, 2). (NSF method)
4.3
Dissolved Oxygen
The value of DO varied from 1.6 mg/l to 8.1mg/l. The maximum DO value (8.1mg/l) was recorded in K-2
and minimum value (1.6mg/l) was recorded in B-1. The mean value of DO was 4.90 0.16mg/l.
Concentrations below 5 mg/L may adversely affect the performance and survival of biological
communities and below 2 mg/L may lead to fish mortality. Water without adequate DO may be
considered wastewater. Maximum Sub water quality index for DO was found 52 at B-1 and minimum sub
water quality index for DO was found 26 at P-4 (Brown Method). Maximum Sub water quality index for
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DO was found 99 at (P-3, 4, 5 and K-2) and minimum sub water quality index for DO was found 11 at B-1,
R-5.
4.4
Biochemical Oxygen Demand
BOD varied between 0.5 mg/l to 3.9 mg/l among the different sampling stations. The minimum values
were found in P-5, P-10, BP-1 and P-13. The Maximum value was recorded in K-3. The mean value of BOD
was 1.760.14 mg/l. Maximum Sub water quality index for BOD was found 30 at K-3. Minimum Sub water
quality index for DO was found 4 at P-5 (Brown Method).
4.5
Electrical Conductivity
Conductivity is measured in terms of conductivity per unit length, and meters typically use the unit micro
Siemens /cm. The values of water conductivity (2ms) varied from 154 s /cm to 1544 s/cm among the
water bodies. The value of conductivity was recorded lowest in R-1 and maximum in B-1. The mean value
was 452.672.51s/cm. The mean value was 365.17s/cm. Sub water quality index for Electrical
Conductivity is almost 0 at all stations (Brown Method).
4.6
Temperature Difference
Surface water temperature varied between 26.3C and 33.3C and water temperature varied between
23.8C and 34.2C.Maximum difference in temperature was 5.6C and minimum was 0.5C, 2.43C was the
average difference. Maximum Sub water quality index of temperature difference is 91 at station number
P-5, and the minimum was at P-17 and the value was 68.

5.0 ASSESSMENT OF WATER QUALITY


WQI has been classified into 5 classes. Table 4 and Table 5 represent the 5 classes of water quality based on WQI
of two methods respectively.
Table 4: Status of water quality based on Arithmetic WQI method (Brown et al., 1972)
Water quality index
0-25
26-50
51-75
76-100
Above 100

Status
Excellent
Good
Poor
Very poor
Unsuitable for drinking and propagation of fish culture

Table 5: Status of water quality based on National Sanitation Foundation WQI


Water quality index
0-25
26-50
51-75
76-100
Above 100

Status
Very Bad
Bad
Medium
Good
Excellent

The observed range of water quality index along the road in pre monsoon is 19 to 96 by the arithmetic
mean method. Maximum WQI was 96 at station P-12 and minimum is 19 at station P-4. Only one single stations
water quality can be expressed as excellent (P-4). Water quality of station P-1, P-3, P-5 and P-13 can be called as
good water. P-2, P-6, P-7, P-8, P-9, P-10, P-14, P-16, P-17, K-1, K-2, K-7, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-6, R-7, B-1, B-2,
BP-1 have been classified as poor water. Rest of the stations P-11, P-12, K-3, K-5, K-6 have been classified as
containing very poor water, but all of them can be used for domestic purpose by taking proper disinfection
procedure. Stations with WQI values more than 90 can be classified as unsuitable for both domestic and
aquaculture purposes. 1 of the stations turned out to be unsuitable as WQI value is more than 90.
According to the NSF, WQI varied between 55 and 91. As the lowest value indicates the best value most of
the water stations fall within medium to good water quality range. Among the stations P-5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16,
R-4, 5, 6 BP-1, K-3, 5, 6, 7 have been classified as medium water. And rest of the stations water has been
classified as good water. There is a little difference in categorization of the stations according to the two
methods as the parameters selected for the methods are different and this is because of the unavailability of the
parameters. One point is noticeable that according to the arithmetic mean method by brown WQI ranges from
51-75 has been classified as poor where according to NSF WQI this range has been classified as medium. So it
will be better to count acceptable range between 0-50 for Browns method and 75- to more than 100 for the NSF
method. Table.3 shows the WQI values of the 34 stations measured in pre monsoon period. Station P-1, 3, 4, 5,
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13 can be classified as the best stations among all. Table 6 represents WQI value of the 34 stations by two
methods. Table 7 represents the maximum, minimum and average value of different parameters. Standard and
ideal values of different water quality parameters have been shown in Table 8. Guidelines are recommended by
World Health Organization (WHO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Table 6: Location wise calculated values of Water Quality Index for pre monsoon period
Water quality
index
(National
Sanitation
Foundation WQI)
81
78
90
77
91
71
87
84
73
68
81
84
74
72

Station*

Station name

P-1
P-2
P-3
P-4
P-5
P-6
P-7
P-8
P-9
K-1
R-1
R-2
P-10
BP-1

Right(Education Board pond1, Barisal)


Right(Education Board pond2, Barisal)
Left(Roads and Highways pond, Barishal)
Right(Forest Office pond)
Right(Opposite of Ansar VDP pond)
Left(opposite of Madrasha)
Right(Tri-road More)
Right(pond)
Right(Andipur pond, Purbopansha, Babuganj, Barisal
Rajguber khal, babuganj, Barisal
Duarika (Sugandha) River, Mohiuddin Jahangir bridge, Babuganj, Barisal
Shikerpur river, Babuganj, Barisal(M.A. Jalil bridge)
Left(Kaler dighi, Dakhin Shikerpur, Ujirpur, Barishal)
Left(Batazor khal), Gournodi, Barisal

Water quality
index
(weighted
arithmetic
index)
50
52
37
19
48
62
61
65
71
65
66
73
63
57

P-11

Right(Shamsul Howlader pond), Batazor, Giurnodi Barishal

83

68

P-12
K-2
P-13
K-3
K-4
K-5
R-3
K-6
K-7
R-4
R-5
P-14
R-6
B-1
B-2
P-15
R-7
P-16
P-17

Left(Mahilara A.N. High School pond), Gournodi, Barishal


Ashukathi khal, Gournodi, Barishal
Right(Gournodi Busstand pond), Gournodi, Barisal
Southern Khal, Koltokshal, Gournodi, Barishal
Bhurghata Khal, Kalkini, Maderpur
Kornapara khal, Kalkini, Maderipur
Mostofapur River, Maderipur
Srinerdi khal, Maderipur
Kamerer khal, Rajore, Faridpur
Kumer nodi(river), Moksudpur, Tekerhat, Gopalgonj
Kumer nodi, Dignagar, Moksudpur, Gopalgonj
Sagor Mollah pond, Dignagar, Moksudpur, Gopalgonj
Kumer nodi, Bhanga bazar, Bhanga, Faridpur
Bhanga beel, Bhanga,Faridpur
Nurpur Beel, opposite to bhanga beel, Bhanga, Faridpur
Sagordi river, Bhanga, Faridpur
Hasan shaheb pond, Shontoshi, Nagorkanda, Faridpur
Kumer nodi, Bakunda, Faridpur
Polishfari pond, Goalchamot, Faridpur

96
51
41
76
63
77
63
84
67
73
67
69
64
55
57
60
73
55
61

64
88
88
63
80
68
85
60
67
70
65
79
70
77
55
71
76
61
84

Table 7: Maximum, minimum and average values of diffrent water quality parameters
Groups

Maximum

Minimum

Average

pH
DO(mg/l)
BOD(mg/l)
Conductivity(2ms)
TDS
Air Temperature
Water Temperature

9.23
8.1
3.9
1544
766
33.3
34.2

5.28
1.6
.5
154
73.1
26.8
23.8

7.67
4.89
1.73
448.22
215.635
29.5
27.43

Table 8: Drinking water standards and unit weight


Parameter

Recommending Agency

Standard value (S)

Ideal value

1/S

Assigned weightage factor

pH
TDS
EC
DO
BOD
K

ICMR
WHO
WHO
WHO
ICMR

8.5
500
1400
5
5

7
0
0
14.6
0

0.117647
0.002
0.000714
0.2
0.2
0.52036

0.226087822
0.003843493
0.001372676
0.384349297
0.384349297
1

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Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.3

(2012)

4.0 CONCLUSION
WQI have some margins as it may not carry enough information about the actual situation of the water bodies.
Also many other uses of water quality data cannot be met with an index. Despite of having such problem WQI
are more recompense than its drawback. WQI of the stations along the Faridpur Barishal road for the pre
monsoon season was found fairly high according to the Brown method, as concentration of water quality
parameters are maximum during pre monsoon and due to the same reason according to NSF method the values
were low. In accordance with Brown method it is found from the calculation that parameter which shows the
highest favorable value gives a low statistical value to the index and compliant with NSF method the favorable
value has descending order. BOD, DO was found to be the most important parameter as it contributes the most
for the WQI calculation among the five parameters for the former method. Out of the 34 stations almost 5
stations were found suitable for domestic and aquaculture purpose. So if proper treatment is done then all the
34 water bodies could become useful and could help people in rural areas during time of crisis. The study result
is expected to provide valuable information in connection with the use of water bodies by the local people of the
study region.

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