Investigations of ground-water pollution. II. Soil characteristics in west Bengal, India, at the site of ground-water pollution investigations

Dyer, B.R.; Bhaskaran, T.R.

Indian Journal of Medical Research 33(1): 17-22


ISSN/ISBN: 0019-5340
Accession: 024899109

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The mechanical, chemical and bacteriological properties of the soil medium in which the ground-water pollution studies were carried out are described. The soil was a sandy loam typical of alluvial deposits. The surface soil contained about 20% clay which gradually decreased with increasing depth. Below 16 ft., the soil was all sand. In the water-bearing region below 14 ft. this sand was a homogeneous medium with about 40% pore space and properties similar to a slow sand filter bed. Chem. analysis showed that the soil was slightly acidic and well buffered by the presence of bicar-bonates. It contained little organic matter and that presence was of vegetable origin. Soluble minerals were not appreciable and they were accounted for by carbonates, chlorides and nitrates. Samples below 14 ft. contained large amts. of ammonia. Bacteriological studies showed that gas-formers were present in large numbers in the soil but were of nonfecal origin. The significance of these properties of the soil medium in interpreting the course of pollution is discussed.