Field site in Haridwar by Ganga River

Haridwar is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in the world, hence its drinking water supply, managed by Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan, both quantitatively and qualitatively, is crucial. A third of the drinking water is treated by river bank filtration (RBF) and extracted from wells. The abstracted water only requires disinfection by chlorination, and can provide safe drinking water even when facing high variations in water demand and during monsoons. However, following one of the severest monsoons in North India and as reported by the Central Water Commission of India, the Ganga River rose to an unprecedented level of 296 above sea level on 19. September 2010, inundating the ground surface around the nearby wells. The water in the wells became turbid and for over 48 hours; the wells were operated continuously and all the abstracted water was discharged back into the river until the turbidity disappeared. It is believed that the sharp increase in turbidity was the result of the flood-water percolating down the well shaft. In WP1, site data from Haridwar will be compared with column experiments in order to develop a conceptual model as a base for formulating suggestions for monitoring and operation during floods and necessary measures for disinfection.

Location of riverbank filtration wells
Location of riverbank filtration wells at Haridwar, Uttarakhand (Sandhu et al. 2011)

References

Sandhu C., Grischek T., Kumar P. and Ray C. (2011). Potential for riverbank filtration in India. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. 13(2), 295-316.