Evaluation of hazardous metal pollution in irrigation and drinking water systems in the vicinity of a coal mine area of northwestern Bangladesh

Mohammad A.H. Bhuiyan, M. A. Islam, Samuel B. Dampare, Lutfar Parvez, Shigeyuki Suzuki

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An integrated approach of pollution evaluation indices, principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) was employed to evaluate the intensity and sources of pollution in irrigation and drinking water systems of northwestern Bangladesh. Temperature, BOD, chemical oxygen demand (COD), Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu and Pb levels in most of the water samples exceed the Bangladesh and international standards. The heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and degree of contamination (Cd) yield different results despite significant correlations between them. The heavy metal evaluation index (HEI) shows strong correlations with HPI and Cd, and gives a better assessment of pollution levels. Modifications to the existing HPI and Cd schemes show comparable results with HEI, and indicate that about 55% of the mine drainage/irrigation waters and 50% of the groundwaters are moderately to highly contaminated. The CA, PCA and pollution indices suggest that the mine drainage water (DW) is contaminated by anthropogenic (mining operation and agrogenic) sources, and the proximal parts are more contaminated than the distal part. The groundwater system in the vicinity of the coal mine site is also heavily polluted by anthropogenic sources. The pollution status of irrigation and drinking water systems in the study area are of great environmental and health concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1077
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010



  • Cluster analysis
  • Degree of contaminants
  • Heavy metal evaluation indices
  • Heavy metal pollution indices
  • Irrigation water
  • Principal component

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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