Common Waterborne Diseases Due to Bacterial, Fungal and Heavy Metal Contamination of Waters: A Case Study from Nacharam Area of Hyderabad, India

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Chemistry Department, St. Pious X Degree and PG College for Women, Snehapuri Colony, Nacharam, Hyderabad-500076, India

2 Biotechnology Department, St. Pious X Degree and PG College for Women, Snehapuri Colony, Nacharam, Hyderabad-500076, India


Nacharam and its surroundings, located inside the city of Hyderabad in Telangana State, India, is vulnerable to water-borne diseases; therefore, the present research works on concentrations of dissolved hexavalent chromium (57-263 mgL-1), lead (34-65 mgL-1), cadmium (2.3-22.4 mgL-1), and nickel (from below detection limit to 6.5 mgL-1) in different surface water and groundwater bodies of this area. Results indicate that with the exception of nickel, the majority of studied water bodies and aquifers of the area are contaminated, to variable degrees, with dissolved heavy metals. Also health-affecting bacterial and fungal colonies have been found in drinking water and groundwater bodies of the area. These findings collectively point at impending health threats to the residents of the area, thus this study has conducted a health survey, whose data indicate that about two third of the residents are affected by waterborne ailments, including hair fall, skin rashes, tooth decay, diarrhea, and joint pain. Hair fall is one of the major problems affecting about 40% of the area population. Other waterborne health-related issues are faced by relatively smaller numbers of residents (10% or less).  Based on the results from this study, it is recommended not only to conduct periodic analyses of water samples used for drinking and other purposes, which would assist the government and local authorities in taking necessary steps to prevent groom and spread of microorganisms, but also to monitor other anthropogenic activities, potentially capable of contaminating water sources, .


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