The public health protection in any part of the world depends largely on adequate supply of pure and safe drinking water. The increasing human population has posed a great problem in this endeavour. The presence of harmful toxic inorganic and organic chemicals as well as detection of pathogens including the coliform group in concentration greater than the permissible limits has led to public health hazards. The aim of this work is to compare the water quality in certain thickly populated districts of West Bengal India to assess the current scenario of potable water sources. The physical, biochemical and bacteriological parameters are tested in water samples collected from different open water bodies and domestic sources in different districts of West Bengal and the data are compared. The sources of this pollutants in the water are also ascertained and suitable remedial measures are suggested in those areas where the WHO permissible limits exceeded for human consumption and uses. For the bacteriological analyses the presence/absence of coliforms are carried out to authenticate the contamination of harmful pathogenic strains which indicated the sewage contamination of the drinking water and is not safe for human health. This study also reflected the fact that mostly the overcrowded congested districts are more prone to polluted water where suitable purification systems are inadequate. Moreover open water bodies are mostly polluted due to anthropogenic effects where disposal of human wastes as well as domestic wastes are dumped. The presence of highly pathogenic strains including V. cholerae, Salmonella sp. have been detected in open water body sources such as ponds in different areas tested in this study. The presence of pathogenic strains and alterations of both physical and chemical parameters of potable water is a serious problem and remedial measures for establishment of suitable purification system is of utmost need in the well-being of the people residing in those areas. This study will throw some light on the present situation of the water quality on a comparative basis in certain districts of West Bengal including the highly congested Kolkata district so that improvement of safe and pure water supply can be made following WHO guidelines in areas where water pollution are recorded
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