Uranium in ground water in Malwa region: scientific opinion & fact sheet

The research group at Physics Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh did studies related to presence of uranium in drinking water from the Malwa belt. The analysis technique used is Energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence, which is capable of detecting many elements simultaneously. The detection method is further improved by analyzing the residue obtained after drying about 500 ml of water sample. Also, literature survey on the possible sources of uranium and its health effects on ingestion were carried out. The water samples collected from the Bathinda, Abohar and Moga districts were analyzed using the X-ray fluorescence technique, which is a multi elemental analysis technique. Samples from the ground water and canal water based water supply schemes, handpumps, flyash dykes and surroundings of thermal power plants in Bathinda city and Lehra Mohabbattan were collected by Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Mohali (Punjab), Punjab Pollution Control Board, Punjab, respectively. The research group members from Punjab University participated in the sample collection procedure. The water samples from Budha Nala, Ludhiana and other Beins in Phagwara which add up to the Sutlej river are also analysed as these have been reported as possible sources of uranium in the media.