• P. J. GODHANI1, R. P. ADIYECHA2, R. C. VIRADIA3, M. M. JANI4 AND J. B. JOSHI5 P. J. GODHANI1, R. P. ADIYECHA2, R. C. VIRADIA3, M. M. JANI4 AND J. B. JOSHI5 1KSOU, KARNATAKA. 2INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TEACHERS EDUCATION (IITE), GANDHINAGAR. 3H. & H. B. KOTAK INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, RAJKOT. 4BAHAUDIN SCIENCE COLLEGE, JUNAGADH. 5DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, SHREE M. & N. VIRANI SCIENCE COLLEGE, RAJKOT. Corresponding author’s e-mail: piugodhani001@gmail.com, rpadiecha@gmai.com, viradiarc@yahoo.co.in, manishjani75@gmail.com & jignasa.joshi@gmail.com


Research studies on the purification of groundwater have mainly been carried out in developed countries and have focused on water purification systems using aluminium sulphate (a coagulant) and chlorine (a disinfectant). Such systems are expensive and not viable for rural communities due to abject poverty. There has been very little scientific research work into the use of plant extracts to purify groundwater. Findings from a preliminary lab-scale study show strong potentials of phytodisinfectants as a low-cost, appropriate and ecological alternative technology in purifying water in rural areas of Gujarat. Shallow well water, which is commonly available throughout Gujarat, is often grossly contaminated and usually consumed untreated. This research was aimed at examining natural plant extracts in order to develop inexpensive ways for rural communities to purify their groundwater.

The study involved creating an inventory of plant extracts that have been used for water and waste water purification. A prioritization system was derived to select the most suitable extracts, which took into account criteria such as availability, purification potential, yield and cost of extraction. Laboratory trials were undertaken on the most promising plant extracts, namely: Moringa concanensis (Seed), Annona sqamosa (Leaf) and Ficus racemosa (Leaf). The trials consisted of jar tests to assess the coagulation potential and the resulting effect on physico-chemical parameters (Yongabi et al, 2011). The pH of the water samples decreased with dosage, but remained within acceptable levels for drinking water for all the extracts. Overall, M. concanensis powder produced superior results, followed by Ficus racemosa and lastly Annona sqamosa. There is a need to carry out further more detailed tests, which include toxicity to guarantee the safety of using plant extracts as a coagulant in the purification of drinking water for human consumption.


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