Fertilizer Plant Project, Andhra Pradesh, India

Performed in conjunction with IIT Madras, Stratus conducted an investigation to assess impact to groundwater from operations at an agricultural chemical manufacturing facility. Treated effluent from this facility is discharged to the adjacent land to irrigate a greenbelt area. Nearby villagers have complained that the quality of water from their wells has changed and suspect that the source of contamination in their wells is from the agricultural chemical producer. At the request of the local Pollution Control Board, IIT Madras has undertaken a study to evaluate groundwater quality in the area. IIT Madras collected water samples from wells operated by the villagers and also from the chemical producer’s manufacturing plant. In order to understand if discharge from the manufacturing plant was the source of contamination to groundwater IIT Madras recommended a hydrogeological study.

Based on a recommendation by IIT madras, Stratus was retained by the chemical manufacturer to conduct a hydrogeological study. Stratus installed groundwater monitoring wells at the manufacturing facility, within the area where the treated effluent is discharged. The wells were installed as three clusters of two groundwater monitoring wells each. The soil stratum in the area is relatively thin, and the wells were installed within fracture zones identified in the bedrock. Groundwater depth measurements from these wells allowed Stratus to assess vertical and lateral distribution of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and evaluated the impact to groundwater beneath the plant due to discharge of the treated effluent. Stratus’ groundwater hydrogeological study was submitted to IIT Madras for inclusion in their study of overall groundwater quality in the general vicinity of the plant. This study was ultimately submitted to the Pollution Control Board.