The study was conducted by Ms Lekshmy Sreekumar, Assistant  Professor , Department of Botany and FIC, Bhoomitra Sena Club.Head of the Department of Botany,Dr Geeta Krishnan  Nair also  gave valuable suggestions through out the analysis.Students of Department of Botany, and members of Bhoomitra Sena Club  of KSMDB college, Sasthamkotta  helped in sample collection and microbiological analysis.  Ms Dhanya S R , Assistant Professor of Department of Botany, Ms Meenu Darsana ,Ms Sherinan,guest faculties of the department of Botany,also rendered their support and cooperation in the study.


Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhea alone and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne disease each year.  Though surface water contributes only 0.3% of the total water resources on earth, it is one of the major and preferred sources of drinking water in rural countries like India . It is true that providing drinking water to such a large population is an enormous challenge.

According to a report by the National Sample Survey Organization, only 29.5% rural households in Kerala have access to safe drinking water.   Therefore, in order to have an idea about the quality of the consuming water, it is necessary to monitor its quality and to device ways and means to protect it. Coliform is a bacteria that is present in nature and occurs in all human and animal waste. Coliform bacteria are often referred to as "indicator organisms" because they indicate the potential presence of disease-causing bacteria in water . Disease-causing bacteria may use this pathway to enter the water supply . Water pollution caused by fecal contamination is a serious problem due to the potential for contracting diseases from pathogens . Current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend Escherichia coli (EC) and/or thermotolerant (“fecal”) coliforms (FC) as indicators of the effectiveness of disinfection processes, and as index organisms for the potential presence of fecal contamination and waterborne pathogens . Coliforms come from the same sources as pathogenic organisms.

The present study was conducted  to evaluate the physicochemical and microbiological quality of the lake.


Analyzing the drinking water quality of both Sastthamkotta Panchayat and Sastthamkotta Lake

Analyzing the physical and chemical parameters  like Acidity and Iron content

Assessing the microbiological  parameters like   Fecal coliforms and E.coli

Implement effectiveness of management strategies to bring back the originality of the lake.

Study area selection -The Sasthamkotta lake is located physio-graphically in the midland region between     9⁰0’- 9⁰ 5’n latitude and 76⁰ 35’-76⁰ 46’e longitude at an elevation of 33 m above mean sea level. The lake has a catchment area of 934.56 hectares, an average depth of 6.7 m and a maximum depth of thirteen  metres

Microbiological analysis- Drinking water and well water  samples from different localities  of the Sasthankotta panchayath and different parts of lake was   analysed for coliform  testing using water testing kit containing  sampling jars pre loaded with nutrient  lactose broth. Altogether 20 samples were analysed for preliminary screening. A colorimetric test  was performed. A distinctive blue  color change indicates the presence of total coliform bacteria. Those samples tested positive was further subjected  to microbiological analysis in CEPCI (Cashew Export Promotion Council Of India), for testing total coliform and  two  subgroups thermotolerant fecal coliforms and .E.Coli. It was later analysed by serial dilution method in Grama Karshaka Fertilizer Company .

Sampling  materials - Sterile  sampling bottles were used for collection ,these bottles were opened only at the time of collection.

 Sample sites – Twenty  areas  were selected. Random sampling  was conducted to analysis the water quality of various areas .Definite amount of  sample water was taken  and kept overnight incubation. Those samples tested positive developed bluish black colouration.

Chemical   analysis- The chemical parameters of random samples were studied. Acidity and Iron content of the samples were analysed.  Acidity /CO2 content of water is determined as the concentration of CO2 and H2CO3 which is estimated between titrating the sample  using a strong alkali to PH at 8.3 ,at which all free CO2 is converted bicarbonate.

 Iron content

The inorganic nonmetallic iron  constituent like the iron content (mg/L) was estimated. The samples  were collected and analysed in CEPC. In all the five samples the iron content was within   desirable limit according to the BIS and WHO, that is 0.3mg/l .


The results indicated that. the basin  of lake was   contaminated by  coliform which  may be due to contamination from ground water. .Access to improved toilet facilities could provide a significant barrier against the contamination of water within the household environment.

Physico- chemical analysis revealed that iron content is within desirable limits and acidity  content showed  variations. Five samples were analysed for acidity using dissolved CO2 content .four of the samples were collected from well and the last sample was taken from the lake. Acidity of the sample from lake was 25 mg/L of CaCO3   where as the well water samples showed an acidity range from 50 mg/L of CaCO3   to 150 mg/L of CaCO3.


Sasthamcotta lake is the largest fresh water lake in Kerala .International Wetland Conservation Committee enlisted this prime  fresh water reservoir as a Ramsar sit. With the rapid increase in the population, the need to meet the increasing demands of irrigation, and due to the discharge of untreated sewage, water resource is getting depleted and the water quality has deteriorated. Water pollution caused by fecal contamination is a severe crisis due to the potential for contracting diseases from pathogens. Well water and water samples of the   lake were analyzed for acidity, iron content and microbiological parameters like total coliforms, thermotolerant fecal coliforms (FC) and  Escherichia coli(EC).

The presence of pathogens is determined with indirect evidence by testing for an "indicator organism” such as coliform bacteria  which  are  easy to identify, present in larger numbers than more dangerous pathogens. As a result, testing for coliform bacteria can be a reasonable indication of whether other pathogenic bacteria are present. Water quality analysis revealed that  the basin  of lake was   contaminated by  coliform which  may be due to contamination from ground water  percolated from nearby houses. The presence of fecal contamination is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to this water.

Thus  the public  people around the locality were  advised  to take proper measures to solve the coliform problem. It can sometimes be solved with relatively simple actions like chlorination, boiling ,adding disinfectants.


The investigator would like to express indebtedness to the  Head of the Department of Botany,Dr P.Geetakrishnan Nair for the immense help rendered throughout the study.Thevstudybwas conducted by Ms Lekshmy Sreekumar, Assistant  Professor , Department of Botany. Ms Dhanya S R , Assistant Professor of Department of Botany, Ms Meenu Darsana, guest faculties of the department of Botany, students of Department of Botany, and members of Bhoomitra Sena Club  of KSMDB college, Sasthamkotta  participated in the study.

The appreciation is also extended to all technologists and technicians of the Cashew Export Promotion Council  (CEPC), Kollam ,Sasthamkotta Panchayat  and  Dr Vikraman Nair, Director of Grama Karshaka Fertilizer Company and alumnus of Department of Botany

for their  support for sample collection and microbiological analysis.