Of 6634 registered industries in Pakistan, 1228 are considered to be highly polluting. The major industries include textile, pharmaceutical, chemicals (organic and inorganic), food industries, ceramics, steel, oil mills and leather tanning which spread all over four provinces, with the larger number located in Sindh and Punjab, with smaller number in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan. Hattar Industrial Estate extending over 700 acres located in Haripur district of NWFP is a new industrial estate, which has been developed with proper planning for management of industrial effluents. The major industries located in Hattar are ghee industry, chemical (sulfuric acid, synthetic fiber) industry, textile industry and pharmaceuticals industry. These industries, although developed with proper planning are discharging their effluents in the nearby natural drains and ultimately collected in a big drain near Wah. The farmers in the vicinity are using these effluents for growing vegetables and cereal crops due to shortage of water. In view of this discussion, there is a dire need to determine if these effluents are hazardous for soil and plant growth. So, effluents from different industries, sewage and normal tap water samples were collected and analysed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total soluble salts (TSS), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen, cations and anions and heavy metals. The effluents of ghee and textile industries are highly alkaline. EC and TSS loads of ghee and textile industries are also above the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), Pakistan. All the effluents had residual sodium carbonates (RSCs), carbonates and bicarbonates in amounts that cannot be used for irrigation. Total toxic metals load in all the effluents is also above the limit i.e. 2.0 mg/L. Copper in effluents of textile and sewage, manganese in ghee industry effluents and iron contents in all the effluents were higher than NEQS. BOD and COD values of all the industries are also above the NEQS. On the whole, these effluents cannot be used for irrigation without proper treatment otherwise that may cause toxicity to soil, plants and animals as well add to the problems of salinity and sododicity. Similarly, these effluents cannot be used for fish farming
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