The physico-chemical characteristics of Ganges River water and distribution of nine metals in the submerged plant and fish has been studied. The parameters colour, turbidity, total dissolved solids, pH, total alkalinity, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, NO3−N, NO2−N, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand showed that at various sampling stations deterioration in the quality of water at downstream is severe. However, due to a self-purification phenomenon, significant increase in the dissolved oxygen at the next sampling station was noted. A high fluctuation in the accumulation of metals in the submerged plants (Eicchornia Crassipes) and fish (Heteropnuestes Fossilis) was found from one sampling station to another due to domestic sewage and industrial effluent discharged into river. The ranges of concentrations of metals in fish were as follows: cadmium 0.01-0.09; cobalt 1.3-10.6; chromium 5.2-2100; copper 5.9-39.2; iron 463-1873; manganese 441-1880; nickel 5.6-23.3; lead 3.4-13.7; and zinc 17.8-232.5. In plants the ranges were, on a dry matter basis: cadmuim 0-0.28; cobalt 0.67-7.25; chromium 1.9-24.9; copper 4.6-11.3; iron 134-1614; manganese 1.41-7.4; nickel 111.7-161.7; lead 3.8-21.2; and zinc 131-556.

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