Groundwaters have been collected from deltaic areas of West Bengal (Chakdaha and Baruipur blocks) to record their hydrogeochemical characteristics, and to verify the mechanism of arsenic (As) release. The data reveals that shallow (<70 m) groundwaters in both areas are of Ca–Mg–HCO3 type; however deeper (> 70 m) groundwaters in Baruipur areas are slightly enriched with Na, Cl and SO4, indicating possible saline water intrusion. The groundwater is anoxic (mean Eh: − 124 and − 131 mV) with high levels of As (mean: 116 and 293 μg/L), Fe (mean: 4.74 and 3.83 mg/L), PO4 (mean: 3.73 and 3.21 mg/L) and Mn (mean: 0.37 and 0.49 mg/L), respectively for Chakdaha and Baruipur areas. The observed values of As and bicarbonate (mean: 409 and 499 mg/L) in the shallow aquifer are indicative of redox processes (e.g., oxidation of organic matter) favouring the release of As. Moreover, the presence of DOC in the shallow aquifer suggests that organic matter is young and reactive, and may actively engage in redox driven processes. Our study further confirms that both Fe- and Mn-reduction processes are the dominant mechanisms for As release in these groundwaters.