While 867 complaints of water contamination were registered in the first five months (January-May) of this year, with the onset of monsoon, the number of complaints in June alone was 1,128, as per data obtained from the BMC.
The highest number of contaminated water samples in June, 857 complaints or 75 per cent, was recorded from the service reservoirs in the city. Of the total number of contamination cases in June, 13 per cent were recorded from the city, nine per cent from the western suburbs and less than two per cent from the eastern suburbs.
Water from the seven lakes is pumped to the filtration plants in the city. After a series of filtration procedures, the water is stored in 28 reservoirs across the city, which is later pumped to homes through distribution lines. The service reservoirs, in turn, supply water to citizens in different water supply zones at suitable times for duration varying from 24 hours to 90 minutes depending on area and topography.
Although the civic body maintains that water supply from the service reservoirs is intermittent, problems in the filtration system and old reservoirs also adds to contamination in water.
“The supply lines from the reservoirs run along drainage lines all across the city, because of which dirty water gets mixed with filtered water. Despite several complaints about leakages in pipelines, the civic body hardly takes note of the situation and there is a constant delay in the repair works,” said corporator Rais Shaikh of the Samajwadi Party.
However, while samples are collected and tested by the BMC itself, the civic body has denied an increase in the levels of water contamination in the service reservoirs. “We have to look into the data to find the problems, but chances of water contamination in the service reservoirs are the least, because it is treated at the filtration plants and then sent to the reservoirs,” said a senior civic official from the hydraulic department of the civic body, who did not wish to be named.
The BMC, on a daily basis, conducts tests for water samples collected from every ward at the Dadar and Bhandup treatment complexes. Water samples are also collected from the service reservoirs for regular testing, the civic official said. The civic body’s health and the water department work together to submit reports on water contamination every month, the official added.