ACCORDING TO a recent analysis of water quality, conducted by the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), the quality of drinking water obtained from the natural groundwater reserves in Pune district is among the poorest in the state.
With a total of 22 villages, Pune district is second in the state, after Chandrapur, to have the highest number of villages whose groundwater quality was not “readily fit for human consumption”, revealed the report. It further named Daund, Ambegaon and Indapur among the “most affected areas” in the district.
According to hydrologists, rampant contamination of rivers is indirectly affecting the quality of groundwater.
Mahendra Kharat, a senior geologist who was formerly associated with GSDA, said, “Industrial effluents being dumped without effective treatment into rivers is a major contributor to the declining quality of groundwater in the area.”
Of the two kinds of water contamination — chemical and biological — the former is more hazardous in the long run, while the latter mainly affects the quality of surface water and is usually common in areas where water storage is prevalent.
Experts highlighted that, unlike cities, the problem with Chandrapur was due to its natural topography. Kharat said, “Here, the metamorphic rocks are composed with rich minerals and the concentration of fluorides was very high in the water tested from these parts of the state.”
Water provided to cities like Pune is processed and the concentration of mineral composition is below 50 Parts Per Million (PPM). If it is found to be over this threshold, the water is rendered unfit for consumption.
About the measures initiated by the GSDA to improve water quality, Director Shekhar Gaikwad said, “After identifying these villages, we have made a Detailed Project Report (DPR), on the basis of which, each area will be tackled as per the existing contamination. Now, reverse osmosis (RO) and de-fluoridation (DF) plants will be installed in these areas.” He added that the state government has approved setting up of 11 RO units, worth Rs 1.68 crore, in Pune district.