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Drinking water worse but seawater fresher

Mumbai’s drinking water is getting murkier and its seawater fresher — a contrast brought out by the Environment Status Report of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for 2008-’09.

Written by Shweta Desai | Mumbai |
August 26, 2009 1:45:52 am

Mumbai’s drinking water is getting murkier and its seawater fresher — a contrast brought out by the Environment Status Report of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for 2008-’09.

Of the potable water samples tested,13.80 per cent were found unfit for drinking. The contamination,highest during monsoon,has risen year on year — from 9.05 per cent in 2007-’08 to 12.47 per cent in 2008-’09. Illegal connections,bursting of water pipes and leaks are among the key causes of contamination.

The degree of contamination ranges from 8.25 per cent in Mulund to 25.5 per cent in Goregaon,Chincholi,Oshiwara areas (P South ward),Nahur,Kanjurmarg,Vikhroli and Bhandup (S ward). It has risen up to 11 per cent at P South,from 14.04 per cent last year,owing to inflow of foul water through leaky pipelines,mixing of sewerage into water mains and uncleaned tanks. S ward has seen an increase from 15.28 per cent to 22 and L ward (Kurla,Kalina) from 17.27 per cent to 19,while the island city’s wards A,B,C and E have up to 17 per cent.

On the other hand,the foul-smelling Arabian Sea,which was the hub of untreated sewerage till now,is showing an improvement,resulting in a rise in fishing activity and the quality of catch. This follows the implementation of the Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project that includes treating sewage and discharging it far out into the sea. “Though some species have disappeared near the sewerage outlet,there has been a rise in fishing in the area,” the report states.

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The MSDP includes construction and laying of 3.5-km-long pipes to dispose of the sewage far out into the sea,and construction of artificial lagoons to aerate the waste and increase the oxygen content before discharging it.

According to tests by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board,seawater and fish quality has improved particularly in the one-km radius from the shoreline. The report,prepared with data compiled from departments of the BMC,state and central governments,Pollution Control Board and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI),will be released next month.

Potable or not
13.80% of potable water samples found unfit for drinking
9.05% contamination in 2007-’08; 12.47% in 2008-’09

Key causes
Illegal connections,bursting of water pipes & leaks

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First published on: 26-08-2009 at 01:45:52 am

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