Beware! Water underground isn't safe either: Survey | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Beware! Water underground isn't safe either: Survey

For those who don't mind consuming water drawn from the hand pumps and bore wells, here is a word of caution.

lucknow Updated: Aug 24, 2012 11:36 IST
HT Correspondent

For those who don't mind consuming water drawn from the hand pumps and bore wells, here is a word of caution.

The underground water is no longer safe. This is the finding of a survey by the centre for science and environment. The survey says all is not well with the ground water in Lucknow. Reason is ill-managed and poorly sewage and waste management system in the city which is making toxic waters seep into the ground water channels .

A number of facts related to water and climate change were discussed at the SN Tripathi Memorial Lectures held at Indian Railway Institute for Transport Management on Thursday.

Nitya Jacob, programme director for water, center for science and environment, at the lecture said, "Sewage treatment continues to be a big problem all over India. Only a small portion of it gets treated and the remaining moves into the rivers. The condition in Lucknow too is just the same where Gomti contains high levels of pollutants." Nitrate levels in water samples from Charbagh and River Bank Colony have been diagnosed high that makes water inappropriate for consumption, says the survey. Growing nitrate, fluoride and arsenic levels in groundwater are among the biggest threats here, believe experts.

The study further reveals that almost 90% of Lucknow's untreated wastewater is dumped into the Gomti which is the main source of drinking water. Also, the insufficient water treatment plants that work over capacity, increase the risk further.

A ground water quality survey conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2002 indicated high bacteriological concentrations in the groundwater.

"A major problem in UP is also of pesticides and fertilizers that add to the pollution levels. With agriculture being a prominent occupation, the problem is quite high here," said Jacob. Lucknow has experienced a steep downfall in the ground water levels. As per the Central Ground Water Board, the ground water levels in Lucknow have fallen by 9 metres in 14 years.

Talking about the water crisis, Syam R Asolekar, professor, centre for environment sciences and engineering IIT Mumbai said, " Individual efforts along with those of the government can help get rid of water woes. Water crisis is not the crisis of quantity and quality, it is that if accessibility which is a major issue today all over.