The water in the Powai lake is dangerous for dairy animals, and therefore human beings too. It is also unfit for bathing and can cause water-borne infections, revealed a quality test conducted by a city-based NGO. The group found a high content of bacteria and other pathogenic organisms in the lake, caused by the flow of untreated residential sewage into it.
The NGO, Plants and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), last month collected water samples from three locations at the lake. It submitted its findings for a bacteriological analysis which was carried out by Maharashtra State Public Health Service, District Public Health Laboratory, Navi Mumbai. The laboratory found coliform bacteria — an indicator of the quality of water — to be much above permissible limits.
“The very high coliform count poses a major threat to the flora and fauna of the lake and the health of dairy animals, and indirectly it could affect human health too,” read the inference of the water quality report.
The report, however, added that chemical analysis of the water was normal, proving that the source of waste is not industrial but residential.
“Coliform organisms are always present in human and animal waste. Their presence in the lake water indicates high level of contamination,” said Dr Vandana Panda, associate professor, KM Kundani College of Pharmacy, Cuffe Parad.
Following the report, members of PAWS filed complaints with the Central and state pollution control boards, the civic body and dairy development board, and requested action against the culprits. A BMC official said that situation is better than last year and the civic body will take action on sewage treatment.