If the latest water contamination reports from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are anything to go by, those living in Borivli, Kandivli, Dahisar, Andheri(E), Andheri(W), Vile Parle(E), as well as large parts of Ghatkopar, have a lot to worry about. Samples tested from reservoirs supplying water to these areas in August reported maximum contamination.
Totally, 120 samples out of 506 tested at the outlets of these reservoirs were found to be unfit for consumption. Of these, 27 had high levels of Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria routinely found in animal and human faeces. This means that on an average, at least four of the 27 reservoirs in the city supplied contaminated water, every single day.
The worst affected was the Borivali reservoir inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which supplies water to parts of Kandivli, Borivli and Dahisar. Twelve samples were found contaminated, of which three tested positive for E.coli.
Many in the civic body believe that these shocking findings are a result of the BMC’s inaction in spite of regular reports about contamination in the city’s reservoirs. Said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be named: “There have been consistent reports emanating from reservoirs about the contamination that samples have shown. However, the civic body has refused to pay heed to these reports, instead consistently blaming the incorrect sampling system for these errors.”
Another civic official from the hydraulic engineer’s department said that technology was not being used effectively to detect and prevent contamination. “We currently have an outdated mechanism which requires manual intervention in case we want to ascertain whether the water at the reservoirs has enough chlorine. The system leaves this check completely on the individual. There are no checks and balances to see whether he is actually doing the job.”
The reservoirs that have reported the least amount of contamination include the Malad hill reservoir, which supplies water to parts of Malad, Goregaon and Kandivli, and the Raoli reservoir, which supplies water to parts of Wadala and Dadar. Just two samples were found contaminated in each.