Hopefully, residents of Mumbai's western suburbs will not have to worry any more about the quality of the water supplied by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Taking note of Hindustan Times' reports that water samples at three city reservoirs were found contaminated with E.coli bacteria, the BMC has now decided to use chlorine-testing kits at reservoir outlets, which can instantly detect the presence of chlorine in the water. Currently, only the water in the reservoir is constantly tested for the chlorine content, using comparators.
Hydraulic engineer Ramesh Bambale said: "These kits will prove to be of immense help when we want to check for
contamination at the reservoir outlets in real time. They will indicate whether chlorine is present or absent, which would be enough for us to conclude whether the water is contaminated."
In addition, a joint committee of officials from different departments like the hydraulic engineer and the health department will review the process of sample collection from these reservoirs. "We need to streamline the process and make it smoother, which will ensure more efficiency. Hence, we are now devising a new protocol to ensure that the time lag between the sampling and the results is reduced," Bambale added.
Currently, once the samples are taken, it takes about 72 hours for the reports of the tests to reach civic authorities. By this time, in most cases, the water has already been consumed.
On September 10, Hindustan Times had reported how nine samples collected from three major reservoirs in July had revealed 'infinite' presence of E.coli, bacteria found in human and animal faeces. These three reservoirs -- Pali Hill, Pali Hill II and Verawali Hill reservoir III -- supply water to areas between Bandra and Jogeshwari.
The BMC also backtracked from its initial position that the July results could have been caused by a sampling error. "The number of failed samples proves that it cannot just be a sampling error," Rajiv Jalota, the additional municipal commissioner in charge of water, said.