In an environmental friendly move, the civic body has decided that it will reduce the amount of untreated sewage water that gets dumped into the sea.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to achieve this by diverting the sewage water that is currently let off into the sea through the network of storm water drains. The pilot project will be undertaken in two months’ time at two spots in Malad.
The slums abutting the coastline, colonies under affordable housing schemes and buildings under slum rehabilitation schemes tend to not have a proper sewerage network so the waste water generated from such places pass through the city’s storm water drain network into the sea without being treated.
The project, the cost of which is estimated to be Rs200-250 crore, will entail installing gates at points where storm water drains meet to block the sewage water, which is then diverted to the nearest sewage treatment plant. The water is then treated and let off into the sea. However, this cannot be done during the monsoon months as it will not be possible to separate the sewage water from the rainwater.
Currently, the city gets 3,400 million litres daily, of which more than 2,600 million litres daily is sewage water. At least 7% to 10% of this sewage water makes its way into the sea through storm water drains.
“Once this project takes shape, the amount of treated water will increase from the current 62% to 80%. It will improve the water quality of the sea and go a long way in improving marine life close to the coast,” said Rajeev Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.
Officials said contractors have been asked to work out a pilot project at two spots in Malad, which has the biggest and the most complex sewage zones in the city. The designs for the pilot project are expected in 45 days.
The civic environment status report for 2009-2010 shows moderate improvement in the water quality at a one-km radius from the coast. It has also pointed out that several species of fish have disappeared from close to the coast.