In an effort to curb river and ground water pollution in Maharashtra, the state pollution control board increased water quality monitoring stations on January 1.
Of the 43 new water stations set up to monitor surface (water collected on land, rivers, ponds and lakes) and ground water, nine stations are located around Mumbai. These include 27 surface water quality stations and 16 ground water quality stations.
The new station at Uran will monitor level of effluents being discharged into the Arabian Sea by oil production plant of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. Others stations are situated in Dombivli and at Mahape, Turbhe and Ghansoli jetty in Navi Mumbai.
The remaining new water quality monitoring stations are located across the state at Nagpur, Aurangabad, Raigad and Ratnagiri.
“With increasing industrialisation in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) zones across cities, data from more stations will help the pollution board to attend to complaints by residents living near rivers,” said Bharat Nimbarte, regional officer at Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
All the new stations are designated ‘trend stations’. A trend station is designed to show how the source of a water body changes over time due to human activity.
While there will be monthly reports for surface water quality stations, the MPCB will prepare half-yearly reports for ground water quality.
“These new water stations will complement the national and state river action plans. The stress is on greater data generation and data reliability, that will enable MPCB to zero down on problems around origin points of rivers and downstream areas,” said a senior MPCB official requesting anonymity.
The increase in the number of new stations assumes significance following a report by the MPCB in 2009 that the bio-chemical oxygen demand levels in all major rivers across the state were above the permissible limit of 5 mg/l (Milligram/litre).
The study also found that acid and alkaline values (pH) at several locations was not within the MPCB’s standard of between and 6.0 and 8.5.