Six out of 10 water samples collected by Hindustan Times from across Mumbai were found to be contaminated with bacteria that could cause stomach, intestinal and eye infections.
The samples, collected from housing societies, were tested at the civic laboratory at Dadar. The samples from Chembur, Mahim, Andheri, Borivli, Bandra and Ghatkopar had A.aerogenes, a bacterium found in soil, surface water and sewage. Samples from Napean Sea Road, Worli, Powai and Mulund had no contaminants.
On August 6, Hindustan Times had reported that water contamination in the city in 2009-10 had doubled from the levels recorded the previous year. The civic environment status report recorded contamination levels at 26.10%, up from 13.80% in 2008-09 and 12.47% in 2007-08.
The state government said it would form a committee to look into the issue but that has not yet been done.
“Water contamination is a concern. We are trying to address all complaints on a priority basis,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta, who is in charge of the Hydraulic Department.
Water supplied to the city is chlorinated and lab officials said it should have no coliform organisms, another type of bacteria that can cause stomach and intestinal infections. But the six contaminated samples showed high coliform levels.
The highest was recorded at Mahim — 27 most probable number (MPN)/100 millilitres (ML) — while the other five samples showed a range of 14-17 MPN/100 ML.
Make sure you use a purifier or boil your water before drinking. “The presence of these organisms means the water is not well chlorinated or that soil or sewage water has seeped into the pipes,” said a senior lab officer with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.