Even as the word celebrated the 18th World Water Day (WWD) on Monday with this year’s theme being clean water for a healthy world, BMC is grappling with contamination issues in the city’s supply.
At present, average contamination levels across all wards are between 8.25 per cent and 25.5 per cent.
According to the data available with the civic body, 2,143 water samples have been collected from the city in January this year, of which 10 samples showed the presence of E. coli bacteria.
The BMC repeated the exercise again in February and collected 1,987 water samples, of which 36 samples had presence of the same bacteria. Presence of E. coli bacteria in the water leads to intestinal infections and diarrhea.
According to the civic officials, increase in the contamination levels is due to illegal connections and frequent pipeline bursts.
“Complaints of water contamination are addressed on a priority basis,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner, Anil Diggikar.
The BMC’s annual environmental report said that water contamination during 2009-10 has increased by 11 per cent compared with last year. In 2008-2009, the civic body found contamination in 13.80 per cent samples that were tested. According to officials, the age-old water pipelines from the British era is a major reason for the contamination.
"When these pipelines become porous, the sewage water that runs alongside mixes with the drinking water. The only alternative is to replace these old pipelines,'' said an official from the
According to the Human Development report 2009, demand for clean water has become critical for developing countries such as India, where untreated wastewater, industrial growth and rising population make clean water a rare commodity.
The city has been facing severe water shortage since June last year due to scanty rainfall.
Current water stocks in all the six lakes is at 3.89 lakh million litres, compared with, compared with 5.82 lakh million litres on the same day last year.
According to sources in the civic body, even with the 15 per cent water cuts that the city is facing today, water stocks will last only for 75 days.