Noida: Metals, coliform in groundwater in areas of Hindon river basin, finds reportUpdated: Jul 26, 2020, 23:25 IST
Noida: It’s not just the Hindon River which is highly polluted but also the groundwater in its basin which is consumed by thousands, as a report has found the presence of metals, high salinity and even the coliforms in water samples from these areas.
According to the report, released the by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research that collected water samples from hundreds of villages across the nine districts falling along the Hindon basin, the water has conductivity, high amount of calcium, iron, manganese and nitrates, as well as faecal coliform, which is basically human or animal waste. The samples were collected from June to July last year through hand pumps and bore wells in the villages, while the detailed report was compiled only recently.
The report includes Razapur, Dankaur, Dadri and Bisrakh blocks of Gautam Budh Nagar district that falls under the river basin. High quantities of calcium, iron, conductivity, and coliform were found there, which experts say is not fit for consumption.
The report shows that conductivity or presence of ions in the groundwater varies from 1,135 to 295 microsiemens per centimeter (uS/cm), while the standards require the same to be zero. The coliform or bacteria generated from human and animal waste was present at most of points in the district and elsewhere, ranging from 10 to 50 CFU/ml or colony forming units per ml. As per standards, there must not be any coliform in groundwater and its presence indicates that untreated and unregulated sewers are seeping into the Hindon river basin and contaminating the groundwater.
“Conductivity directly indicates salinity and makes water completely unfit for consumption. More saline the water is, the more unfit it is for consumption, as it affects the nervous system, causes muscular disorders, heart issues, etc. At the same time, there must not be any coliform present in groundwater, as these are disease-causing bacteria and cause water-borne diseases,” says Rashmi Verma, Policy Fellow (Water), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology.
Calcium levels throughout the district in the groundwater, ranged from 99 to 653 milligram per litre (mg/l), against the standard limit of 75mg/l, while Iron was high as well at several villages along the basin, roughly ranging 1.0 to 4.5 mg/l. At Thairah village in Bisrakh block, for instance, the iron content was 3.6 mg/l, against the permissible range of 0.3 mg/l.
“The high content of iron should be a cause of worry and local authorities must locate its source. Calcium levels are high as well and lead to hardness in water,” says Dr DP Gupta, water pollution expert and former environment officer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).
The Hindon originates from Saharanpur and reaches Greater Noida (in the Gautam Budh Nagar district) after passing through Meerut, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, and Ghaziabad. It merges with the Yamuna at Momnathal in Tilwara village of Greater Noida. Throughout its 50 kilometres journey through the district, the river is fed untreated effluent and non-degradable waste from industries and unauthorised settlements nearby, which worsens the situation. As a result, the river has no Dissolved Oxygen (DO), making it a virtually dead river. According to the UPPCB’s assessments, the level of DO in Hindon, at its entry point into the district at Chijarsi, was consistently zero throughout 2019, against a basic standard of 5 mg/l.
“The report is an eye-opener as it shows that while earlier it was just the river which is polluted, now it is also the groundwater in its basin, which is consumed by thousands across hundreds of villages along the river, which is polluted. There is an urgent need to check industrial and domestic pollutants flowing into the river and serious efforts are required for its overall rejuvenation,” said city-based environmentalist Vikrant Tongad.