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South Mumbai gets dirtiest water in the city, finds BMC survey; Mulund, Parel no better

E coli, a type of bacteria that causes severe infection like diarrhoea, was found highest in south Mumbai with 38 out of 1,560 samples testing positive.

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2017 08:46 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Brihanmumbai Corporation,Mumbai drinking water,South Mumbai
Patiala, India-23 April 2017::::A boy drinks dripping water from a public tap in tractor market in Patiala on Sunday, April 23, 2017.Photo by Bharat Bhushan Hindustan Times.

The water you drink every day could be making you sick, especially if you live in South Mumbai. A report of water samples collected by the BMC from across the city between April 2016 and March 2017 shows south Mumbai gets the most amount of contaminated water at 9%. It also reveals the BMC still supplies 3.10 % contaminated water — a slight improvement from the past three years. Water contamination levels in 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14 were 4.6%, 4.5% and 10.84% respectively.

The latest findings of water testing by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) revealed even though contamination levels in the water that surrounds the city have fallen to an all-year low, there continues to exist cases of E. coli contamination in the water. Of the 36,833 samples collected around the year, 186 samples have tested positive for E.coli.

Of the 24 wards, A-ward, which includes areas like CST, Colaba, Churchgate, Cuffe Parade and houses several ministerial bungalows, has shown the highest level of contamination at 8.53%, followed by Mulund and Parel with 7.02% and 6.09% respectively of water found unfit for drinking.

E coli, which is a type of bacteria that causes severe infection like diarrhoea, was found highest in A-ward with 38 out of 1,560 samples testing positive.

The bacteria concentration was also high in Mulund with 23 samples out of 1,082 showed presence of E coli followed by Parel with 17 samples out of 1084 tested positive.

Contamination levels are an indicator of how much mud and harmful bacteria, E coli is present in the water. BMC collects water samples from 351 spots from slum and non-slum areas and 36 spots from water reservoirs across the city.

The main causes of water contamination are old, corroded and damaged water pipelines especially in the island city, informed officials. At some other areas, water pipelines are damaged for water theft and sewage water gets mixed with the drinking water.

Civic officials admitted that the replacement of water pipelines is a cumbersome process. However, the Hydraulic department is confident that it will be able to further reduce the water contamination levels by next year. “There has been constant improvement in the reduction of water contamination level over years. This year’s report two shows improvement. We are confident that by next year this will further reduce as more water pipelines are repaired in the island city,” said Ashok Tawadia, chief engineer, Hydraulic department.

With water complaints resolved at sluggish pace citizens, activists and corporators case doubts on BMC’s improvement claim. “It took BMC over a month to solve contamination complaint in Byculla. The main reason behind the sorry state is none of the utilities- water pipeline, sewerage are mapped in the city, thus BMC is unable to take quicker corrective measures to improve water supply in the city,” said Rais Shaikh, corporator, Samajwadi Party.


Two billion people around the world drink contaminated water: WHO

First Published: Apr 24, 2017 08:33 IST