BWSSB supplies sewage water to HBR Layout

This is how residents found the water they had stored. DH Photo/BH Shivakumar

Shock and panic gripped nearly a thousand households in HBR Layout 1st Stage when residents realised that sewage water had entered the sump and contaminated the fresh water they had stored.

As they used water in the bathrooms on Tuesday, they smelt the unmistakable odour of stench and sewage, realising that their storage has been contaminated. “I didn’t know until my neighbours alerted me. I didn’t sense it before,” said Vasumathi, a resident of HBR Layout.

“I checked the sump and saw that sewage water had entered. It couldn’t enter any other way, but through the connection we had obtained from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). I tried reaching all the officials, but my attempts went in vain,” she said.

When DH visited the area, we noticed the owners cleaning their sumps. The cleaning crew was emptying the water on to the streets as the sump water was badly contaminated and,  therefore, useless. After cleaning up their sumps and overhead tanks, residents had called for water tankers and were waiting for them.

“I had booked for the tanker in the morning and am still waiting. Demand for the tankers has been very high today. So, they aren’t sure about when they’d arrive. While we spent anywhere between
Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 for cleaning the sump, the water tankers are costing between Rs 400-Rs 500,” Ahalya Ramanna, another resident of the locality, told DH.

Since the area gets its water supply three days a week, residents suspect that the wastewater would have entered on Monday.

They also fear that the polluted water would have damaged household goods like washing machines, purifiers and pumps, that are directly connected to the water pipes.

As a safety measure, residents have turned off the BWSSB connection until the authorities address the issue and ensure the water supplied is fresh.

Asked about the issue, the BWSSB authorities said they are yet to find out the reason for the contamination.

“We’ve received the complaint and are shocked (about the pollution). Our junior engineers have visited the spot and will fix the issue. It might be due to the rain. As a precautionary measure, we’ve stopped water supply to the area,” BWSSB assistant executive engineer Chalapathi said.

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