City's borewell water not potable: KSPCB chief

Borewell water in many pockets of the City is highly contaminated with toxins and is not fit for direct consumption, Vaman Acharya, chairperson, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), has said.

Releasing a report on the quality of drinking water in Basaveshwarnagar, Acharya said many revenue pockets in the City, mainly areas newly added to BBMP limits, had septic tanks or sewage pits located very close to the borewells, leading to contamination of groundwater.

It is advisable not to use borewell water for drinking in these areas. However, it can be used for non-potable purposes, he said.

“Three per cent of the 104 water samples collected from random households are of poor quality (red category), containing e.coli (bacteria). Nearly 33 per cent of the samples came under the orange category, which may be used for drinking purpose after purification. Over 66 per cent of the water samples came under the green category, fit for drinking and other use.
  
Individual samples

“The samples which were not fit for direct consumption were those of borewell water mixed with Cauvery water supplied by BWSSB. We have given individual water sample reports to the respective households and have advised them to avoid drinking groundwater directly. The report will be shared with BWSSB officials,”Acharya said.

KSPCB chief scientific officer Dr Balagangadhar said over the years, groundwater in Bangalore had gone down in terms of quality and quantity, with hardness of water increasing beyond the permissible limit.

“Twenty years ago, Bangalore’s groundwater was good enough for drinking, but now due to unscientific practices and indiscriminate sinking of borewells (up to a depth of 500 feet), the total dissolved solids levels in water have increased considerably,” he said.

The water quality assessment was jointly conducted by KSPCB and Karnataka Environmental Laboratory Association (KELA), where 10 basic parameters were considered to test the quality.

Improper cleaning

As per the KELA observations, the possible reasons for deterioration in water quality are, improper cleaning of sumps and overhead tanks and possible leakage of sewage from sewer lines into the sumps.

Residents of Basaveshwarnagar were advised to clean their sumps regularly and to check for sewage pipe leaks. The public were also made aware of the effects of using water in the red category, including outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and salmonellosis.

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