Alkaline content high in six residential areas

Analysis of samples of water submitted by residents of Venkatapura, HSR Layout, J P Nagar, K R Puram, Jigani (residential area) and Begur earlier this month, has revealed the water to be toxic in nature.  The source of contamination in most cases is the effluent discharged by some factory or industry which has cropped up in the vicinity.

Chief Chemist of the Department, Dr Shashirekha said, high levels of nitrate, sodium, chromium, bacteria and recently even fluoride in ground water has been observed.  “However, the acidic content is something new and is a matter of grave concern. Consumption of toxic water can lead to kidney and liver problems”, she said.

The pH value of potable water must range between 6.5 and 8.5. In technical terms this denotes the negative logarithm of dissolved hydrogen ions in water. Any value which does not fall within this range is unfit for human consumption. (see box).

Senior Geologist Dr Hegde apprehended that any laxity in taking up urgent remedial measures to check contamination will have disastrous effects on the public health.
While Venkatapura, HSR Layout and J P Nagar have Cauvery water supply, the other areas are dependent on borewell water for drinking purposes. However, even the areas which get the supply use borewell water when Cauvery water is not supplied. Even if the borewell water is used just for washing or bathing purposes, they are harmful to skin, the officials said. Different types of acids have been found in the borewells in different areas. Water from the K R Puram railway crossing was found to have been contaminated with Copper Sulphate.

“This is due to effluent discharged from an electroplating industry nearby,” says Dr Rekha.  In Begur, Sodium Borate was found and it was caused due to the dyeing industry in the vicinity. Calcium Chloride was found in water taken from the Jigani area. The Geology department officials said that they could only recommend action against the polluting industries to the KSPCB. “It is up to them to close down the factories or ensure proper waste disposal systems are put in place by them,” they added.

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