Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mar 2003 Water in many city areas not potable-Bangalore-Cities-NEWS-The Times of India

This is an old news, but what is happening now? has it become worser or better, any study or news to update?
Water in many city areas not potable-Bangalore-Cities-NEWS-The Times of India: "
BANGALORE: A study conducted by the department of mines and geology on groundwater across the state has found that drinking water in several parts of Bangalore is not potable as it contains high levels of nitrate.

Nitrate levels in several areas of Bangalore have more than 200 ppm (parts per million) in water against the permissible 50 ppm. The levels have touched as high as 650 ppm in Tumkur. Excess nitrate in water causes gastric cancer and adversely affects the central nervous system and cardiovascular system, besides causing methaemoglobinacmia (when RBC turn blue).

The startling findings have now been sent to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board for action. "In many cases, we found that groundwater was polluted due to indiscriminate use of manure for plants and chemical fertilisers. In new areas of Bangalore, lack of drainage and septic tanks is the main problem," sources said.

A case of methaemoglobinemia was reported from Banashankari in an eight-year-old girl, confirming the study's fears of nitrate levels in water. Though the study has restricted itself to groundwater contamination, the department also studied samples of Cauvery water too. "Cauvery water is free from chemical contamination ... but has bacteria in it. But then, this could be because of dirty pipes and not necessarily due to fault at the source," sources said.

BWSSB Chairman M.N. Vidyashankar said Cauvery water supplied to Bangalore undergoes dechlorination thrice before it is released. "Chlorination takes care of bacteria. As for groundwater pollution, the Board is setting up underground drainage system for the 27 new wards in the city," he said.

According to the study, nitrate levels in groundwater in following areas are: Konapanna Agrahara (Bangalore South) - 153 ppm; K.R. Puram - 116 ppm; Doddaballapur -366; Sarjapura - 255; Bidadi - 215; Avalahalli (Bangalore South) - 130; Kanakapura - 213; Ramachandrapura (Bangalore North) - 244; Mysore road - 177; Nagavarapalya -128; Chikkabanavara (Bangalore North) - 149; Nelamangala - 128; and Hoskote - 251.


sas said...

More news update Mar 2006
Bangalore: For many residents of the new layouts, it is their only source of water. In other neighbourhoods and in most apartment complexes, the water from Cauvery has to be supplemented with water from borewells.

Groundwater levels have not only steadily gone down — 200 to 300 metres in many places — but may be getting heavily contaminated. The time when "well water" was considered superior to that piped into homes is long past. The Department of Mines and Geology, which takes samples across the city and regularly tests them and residents association who periodically get water samples tested, have found the concentration of nitrates on the increase.

A concentration of 50 mg per litre can cause more than upset stomach, it can seriously damage health and more so in the case of children. In adults, chronic acidity can be a warning sign that they need to check the quality of the water they drink.

Cess on borewell

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board which supplies the city with 850 MLD of water has started levying a cess for large-scale use of groundwater but has no regular monitoring mechanism in place to assess the quality of groundwater.

In most of the apartment complexes, water purifiers in individual flats are the norm. In some of the ongoing residential developments, the promoters have planned for a central water purifying plant in addition to recycling plants for water to be used for no drinking purposes.

The BWSSB has cautioned people to conserve water in the weeks ahead as consumption will be higher during hot weather. The Department of Mines and Geology, which recently tested 1,000 samples of groundwater from the city and suburbs and some from the just developed semi-rural areas has reported that the water may not be fit for human consumption.

"Nitrate levels have gone up to 150 mg/litre which makes it unsafe to drink. At the depths of 500 ft and more from where water is pumped up, salinity is much possible," the scientists say.
(snip) read here:

sas said...

Why don't the Dept of Mines and Geology Publish the tested sample data? Any RTI route?
More update Feb 2007:
BANGALORE: At the handpump that yielded the highest nitrate concentration ever recorded in Bangalore city (which authorities had assured no one used any longer), remains a bustle of men, women and children waiting their turn to fill their plastic buckets.

Nitrate levels are at their deadliest in Shampura where slums and independent houses jostle for space off Tannery Road. The latest findings of the Department of Mines and Geology place nitrate levels at eight locations in Shampura between 350 mg/l and 750 mg/l, while the permissible limit is 45 mg/l. The problem here, as in most areas where nitrate level is high, is untreated sewage.

"No one told us that the water here is poisonous," says 29-year-old Parimala, who lives in a slum a few yards from the borewell. "We have told our children to avoid drinking the water because it smells like iron and tastes salty," she says, glancing at her daughters as they squat to wash clothes with the water they just collected from the pump.
(snip) read more

sas said...

*BWSSB offers to test water samples (Apr 2006)
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has offered to test samples of borewell water brought by citizens at its laboratory on the premises of High Grounds water reservoir.

*The water here brings disease (Feb 2007)
Divya Gandhi
The nitratetrail Nitrate levels are twice the permissible limit in Sanjay Gandhi Nagar slum
Bangalore: There was no disputing the quality of water when Kamalamma, a young mother from Sanjay Gandhi Nagar slum near Peenya, brought out a cup of water from a stainless steel pot that sat in the middle of a bare kitchen. A thick white film clung to the sides of the cup. "We use this water only to bathe and wash our clothes with," she says, "but I cannot always be sure that my daughters will not drink it by mistake." She has spent Rs. 500 on medical bills this month, and now Kalaselvi, her six-year-old daughter has diarrhoea.

*Doctors in the dark about environmental health in city(Feb 2007)
Divya Gandhi

#Many patients get symptomatic treatment
# High nitrate level in water can cause blue baby syndrome among those aged less than six months
# Doctors have no information about clusters where the groundwater contamination is high
BANGALORE: When eight-year-old Selvi's finger nails turned blue, a doctor's diagnosis revealed that she suffered from methemoglobinemia, a condition he associated with nitrate poisoning.
Having ruled out other sources of poisoning, the doctor recommended that her family get the borewell water at Hosakerehalli tested.
The test revealed high levels of nitrate contamination in the water.
Nitrate levels in Banashankari are as high as 300 mg/l (the permissible limit is 45 mg/l) in some places because of sewage contamination of groundwater.
Timely treatment meant that Selvi was saved. But nitrate poisoning, which depletes the oxygen-carrying capacity of haemoglobin, can be fatal.

*City's groundwater unsafe (Feb 2007)
Divya Gandhi

Nitrate level in water has increased manifold in central areas in six years
BANGALORE: "You must not drink this water or use it for cooking," said M.V. Shashirekha, chief chemist at the Department of Mines and Geology, to a visitor who walked into collect results of a chemical analysis of water from his borewell. "Your bottle of water contained 70 mg of nitrate. There is not much you can do about it, boiling will not help. May be you should invest in a reverse osmosis purifier."
Dr. Shashirekha has an average of 15 such visitors to her office every day — ordinary residents of Bangalore city who are concerned about the quality of groundwater in their areas.
A comprehensive report on the status of ground water quality in Bangalore, by the department in 2003 had concluded that over 50 per cent of the 900-odd water samples collected was non-potable.

Anonymous said...

Shashi -- we can talk more about this and see if we can show some information systematically on India Water Portal. Specifically if there is a copy of the groundwater tests that is available we would love to put it there - Vijay