Kottayam: The coliform presence in the Pamba river has increased beyond permissible limits, but the Pollution Control Board (PCB) says that doesn't prevent the pilgrims taking a bath.
The coliform count at various points the Pollution Control Board recorded on December 11 are Kochumpamba - 400, Kakkiyar - 1400, Triveni - 2200, Arattukadavu - 5200, Pamba - 7200 and Njunganar - 7000.
The allowable limit is 5000 per 100 ml. The Pollution Control Board attributes this to the steady inflow of pilgrims.
"Despite the increasing levels, there are no health hazards for taking a dip in the water," Alexander George, environmental engineer of the Pollution Control Board at Pathanamthitta, told DC.
"A slight increase will not make much of a difference. But for drinking, the accepted level is 500 per 100 ml."
The coliform level at the respective points on November 18 was as low as 58, 71, 100, 36, 93 and 120. Allowable biochemical oxygen demand is 3 mg per litre.
The number of the colonies of coliform bacteria in the river has beenfound going up to more than 20,000 in 100 ml of water at theKochupampa, Kakkiyar, Thriveni, Arattukadavu, downstream Pamba and Njunganar against the permissible 500.
They take samples from November 16 to January 19 during the pilgrimage season....