KURNOOL: Citizens in Kurnool are shocked at the quality of water being supplied to them by Kurnool Municipal Corporation (KMC) in the wake of Eluru contamination that saw hundreds of people taking ill.
KMC has no sewerage treat plant and every day it discharges 60 million litres (mld) into Tunga-bhadra river without any concerns for peoples health. River pollution in Handri and Tung-abhadra, the two rivers that flow across Kurnool city, have been causing health issues to people residing on the river bank. Plastic waste and other non-degradable material, lead and cadmium that are in the river need to be cleared. Regional Pollution control Board officials say that Tungabhadra waters showed marginally higher toxins after Pushk-arams. The Board conducted a test on the quality of water in Tung-abhadra in the first week of this month soon after Pushkarams.
In the test it was found that “It may be noted from the data, the pH and dissolved oxygen are meeting the standards, whereas the other two parameters, viz., Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total coliform bacteria are exceeding the standards.”
A PCB official said that Environment ministry constituted a committee in 1999 which recommended desirable limit of fecal coliform at 1,000 MPN/100ml and a maximum permissible limit at 10,000 MPN/100ml for discharge of treated sewage into a water body or reuse for agriculture, aquaculture or forestry application. And when it comes to drinking water, it should not be more than 500/MPN/ 100 ml, he said.
Pushkar Ghats near Mantralayam at Vinayaka Ghat, Santa Market, Kurnool Pump House, Rambotla and Sankalbagh ghats showed abnormal fecal contamination as reflected in coliform samples, said a PCB Engineer.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a measure of the quantity of oxygen used by microorganisms (aerobic bacteria) in the oxidation process. In a study conducted sometime back by independent researchers, the BOD values of water samples during the monitoring periods at the industrial effluent disposal point was found to be between 78ppm to 119 ppm, which indicates that the effluent run-off carries chemical wastes during poly-fibre synthesis. This is due to the discharge of untreated or partially treated industrial effluent directly in to the river.
There is makeable variation in the BOD content along the downstream from the discharge point during the study period which varied from 20.1 ppm to 36 ppm. The upstream water showed low BOD values 3.1 ppm to 6.4 ppm. The decrease in BOD and increase in DO from effluent discharge point was due to natural self-purification.
The rivers in Kurnool are polluted by chemical effluents, medical waste in addition to sewage by KMC, said KN Reddy, an environmental activist.
KMC Commissioner DK Balaji said it requires Rs 300 crore to construct sewerage treatment plant but the civic body does not have that much of money. A proposal has been sent to the Union government to sanction the amount under Swach Bharat scheme, he said.
Balaji further said AP Urban Infrastructure Asset Management Ltd also assessed the sewerage treatment desirability and contemplated to take up construction of the treatment plant for sewerage in a phased manner....