A new report says that groundwater in Bengaluru is very dangerous for consumption as it contains a cocktail of chemicals and even sewage which can cause kidney failure and cancer.
First there was danger in the air due to pollution, then on the ground due to terrible traffic jams; now, a new report says that there is more danger under the ground too. A report from the Central Water Resources Ministry says the groundwater in Bengaluru is dangerous for consumption. The tested water contained a cocktail of chemicals and even sewage which can cause kidney failure and cancer among other diseases.
Yuck, you may say, but that is the stark reality.
The report says that water transported through tankers is the prime culprit. The groundwater transported through tankers often has a cocktail of deadly chemical; it short, many residents, especially those living in flats, may be in for slow poisoning.
The seemingly fresh water supplied through tankers is dangerous due to the dissolved solids in the water, the water ministry report revealed. Consumption of such contaminated groundwater may lead to long-term effects like severe kidney problems, cancers, blue baby syndrome and dental disorders, the report said.
In waters that were transported through tankers had high levels of chemicals, metal fluorides, nitrate, salinity and iron above permissible limits.
Experts said the harmful contents in groundwater were because of unscientific handling of solid waste and sewage. Sewage is often allowed to percolate down into the groundwater instead of being scientifically treated.
MN Thippeswamy, former chief engineer with Bangalore Water Supply & sewerage Board (BWSSB), was quoted as saying: “More than 50 percent of sewage is let into the storm water drains, thereby allowing it to percolate naturally and get into the underground water table. Unless we do something to change the sewage conveyance system, this will only increase in the coming days. Elimination of nitrates requires hi-tech technology that Karnataka is yet to adopt”.
The leakage from sewer lines/soak pits (latrine) or leakage from water supply pipelines or both may be locally recharging the groundwater causing its level to rise and thereby affecting the base mix with deadly chemicals.
Following the reports, the Karnataka health department has ordered mandatory health certificate for water supplied through water tankers to ensure pure and contaminant-free potable water.
But that is not enough. As the city is warming up to summer, the demand for water tankers is likely to increase. The government acting swiftly to this issue is the need of the hour.