20 percent of Mumbai’s drinking water is badly contaminated

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This is a piece of news that will make your struggle to find a taxi or an auto in the Mumbai rains a far more palatable experience. Unfortunately enough, this is also a piece of news that will make a process as simple as drinking water a daunting and worrying task.

Because, according to a Hindustan Times report, it’s not potholes or errant cab drivers that are the most disturbing aspects of the Mumbai monsoon, but a report by the BMC that has declared that 20 percent of the drinking water supplied in Mumbai is contaminated by disease causing bacteria.

The report says that water contamination in June has shot up to 20 percent from 12 percent in May. What is probably even more scary is the fact that 17 percent of the water sample collected from taps right outside the reservoirs in Mumbai turned out to be contaminated! The incident also coincides with the increased number of cholera cases been reported in the city.

The Times of India recently reported that large areas in central Mumbai and the eastern suburbs had been receiving turbid, muddy and smelly water from taps over the past two weeks. Following repeated complaints by the residents, the BMC has finally found the point in the pipeline where the water is getting contaminated.

The TOI reports:

Areas like Dadar, Naigaon, Mazgaon, Byculla, Parel, Worli, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli have been complaining of turbid water with a stench and made several complaints to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Civic officials said the source of contamination was identified on Monday and the civic body has started repair work. They said turbid water was common during the monsoon as muddy water often entered the old, porous water pipelines, adding the civic body was trying to locate the problem for three to four days.

According to a civic body official, the Bhandarwada reservoir which supplies water to these areas in Mumbai has been contaminated and it will take at least a couple of more days to fix it.

Of the water samples which were collected from just outside the reservoirs, several were unfit for drinking and several samples had traces of Escherichia Coli (E coli), the bacteria that causes diarrhea and cholera.

If you have hoping that the civic body will fix the issue soon, the bad news is that the BMC itself has no clue how water is getting contaminated right when it is coming out of the reservoir in which it undergoes the purification process.

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