The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has released a report on ‘Water quality status of Maharashtra’ stating that seawater, as well as the quality of water in Mumbai and Thane districts, is deteriorating. The report shows that the seawater quality at Mumbai beaches and sea face, which are tourists hotspots, are within the range of medium to very bad.
After monitoring 10 saline water stations (sea/creek) in Mumbai, the report found that the levels of faecal coliform content and biochemical oxygen demand were almost nine times higher than the safety limit. Human settlements and industrial establishments around the creeks and places near Mumbai seashore are mainly responsible for the deplorable condition of the water. The report also reveals how untreated and semi-treated sewage water generated from industrial areas of the two cities and human waste gets mixed with water, thereby, causing the quality of water to drop drastically.
Untreated/semi-treated sewage generated from human settlements and industrial establishments around creeks and near the seashore get directly mixed into creeks and seawater of Mumbai and Thane, which could be the possible reason behind low WQI, read the report prepared by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) based on data on the water quality monitored by MPCB.
According to reports, saline water quality monitoring takes place at 36 locations representing four districts along the Maharashtra coastline. There are 10 saline WQMS installed in the Mumbai district whereas Thane, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts have 19, three and four saline WQMS installed. There is no WQMS in the Sindhudurg district.
A total of 43 parameters are considered to calculate the WQI, of which pH level, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and faecal coliform are core parameters. A WQI of above 63 indicates “good to excellent” surface water quality, while WQI of 38 and less indicates “bad to very bad” water quality or heavily polluted.
Of the 11 water monitoring stations (including 10 for seawater) in Mumbai, Mithi near Mahim bridge recorded an average WQI of 30, falling into the category of ‘bad to very bad’, while two stations recorded bad WQI and remaining eight recorded WQI ranging between “medium to good”.
(with inputs from agencies)