Peri-urban drinking water has high amounts of E-Coli

The presence of diarrhea-inducing bacteria such as E. Coli or Escherichia coli in Bangalore’s peri-urban areas indicates fecal and sewage contamination.

A map of the selected villages for the study.

Bangalore, November 22, 2017: The drinking water in peri-urban Bangalore (areas adjoining the suburbs) is unfit for human consumption with high levels of diarrhoea-inducing E. Coli says a new study across 29 villages.

The researchers tested microbial quality of 29 water samples at source, from borewells and 43 water samples from households and found that 80 per cent and 93 per cent of samples respectively were unfit for human consumption by World Health Organization standards—zero E. coli in a 100 ml sample.

The study, published in Current Science, in November, 2017 was conducted by a team of three researchers at Manipal University.

The presence of diarrhoea-inducing bacteria such as E. Coli or Escherichia coli indicates fecal and sewage contamination.  Water samples from all 29 villages were contaminated with E. Coli with 41 per cent of them in moderate to high-risk category.

After a one-time sampling of samples from the 29 villages, a cluster of 8 villages (Anchipura village, Anchipura colony, Bannigiri, Chikkakuntanahalli, Kodiyala Keranahalli, Kodiyala, Mahadevpura and Kodihalli) was selected as a central focus. This cluster is close to the Vrishabhavati reservoir which receives industrial waste from the Bengaluru and Bidadi industrial areas.

In order to understand the variation in microbial quality over different months, water samples were collected from this cluster in five different months from December 2014 till September 2015. All water samples at all sampling times were found to be contaminated with E. Coli.

“While 20 per cent of drinking water samples at source complied with WHO standards for E. coli (no risk category), the percentage of samples complying at household level was only 7 per cent,” the study pointed out.

The primary reason for contamination could be the inflow of sewage and industrial waste from Bengaluru and Bidadi industrial areas.
 
KV Srikeshava, Chief Engineer, Karnataka Urban Water Supply Board said, "I'm not aware of E Coli. pollution in Ramanagara district, at least in towns. Although the situation may be different in very rural areas."

“The state river is in today, it carries all kinds of pollutants and the people living downstream have complained of diseases and health hazards coming up due to the filthy water.” said, Arun Dwarakanath, a water conservationist and a resident of RR Nagar.

“The pollutants from industries isn’t the sole reason for the river to die. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has tied up all the sewer lines to the river.” he further added.

 

 
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