The Coimbatore Corporation on Monday morning supplied Pilloor water to residents of Bharati Park and other areas in Ward 22. But the water the residents received was full of sewage. It was black, resembling black phenyl, complained Mohan Sankar, a resident.
He was the first one to notice that the water the Corporation had supplied was mixed with sewage, carried a foul odour and unfit for human consumption. This was around 6 a.m. He then alerted a few members of the residents’ association and they went around asking the residents to not use the water.
The residents then reached the Ward 22 Councillor V. Annammal, who said that though she was in Chennai she would take the necessary action. The residents wanted the Corporation or the Councillor to caution the residents against using the water by engaging a public address system. But that did not happen, said Tarun Shah, another resident.
The residents said that they then met Commissioner G. Latha, who, not only acknowledge the gravity of the problem but also asked her water supply engineers to immediately attend to the problem. The residents also requested the Commissioner to supply water through lorries.
But the problem did not end there.
The residents said they were forced to clean sumps at their residences because Monday’s supply had polluted water that was left in the sumps. The last water supply the residents received was eight days ago.
Corporation engineers said that since they suspected the sewage to have entered the drinking water supply line at a culvert on NSR Road, they were trying to address the issue by plugging the opening there. After plugging the leak, they would resume supply on a trial basis to study the quality of water. But prior to the work they would draw out all the polluted water in the pipeline.
If things did not improve, they would study other spots.
The residents said that the Corporation digging earth using earth movers for constructing storm water drain was the problem because the contractors who executed the work did not take enough care to not damage the drinking water supply pipelines.