Water quality analysis using all-weather cameras to begin in a fortnight

The real-time monitoring of water quality and tracking of discolouration of the Periyar, which is expected to instantly spot instances of pollution and initiate remedial measures, will begin shortly.

The trial run of the water quality analysis and 24x7 surveillance system using eight all-weather video cameras will begin within a fortnight.

The results of the water quality analysis will be displayed on an electronic display board to be installed at FACT Junction. The initiative of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will be formally inaugurated next month.

Visuals of the river water will be beamed to the control room every five minutes. Analysis of water samples will also take place at an interval of five minutes which would ensure that every change in the river system is caught on camera and recorded without time lapse.

“The data on chemical analysis of water will help in identifying the polluters instantaneously,” said K. Sajeevan, chairman of the KSPCB.

Incidentally, the board had come under severe criticism from environmentalists following instances of pollution of the river system which manifested in the form of discolouration of water and frequent fish kills.

Pollution of the river due to the alleged discharge of untreated effluents by industrial units located on its banks had often ended up in public protests and even violent incidents.

The chemical parameters of the river water that would be monitored include pH, dissolved oxygen and ammoniacal nitrogen.

The analysis will help in pinpointing the polluter whenever the chemicals in the river system cross the permissible limit. “The data will help in identifying the culprits that cause the changes in the river system as the information on companies producing various chemicals is readily available with the authorities,” said Mr. Sajeevan.

With the real-time data in hand, pollution or toxic discharge into the river system can be checked immediately besides ordering the polluters to initiate remedial measures.

Usually, the impact of pollution will be visible or felt after hours of discharge of the toxic materials. It may also take some time for the information on discolouration of water to reach the authorities. By the time, the system gets activated, damage would have been done. “Real-time monitoring will save time and ensure prompt remedial action,” he said.

Mr. Sajeevan claimed it was for the first time in the State that the facilities were being employed for a river system. Keltron was assigned the task of installing the cameras which could be remotely controlled.

The control room for the monitoring system would become operational in a couple of days. Additional hands would be deployed for operating the system round the clock, he said.

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