District Hospital warns against wasting water
City residents were hit by acute water shortage as the distribution of water came down drastically on Friday. Hospitals were also affected with District Hospital authorities issuing a warning to use water carefully on its premises.
The treatment plant at Aluva stopped pumping water for at least seven hours on Friday as the salinity increased due to the water level dropping way below the optimum point.
As the treatment plant pumps in nearly 250 million litres of water a day, the stoppage of pumping slackened the distribution to about 160 mld, said T.G. Rajasekharan, superintending engineer, Kerala Water Authority.
The pumps were down for five hours in the morning from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. and in the evening from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., leaving city residents with only a trickle in the taps.
The pumps were down for three hours on Thursday morning too.
The level of water in the Periyar is a metre less than what it was last year, said Mr. Rajasekharan. Lack of rain coupled with the surge of saline water, with no bund at Purapallikkavu increased the chloride level to more than 250 ppm, which is the cut-off mark for salinity. “The quality of water is affected if we try to treat water that has high salt-content. It would also affect the machines,” he said.
The Collector has promised to build a bund at Purapallikkavu by Sunday, he said. More water would also be required from Bhuthathankettu, where the shutters were closed two days ago as the water stored there could not be expected to meet irrigation demands, said Mr. Rajasekharan.
Water supply from the Choondi treatment plant is also likely to be affected if the storage at Idukki dam lowers beyond a critical point. There was a break in pumping for a couple of hours a day ago, but the water level at Ramamangalam, where the KWA takes in water, needs to be supported with a check dam. A proposal for the check dam has been sent too.
However, funds for the check dam would be granted soon only if the district is proclaimed as drought-hit, said senior officials in KWA. So far, the government has not made any such announcement.