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Updated: October 17, 2013 12:43 IST

Complaints of discoloured, muddy water flow heavily

S. Ganesan
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Drinking water found to be discoloured at a residence in Ariyamangalam in
Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: M. Moorthy
The Hindu Drinking water found to be discoloured at a residence in Ariyamangalam in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: M. Moorthy

Corporation officials say the problem is limited to certain areas and attribute it to the sedimentation in pipelines

Residents in several parts of the city getting supply from the new drinking water supply augmentation scheme have been getting discoloured and muddy water over the past couple of months. Though the water scheme is yet to be commissioned fully, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation started pumping water from all the three collector wells of the new scheme with its source on the Coleroon river at the height of the summer when the yield from the city’s major water schemes on the Cauvery fell sharply.

The Rs. 221.42-crore new drinking water augmentation scheme is being executed with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The scheme seeks to step up the per capita drinking water supply to 135 litres a day and ensure equitable distribution to all parts of the city. It is designed to provide 93.26 million litres a day (MLD) to the city in the ultimate stage in 2039.

The corporation is now pumping about 60 MLD from the new scheme and the water is supplied to a majority of areas that were previously getting water from the Golden Rock Combined Drinking Water Supply Scheme, apart from a few other parts of the city. (The yield from the Golden Rock water scheme has come down gradually over the years. Scheme is now used as “standby” and the civic body is said to be exploring the feasibility of supplying water from the scheme to the five newly-added areas.)

As a consequence, areas such as Ariyamangalam, Melakalkandarkottai, Senthaneeerpuram, Sangiliandapuram, Ponmalaipatti, Central Prison, Subramaniapuram, Airport, Sembattu, Kallukuzhi, Khaja Nagar, and Khajamalai are now being provided water from the new scheme. Many colonies in these areas still get supply on alternate days.

Residents in several pockets in these areas complain that they have been getting discoloured water ever since the corporation started pumping water directly from the new scheme. The iron content in the water is also said to be high. Councillors representing some of the wards in the areas have been raising the issue at the corporation council over the past few months.

“The quality of the water supplied from the new scheme is poor. Though we have been getting muddy and discoloured water for quite some time, there has been some improvement over the past week. However, the quality of water is still poor and most residents do not use the water for drinking. Many residents are still buying water for drinking purpose,” says M.Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations, and a resident of Lakshmipuram.

The federation, at its recent core committee meeting, pleaded that Cauvery water should be supplied to all parts of the city and reiterated its demand for the construction of an anicut with regulators so as to store adequate water on the river to meet the drinking water requirements.

Corporation officials, however, say that the problem is limited to certain pockets and attribute it to the sedimentation in the pipelines. Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani, when contacted, said the civic body was working on rectifying the problem reported in some places. He expected the problem to be controlled once the sump built at Ponmalaipatti was energised and water was pumped to overhead tanks from there in the next few days.

The iron content in the water has been found to be well within the permissible limits.

The corporation was planning to set up a treatment plant to ensure quality water supply, he said.

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