The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board plans to establish facilities to monitor the quality of water at waterbodies around Chennai.

The testing stations, proposed in Poondi, Red Hills, Porur and Pulicat, will study the physiochemical and bacteriological parameters of the water.

The Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district from where water is supplied to Chennai would also get a similar facility. The project would be taken up with funding from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

This decision to extend the monitoring programme to more waterbodies follows a communication from the CPCB, asking the TNPCB to increase the number of monitoring stations. The TNPCB now monitors the water quality through 32 stations in Cauvery, Thamirabarani and Vaigai rivers and Kodaikanal, Udhagamandalam and Yercaud lakes.

The Zonal Officer, CPCB, (South Zone) A.Manoharan said, “We have asked the TNPCB to add 50 more stations in water sources, including temple tanks, drinking waterbodies, borewells used for drinking water and also have additional stations in rivers.”

Sources in the TNPCB said a proposal for setting up 23 out of the 50 stations had been submitted to the CPCB. The stations would monitor and record the quality of water for pollution control purposes.

“Though the Chennai Metrowater supplies only treated water, we want to test the water that reaches the lakes from catchment areas as there could be discharge of industrial wastes or chemicals,” an official of the TNPCB said.

Officials of Metrowater said samples of raw water from the reservoirs — Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam — is taken daily for quality check.

The water samples, including from those the Veeranam lake, are tested for various parameters including total dissolved solids, turbidity and dissolved metals and salts. They are sent to the laboratories at the water treatment plants.

Any additional monitoring by another government agency would be of help. Coordinated effort between Metrowater and other agencies would facilitate maintaining the quality of drinking water and prevent pollution, said an official of the water agency.

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