Faecal coliform levels 660 times desirable limit in the Yamuna

The level of faecal coliform (microbes from human and animal excreta) is above the desirable limit at all points tested in Yamuna in Delhi, except for Palla where the river enters the city, as per a Delhi government report.

For bathing in a river, the desirable level of faecal coliform is 500 MPN/100 ml or lesser, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.

Near ITO Bridge the level was 3,30,000 MPN/100 ml, which is 660 times the desirable level. In eight of the nine locations, the level was higher than the safe limit.

The report is a ‘Monthly Progress Report’ submitted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti on cleaning Yamuna.

The report also said that levels of different pollutants are above permissible limits in ground water samples from different points near the four landfills in Delhi.

The report further said that in September no sewer lines were laid and notified in unauthorised colonies, work that is part of the effort to clean the Yamuna.

The report also pointed out that the New Delhi Municipal Council processed all 272 Tonnes Per Day (TPD) of solid waste generated in its area and none of the waste goes to landfills in the city.

However, around 2,100 TPD of waste from the North Corporation finds its way to the landfills; 2,000 TPD of waste from East Corporation; and 1,750 TPD of waste from the South Corporation.

Ground water samples from four different points near Ghazipur landfill showed that the hardness of water was higher than the desirable limit of 300 mg/l.

The levels of chlorine and calcium were also above the desirable limit in all four samples. The level of sulfate was higher than the desirable limit of 200 mg/l in three of the four samples. Data from the other three landfills showed similar trends.

“All the landfills in Delhi are overcapacity. They were not built as scientific landfills and are just dumping grounds. The waste ends up polluting both the surface and the groundwater,” said Suresh Kumar Rohilla, director of water programme, Centre for Science and Environment. “This results in higher than permissible levels of pollution in nearby areas,” he said, but added scientific interventions were made to resolve some issues.

Regarding faecal coliform levels, Mr. Rohilla said: “Almost no stretch of the Yamuna in Delhi is safe for bathing. Water with such high level of fecal coliform can lead to skin infection on external contact and water borne diseases if ingested.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 11:32:00 PM |

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