Affirming the plight of residents around the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s Jawarhanagar landfill, a new study states groundwater available there is unfit for consumption due to contamination from the site.
Published recently in the journal Applied Water Science, the study by B. Soujanya Kamble of the Department of Environmental Science and Praveen Raj Saxena of the applied geochemistry department at Osmania University induces urgency in the plans of the municipal administration to supply water to the area.
Among the many parameters tested and compared with World Health Organization standards, the study found that groundwater samples collected from 15 locations around the dumpsite had TDS, magnesium, calcium nitrate, and chloride levels far exceeding prescribed WHO limits. For instance, against a WHO prescribed TDS level of 500 mg/litre, one of the sample sites yielded water with TDS levels of 1,408 mg/litre.
An indication of the level of water pollution caused by the dumpsite was provided by an analysis of leachate from a pond located close by. Leachate is the liquid that seeps from the landfill. All parameters recorded high levels in the leachate, which is the source of water pollution, the study claims.
The findings of the study ring true with claims of locals who continue to oppose the location of the dump yard in their area since 2002. Besides foulness of air, residents have raised the issue of non-availability of water resources and contamination from the landfill as hurdles to healthy living in the area.
Incidentally, the GHMC administration announced last weekend funds to the tune of Rs. 4.6 crore to supply drinking water. Of this, Rs. 1.15 crore is to be spent for laying pipeline from Haridaspally to Cheeriyal, which is located about 7 km away. The project is expected to benefit around 12 villages affected by the dumpsite, but the GHMC did not announce a timeframe for implementation and completion of the project.
While the study blamed garbage for rendering groundwater unfit for consumption, it pointed out that the water could be used for irrigation with salinity control.
Study finds samples collected from 15 locations had TDS, magnesium exceeding prescribed WHO limits