Flow of untreated water from MRPL unit causes concern among residents in Kuthethoor, Katipalla

July 26, 2023 07:46 pm | Updated 07:54 pm IST - MANGALURU

Officials from the Karnataka Pollution Control Board speaking to MRPL officials and residents of Kuthethoor on Wednesday.

Officials from the Karnataka Pollution Control Board speaking to MRPL officials and residents of Kuthethoor on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Flow of untreated water from the flare gas scrubbed water tank in the captive power plant area of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) to a natural drain on Tuesday night caused concern among residents of Kuthethoor and Katipalla, who are staying close to the drain.

A spokesperson of MRPL told The Hindu that the flow of untreated water was accidental.

The spokesperson said that flare gas scrubbed water is stocked in a tank in the captive power plant (CPP) area. Two pumps automatically pump this water regularly for treating at the effluent treatment plant. There was a snag in the automatic pumping system due to heavy rains on Tuesday night. It took about 30 minutes for MRPL to fix it and restore the operation. During this time, about 1,000 litres of untreated scrubbed water flowed out to the natural drain. Corrective measures were taken immediately by deploying boom and gully sucker.

Foul smell of scrubbed water caused breathing problems to some residents at Kuthethoor, Katipalla and adjoining areas. Following complaints by the residents and intimation by MRPL, a team of officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) visited the CPP area and also met the residents.

KSPCB environment engineer B.R. Ravi said the foul smell experienced by residents was due to presence of hydrocarbon and hydrosulphide in the scrubbed water. “The smell was severe on Tuesday night and it came down on Wednesday morning,” Mr. Ravi said. Water samples from the drain have been collected.

Mr. Ravi said a notice was issued to MRPL and directions to take mitigating measures. A report has also been sent to Deputy Commissioner M.P. Mullai Muhilan.

Meanwhile, health officer from Katipalla Primary Health Centre Bharath Kumar prescribed medicines to those who had breathing problems. “They were minor problems and appropriate medicine was given,” Mangaluru Taluk Health Officer Sujay Kumar Bhandary said.

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