Post styrene monomer vapour leak from LG Polymers plant in RR Venkatapuram, the Meghadrigedda reservoir was closed for water supply and fishing. The reservoir is located in close proximity to the chemical plant.
There was apprehension that styrene monomer vapour, which is said to be heavy, might have settled down on the surface water of the reservoir. Based on caution from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), the GVMC and the district administration had closed the reservoir for all activity.
Now after about 50 days after the incident, the NEERI, which had collected samples from the reservoir, has given a green signal to draw water from the reservoir, after conducting a number of tests to ascertain the toxicity of the water.
Speaking to The Hindu , GVMC Commissioner G. Srijana said that even though the NEERI has given its clearance, civic officials would conduct another round of test and if required supply would be resumed from Monday. The 1.1 tmcft capacity reservoir is a storage reservoir for the city and water is drawn from it only when required. “Right now we may not draw water from the reservoir, as we have seen through the summer and there are other regular sources of supply. But the water from the reservoir is absolutely safe for consumption after the normal filtration process,” she said.
Speaking to The Hindu , environmentalist Bolisetti Satyanarayana said that styrene monomer does not dissolve in water. But after the incident, it settled down on the surface of the water. But immediately there was heavy rains for a couple of days, and the settled styrene was washed away. It is happy to hear that the NEERI has given a green signal, he said.
Speaking about the filtration process of the water at the reservoir, GVMC Superintending Engineer (Water) K. Venugopal said that the water when supplied would go through a proper filtration process. After the basic filtration, the water is subjected to alum and chlorine treatment, before the supply, and it is absolutely safe.