Conolly Canal completely polluted: CWRDM report

Long way to go: CWRDM conducted the study as part of the third phase of Operation Conolly Canal project.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH

The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is planning to conduct fortnightly checks of water in Conolly Canal as part of efforts to improve its quality. A report of CWRDM released on Sunday revealed that the quality of water in the canal was worse than that of any other similar waterbody in the State.

The report was prepared on the basis of the study of 12 water samples collected on October 10 from all the eight sectors of the canal. After various physio-chemical and bacteriological analysis, it was found that the canal was organically polluted, bacteriologically contaminated with total coliforms, faecal coliforms, and E-coli throughout its 11.2-km length.

Sector 8 near Mooriyad was found to be the most polluted part. It is the point where the canal discharges into the Kallayi river. Owing to proximity to the estuary, the samples had high salinity, conductivity, chloride, hardness, and dissolved solids. The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), a measure of organic pollution, was found to be very high in this part.

Next comes Sector 6 which includes the portion near Sarovaram Bio Park and Arayadathupalam where the BOD level was found quite high. Very high values of coliform bacteria were reported from the site. The level of water contamination is low at the beginning of the canal at Eranhikkal where the water has high salinity, conductivity, hardness, and dissolved solids due to its proximity to the Korappuzha estuary.

But the contamination level tends to increase towards the end of the canal at Mooriyad. Heavy metals such as iron, manganese, and zinc were present in all samples. Lead was detected at Karaparamba, Sector 4.

“We plan to take samples once in a while to ensure that the cleaning process is effective. Ensuring free flow of water was the first step in flushing out pollutants,” said P.S. Harikumar, head of water quality division at CWRDM.

He added that pollution had adversely affected the flora and fauna of the canal, and that only certain kinds of aquatic species could survive there. “Water in the canal can never be pure as it will always be saline due to the flow from estuaries on both ends. But the quality will directly affect the quality of water in nearby waterbodies, including drinking water wells, and hence the need to clean up the canal,” Mr. Harikumar said. The study was conducted as part of the the third phase of Operation Conolly Canal, a project to ensure free flow of clean water through the canal.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 8:23:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/conolly-canal-completely-polluted-cwrdm-report/article25290754.ece

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