Real-time water quality sensors recommended to check pollution along Edayar stretch of Periyar river in Kerala

Ernakulam district administration informs Kerala government that Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies has suggested installing permanent water quality probes in different parts of Periyar to ensure continuous monitoring of water quality parameters

Updated - June 11, 2024 05:32 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 05:05 pm IST - KOCHI

Dead fish found floating in a cage farm at Shappukadavu, near Cheranalloor, in Kochi on May 21 along the Eloor-Edayar industrial area.

Dead fish found floating in a cage farm at Shappukadavu, near Cheranalloor, in Kochi on May 21 along the Eloor-Edayar industrial area. | Photo Credit: R.K. NITHIN

The Ernakulam district administration in Kerala has recommended a continuous real-time monitoring of the water quality in the 3-km Eloor-Edayar stretch of the Periyar river to check incidents such as mass fish kill and discolouration of the waterbody.

It has informed the Kerala government that the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos), which probed the mass fish kill near the Pathalam regulator and the downstream on May 20 and 21, has suggested installing permanent water quality probes in different parts of the river to ensure continuous monitoring of the water quality parameters.

Experts of the varsity, who were part of the investigating team, had also suggested regular sampling system along the 3-km industrial stretch of the river. These recommendations figure among the report submitted by the district administration before the government in the wake of the mass fish kill.

Minimum flow recommended

The report has suggested the need to maintain a minimum flow in the river during the lean period to prevent hypoxia (oxygen depletion) due to water stagnation. It has recommended periodical operation of regulators in order to maintain the minimum flow.

This was part of the action plan for the rejuvenation of the river prepared as per the directives issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The Irrigation department has been told to study the suggestion and come up with a plan without affecting the drinking water availability upstream of the regulator.

A comprehensive study has to be conducted by a competent agency on the impact of the fish kill and discolouration on the ecosystem of the river. Apart from visible death of fish and other aquatic organisms, a study on the impact on zooplanktons, phytoplankton, algae and other microscopic organisms is required for a health aquatic ecosystem. A comprehensive ecosystem restoration plan has to be drawn for protecting the riverine ecosystem, it said.

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