Mumbaikars will be amazed to know that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) environment report 2018-19 outlines that the unfit water sample percentage is reduced to 0.7% in the city. This means that the water is now safe enough to be consumed from the main municipal source. In the year 2016-17, the average unfit water sample percentage was 3%, which in this year has dropped down to 0.7%. However, in 2012-13, the unfit water samples for the entire city stood at 17%.
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Ajanta News spoke to one of the engineers of Hydraulic Department of BMC, Mr. Argade for getting more details about the unfit water sample percentage report. According to him, there are 24 administrative wards from where about 150 water samples are taken for tests every day. “The water samples are collected from the resources, reservoirs and the water distribution system and they are sent for tests in our Dadar laboratory. Everyday about 150 samples are collected from all over Mumbai. 24 administrative wards are there and 225 water supply zones are there,” mentioned the official.
According to reports, the most unfit water samples are – 2.4 % as the annual average — in the city in 2018-19 are from M West ward, which includes areas like Chembur and Tilaknagar. That is followed by B ward (2.1%) which has areas such as Dongri and Umarkhadi and R North (2%), which includes parts of Dahisar. Additional reports suggest that the drinking water gets contaminated due to old and corroded pipelines.
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When the BMC engineer was asked about the steps they take to reduce the percentage of unfit water sample, he said that changing the old pipeline is the only thing they can do for it. “We change the old pipeline that is the only thing we can do for reducing the unfit water samples because there cannot be a full proof system for reducing the contamination as long as you have an individual water supply system,” he replied.
When asked about their further plan to reduce the percentage of unfit water sample beyond 0.7%, he said, “I don’t think we can do something beyond this because this is the maximum level we can reach in the present scenario.”
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Lastly, when we asked him about the time period in which the pipelines have to be changed, he replied, “It is the continuous process of changing the pipelines. Consumer service pipelines have to be changed in every 5 years and they don’t do it for 30 years unless they stop getting water and normal pipelines have to be changed in 35 to 40 years. Some pipelines last for 50 years also.”