Recently, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) hydronic engineer Ashok Tawadia said that tap water is safe to drink for the people of Mumbai. He adds that provided due to the potable nature of the water residents should ensure cleanliness of their tanks else the water can be drank from the tap itself.
According to report, at least a lakh of diarrhoea cases very year were to be reporter in local dispensaries and hospital in Mumbai. Although yes drinkable tap water is an achievement for such a huge distribution, the water reserved in the BMC’s Master Balance Reservoir at Bhandup was recognised as the purest in the world by international agencies. However the quality deprived by the time it reaches the people due to poor distribution systems.
Constant efforts and test for the presence of Coliform bacteria, E-Coli - a type of bacteria found is the faeces, has proven helpful for the BMC in providing pure drinking tap water. Water supply across Mumbai since the December last year, is said to be “Pure water flow”. Earlier recording a 1% of contamination from all the collected samples. This March however this dropped to a further astonishing 0.7%. According to the international standards, less than 5% of the samples are contaminated and further testing are done for the presence of the coliform bacteria E-coli found in the faecal materials.
In Mumbai, out of the 0.7% contaminated samples, 0.15% were found contaminated with the coliform bacteria. This renders to low infection chances, two in 1000 people might get infected by drinking this water. This improvement in the water quality started in 2012-13 after a severe outbreak of waterborne diseases in the C-Ward(Marine lines, Kalbadevi etc) where the samples collected by the BMC said that 17% of the samples collected were contaminated.
To harmonise this, the steel pipelines for the surface distribution were converted to underground concrete tunnels. The city today has 14 such underground tunnels.
V. Gharat , sub-engineer, responsible for sampling and monitoring of the water supply said: “As per the world health organisation guidelines, we need to collect 1250 samples per month. We collect 3000 samples. This ensure that water samples are collected from all the zones very week.” Furthermore, 358 water supply point been identified from the 257 water distribution zones. Serving 10,000 people per point. Water samples are collected from the 36 out of 27 reservoirs in the city.
The BMC tends to collect around 36000 samples all over the year and the results are also calculated annually. From a 17% to just 0.7%