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Rising Pollution Concerns: Alarming Levels of Contamination at Arkavathi Stretch by TG Halli Reservoir

Arkavathi Stretch At TG Halli Reservoir Witnesses Alarming Pollution Levels

The Arkavathi River, a crucial water source for the region, has displayed a disturbing increase in pollution levels, particularly in the stretch adjacent to the TG Halli Reservoir. According to recent assessments, the water quality has not seen any improvement over the years, hitting what can only be considered pollution rock-bottom.

One of the most glaring indicators of the deteriorating water quality is the sharp rise in the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels. BOD measures the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms in the decomposition of organic materials, and a high BOD value often signals severely polluted water. The latest readings have revealed a BOD value of 21, the highest since records began under the National Water Monitoring Program in 2018, when the BOD was merely 4. This stark increase underscores the escalating pollution levels, with BOD currently exceeding the permissible limit for drinking water sources after conventional treatment, which stands at 20 according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) standards.

The situation is exacerbated by the alarming concentrations of coliform bacteria detected in the water. Total coliform levels have skyrocketed from 3,500 Most Probable Number (MPN) per 100 milliliters in 2018 to a staggering 35,00,000 MPN/100 ml in the latest report. Similarly, faecal coliform bacteria, which indicate potential contamination by fecal matter, have increased from 300 MPN/100 ml to 46,000 MPN/100 ml. These figures are far beyond the CPCB’s acceptable levels for water bodies used for recreational activities, commercial fisheries, or even those designated solely for industrial purposes.

The presence of such high levels of pathogenic bacteria not only signals a severe eutrophic condition, rendering the water non-potable but also indicates unhealthy aquatic ecosystems. Ecologists warn that a persistent and increasing high BOD over time necessitates immediate actions to enhance water quality. They point out that while a certain level of stagnation in water bodies can lead to natural increases in BOD during specific seasons, the consistent rise observed over the past few years is alarming. Stagnation fosters the growth of invasive species, further reducing dissolved oxygen levels and adversely affecting the biodiversity.

Aside from reflecting on the impacts of such pollution on the ecosystem, experts criticise the regulatory mechanisms for failing to address the pollution effectively. The state pollution control board, tasked with the regulation, is accused of inadequate action against the offenders, thereby allowing pollution levels to surge unchecked. It’s argued that merely monitoring pollution levels is insufficient; there should be a concerted effort towards pollution mitigation including stringent actions against violators and developing localized strategies to ameliorate water quality. Contaminants entering the river system are attributed not just to untreated sewage but also from industrial discharges and agricultural runoff, highlighting a multifaceted problem that requires a comprehensive approach to resolve.

This escalation of pollution in the Arkavathi River stretch near TG Halli Reservoir emphasises the need for a more proactive stance in environmental management and regulation. Ensuring the health of our water bodies is not just about preserving ecosystems but also about safeguarding public health, maintaining biodiversity, and securing water for future generations.

Ava Bloom

Ava Bloom is an eco-influencer and sustainability coach who has transformed her commitment to a zero-waste lifestyle into a catalyst for change. Through her engaging social media presence and hands-on workshops, Ava teaches the beauty and feasibility of sustainable living. Her journey is one of continuous learning and sharing, from eco-friendly home practices to advocating for sustainable fashion. Ava's articles are a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and motivational insights, empowering readers to make small changes that have a big impact on our planet.

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