Water samples in many areas show fecal contamination
originally posted on January 7, 2017
As per the lab analysis made by Mangalore Biotech Laboratory, the first lab with National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation in the district, water samples collected from Surathkal, Katipalla, Krishnapura, Chilimbi, Bondel and other places were highly contaminated with fecal coliforms. Palemar, who was the minister in the BJP government, collected water samples from 27 areas in the city and obtained bacterial microbiology test from the lab. He says that the MCC and the government should act fast as the drinking water supplied in the city is not potable.
According to the report prepared by the lab, the water collected from Government Hospital in Surathkal was contaminated with the presence of coliforms, especially fecal coliforms. The value of total coliforms found in the water sample collected from the Government Hospital in Surathkal is 1,600 MPN/100ml and it has presence of 900 MPN/100ml of fecal coliform in it. Water is considered potable only if the values of total coliforms and fecal coliforms are zero.
Further, the report also found presence of high total coliforms and fecal coliforms in water samples collected from Katipalla Masjid, Bondel, Chilimbi, Krishnapura 7th Block and Krishnapura water tank. The value of total coliforms found in the water sample collected from the Katipalla Masjid is 348 MPN/100ml and it had presence of 40 MPN/100ml of fecal coliform in it. The value of total coliforms found in the water sample collected from a spot in Bondel is 40 MPN/100ml and it had presence of 34 MPN/100ml of fecal coliform in it. Similarly, water samples from Chilimbi, just a kilometre away from MCC office, too has been contaminated with coliforms. The value of total coliforms found in the water sample collected from Chilimbi is 25 MPN/100ml and it has presence of 21 MPN/100ml of fecal coliform in it, the report stated.
Palemar said, Water pollution caused by fecal contamination is a serious problem due to the potential for contracting diseases from pathogens. He added that leak in sewage pipeline might be a reason for water contamination.
What is fecal coliforms?
Coliforms are bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. Total coliforms include bacteria that are found in the soil, water that has been influenced by surface water and in human or animal waste. Meanwhile, fecal coliforms are the group of the total coliforms that are considered to be present specifically in the gut and feces of warm-blooded animals, said Anand Ramakrishna, manager, Mangalore Biotech Laboratory .
He added that testing for bacteria is the only reliable way to know if your water is safe. If disease-causing bacteria are present in drinking water, the most common symptoms are gastrointestinal upset, general flu-like symptoms such as fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. The bacteria can also cause pneumonia, other respiratory illness and urinary tract infections, he said and urged the city corporation to look into the matter very seriously.