KOCHI: The presence of coliform bacteria was found in wells in the flood-affected areas after the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) completed the first phase testing of well water recently. However, the KSPCB officers said the situation is under control. Super-chlorination has been recommended in wells where coliform bacteria was spotted, they said.
The KSPCB carried out the drive with the assistance of NSS volunteers and the Haritha Kerala Mission to check whether the water in wells in flood-affected areas is safe for household use. As part of the drive, around 9,000 wells located in six municipalities and six panchayats located in six districts were examined.
“In some wells, we found high presence of coliform bacteria.
However, water from these wells can be used after boiling at high temperature. Only direct consumption is unsafe. The situation is under control. We will soon recommend super-chlorination in the wells where high coliform bacteria were spotted,” KSPCB Ernakulam regional Chief Environmental Engineer, M A Baiju said.
The samples were collected from wells in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Wayanad districts.“The coliform bacteria was found in the wells where chlorination was done before flood water completely receded. It happened because the residents might have carried out chlorination immediately after water receded from inside of their houses. Chlorination should have been done after water receded completely from the house and surroundings. In some wells, over-chlorination was also found,” he said.
The KSPCB had come out with a test kit to check water quality in wells. Samples were collected by NSS volunteers and sent to KSPCB state and district-level laboratories.“After examining the test results, a decision will be taken on conducting a drive to examine samples from more wells in flood-affected areas. Similarly, an action plan will be chalked out to clean up wells where coliform bacteria was traced,” another KSPCB engineer in Thiruvananthapuram said.The KSPCB is monitoring waste management activities in flood-affected areas in various districts. The state agency has initiated various steps to dispose of waste dumped from flood-hit houses.