Bengaluru South water not potable amid rising diarrhoea cases during monsoon

During monsoon, drains overflow and rainwater seeps into ground, says doctor 

Published: 17th July 2023 08:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2023 08:21 AM   |  A+A-

Tap water

For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU:   Amid rising diarrhoea cases during the monsoon, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) water sample analysis report for June shows South Bengaluru has the highest number of water samples ‘not suitable for potable purposes’ (NSPP).   

Of the total 692 samples tested, 59 (9 per cent) were NSPP and 31 of those were from South Bengaluru. BBMP Chief Health Officer Dr AS Balasundar explained that surveillance is increased during the monsoon due to the higher risk of diseases due to water contamination. They test samples from RO water plants, hotels and even public taps, to study the presence of contaminants in water. Water found unfit is chlorinated and tested again to ensure it is fit for potable use. 

BBMP officials explained that water testing is conducted on a monthly basis, with 2-3 per cent of samples found NSPP, with the numbers rising to 10 per cent during the monsoon. A rise in patients suffering from water-related ailments is also seen across hospitals, but there is no exact data as many consult private practitioners. 

Dr Parimala V Thirumalesh, senior consultant (neonatology and paediatrics), at Aster CMI Hospital, said, “We have been seeing 18-20 cases a week lately, with people suffering from diarrhoea. Most of them occurred due to consumption of contaminated water and frequently eating outside.” 

The cases see an upsurge during monsoons, with flooding being common, and drains overflowing with rainwater which seeps into the ground, Dr Parimala explained. Under such circumstances, groundwater itself becomes contaminated and causes infections like typhoid or diarrhoea. Watery loose stool multiple times is the main symptom of diarrhoea. It can be associated with dehydration, bloating, nausea and stomach pain.

Dr Sheela Murali Chakravarthy, director (internal medicine), of Fortis Hospital, too noted an increase in diarrhoea cases. “There has been an increasing number of acute gastroenteritis cases, with 10 cases weekly and 50 per cent of them requiring hospital admission.” She also advised citizens to reduce eating outside, especially uncooked street food like paani puri. Tap water should not be used directly for cooking, either consume boiled water or RO water.

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