Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 July 2024 6.42 PM IST

Drinking water is matter of life


There is a saying that water is life. It is not just a saying but the truth. If the problem in summer is that households have to use contaminated water due to lack of clean water, during the monsoons the septic tanks fill up and the water gets mixed with fresh water sources. In Kochi, more than 500 residents of the DLF flat complexes in Kakkanad have sought treatment for diarrhea and vomiting, and the primary suspicion is that drinking water is infected. The tests of the health department to find the cause is underway. A few days ago in Kochi, the inmates of the Revenue Tower experienced the same symptoms and it was confirmed that the infection from the drinking water was the cause of the problem.

One of the septic tanks is adjacent to the underground tank that supply drinking water in the revenue tower, which also houses the Police Commissionerate. It was found that this tank was leaking and toilet waste was mixing with the drinking water tank. The work to replace the tanks to mitigate the chance for drinking water and sewage to mix were going on when the problem in DLF Flat arose. Many of the residents have been experiencing discomforts like diarrhea and vomiting since early this month, but they all sought treatment on their own and did not share this with each other. The public health department came to know about the incident after some people got suspicious and informed the municipal health department.

The presence of coliform bacteria was identified in the drinking water which caused illness among the Revenue Tower inmates. The presence of E-coli bacteria, which is found in sewage and faeces, was also found in the water sample taken from the underground tank of DLF Flats, which could also be due to septic tank leakage. But, to be sure about that, the laboratory test results should come. In many large flats, which are home to hundreds of families, drinking water is stored in underground tanks that are delivered from outside in tankers. From this water is pumped to overhead tanks and reaches the houses through pipes. But apart from the owners, residents of these flat complexes have little understanding of the location of septic tanks. If anyone is suspicious, the owners will dismiss it instantly.

The health problem experienced by hundreds of inmates in two building complexes in the city of Kochi cannot be dismissed as an isolated incident. As soon as the tests in the DLF flat complex are completed, similar tests should be conducted in the flat complexes in other cities including Thiruvananthapuram and drinking water samples should be collected from the water tank and sent to the laboratories. How the toilet waste collection and disposal is done in the flats should also be investigated. If the septic tank is next to the drinking water tanks, then the problem is serious, urgent instructions should be given to change their location and action should be taken. Because water is life!

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