SMC aims to make Tapi clean like Thames of London

By Times Of India on 02 May 2017 | read
SURAT: While the phenomenal increase in floating and rooted vegetation, including water hyacinth and hydrilla in Tapi river, has been a major cause for concern for deteriorating water quality, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), for the first time, has devised a unique method to keep the floating vegetation away from the intake wells that pump water from the river.

The 500 metres area around the two intake wells in the river located at Katargam have been cordoned off by underwater steel structure to prevent vegetation ingress. Within the structure, high performance aerators have been placed to increase the dissolved oxygen in water.

Official sources said the thick mat of water hyacinth, which has covered a huge part upstream of Tapi river from Singanpore to Sarthana water works, has become a cause of worry. It (water hyacinth) causes complete depletion of dissolved oxygen, which is essential for fish, birds and other aquatic life.

It's due to water hyacinth and hydrilla that the quality of water supplied to the residents was deteriorating. There have been complaints of discolouration and odour from the water supplied by SMC.

The city's daily requirement of water is 1,150 million litres per day (MLD). Around 96% of the area under SMC is covered with the pipeline network. There are eight water works namely Sarthana, Katargam, Varachha, Rander, Kosad, Mota Varachha, Simada and Dindoli from where the water is distributed to the residents.

The plants are also known to carry pathogens, which infect several crops. The plant cover provides obnoxious smell, colouring matter and suspended particulate matter in water. The rate of organic matter production by water hyacinth is so high that the dead organic matter accumulates in the water body.

Talking with TOI, additional city engineer, K H Khatwani said, "London's Thames river is one of the cleanest in the world. It is because of the resolution that the river is owned by both people and the government. We have set the target to clean Tapi river like Thames."

Khatwani added, "The steel structure covers 500 metre radius around the intake wells that pumps 390 million litre water per day (MLD). First, we had to remove the hyacinth and hydrilla from the area. "