Biological oxygen demand exceeds limits at site
Tests of samples collected by the State Pollution Control Board from the leachate drain at the solid waste management plant of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram here have revealed exceeding levels of biological oxygen demand and other parameters.
The situation was no different in samples collected from the outlet portion of the nearby septage treatment plant that revealed exceeding levels of faecal contamination (6,20,000 cfu/100 ml) and biological oxygen demand (135 mg/l against the limit of 30 mg/l).
The biological oxygen demand, which is a proxy for organic pollution, was 4,269 mg/litre against the limit of 30 mg/litre in the samples collected from the drain that collected the leachate from the old waste heaps at the yard. The levels of nitrogen and sulphide were 61.98 mg/l and 59.6 mg/l against the prescribed limits of 10 mg/l and 2 mg/l respectively. Both the samples were taken in the first week of March.
The board and the State Level Monitoring Committee on Solid Waste Management had earlier warned the civic body that the untreated leachate from the site would run into the nearby Kadambrayar river with the onset of monsoon. The waterbody was identified by the Central Pollution Control Board as one of the polluted river stretches in the country.
A branch of Chitrapuzha located close to the septage plant was also facing the threat of untreated pollutants, according to the report prepared by the board.
The board found that the septage treatment facility was not functioning properly. It was suspected that untreated or partially treated sewage/effluent was discharged into the nearby marshy area located 50 m away from the septage plant.
The board, which held inspections in February and March, stated that the damaged windrow composting sheds were the root causes for the malfunctioning of the solid waste management facility. No effective facilities were seen there to process fresh biodegradable waste collected from the corporation area as well as from other local bodies.
The corporation had denied the findings while claiming that the treatment of leachate would not be a problem even in monsoon as the septage treatment plant has the capacity to store about 1 lakh litres of septage or leachate. The civic body admitted that the plant roof had collapsed but heaping and composting of waste were being carried out at the site. No leachate was flowing in to the Kadambrayar and Chitrapuzha, it had said.
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