A city in the southern Indian state of Kerala has seen its water quality plummet due to the presence of the algae-laden dealkali, a powerful disinfectant used in water treatment.
The water quality has been a major concern in the town of Kochiyampura in the state’s Ernakulam district, where more than 3,000 people have been affected, after water quality levels dropped from 300 parts per billion to less than 30, said Raghu Kumar of the city’s municipal corporation.
The dealkalis are produced by bacteria that thrive in the polluted water, and cause high levels of carbon dioxide.
“Our city’s water quality is extremely poor and we are suffering,” said Kumar, adding that the dealkals are the main cause of health problems in the area.
Kumar said the city had not received any dealkalinisation treatment for at least a month, and he was concerned that the problem was not being solved quickly.
“The city has a problem with the bacteria, and we need dealkalyisation treatment,” he said.
The city’s mayor said dealkaling was being carried out in several locations in the district, including in one building owned by a local businessman.
The councilor added that there was also a concern about the water quality of a nearby reservoir, where the deekalizers were stored, and its treatment.
“We have a few concerns, like the water being too cold, the quality of the water, which we have no control over, and how to control the algae,” said the mayor, who asked that his surname not be used.
According to Kumar, the deakalizers are being stored at a water treatment plant owned by the town’s municipal corporations.
“This plant is owned by two local companies.
There are no dealkales in the water,” said Vijayakumar, another of the mayor’s colleagues.
According the mayor and others in the municipality, dealkale water is produced from dealkaline water used in the treatment of sewage in the surrounding area.
“It is a waste product that comes from dekalising and dealkallying the wastewater of the treatment plant,” Kumar said.
“We do not have a plan in place to control dealkalia,” he added.
According on Kumar’s assessment, the city has not received a single dealkaler treatment for more than a month.
“There is no proper treatment facility, and there are no measures being taken to control and manage the problem,” he told Al Jazeera.
A spokesperson for Kochiyumpura said they were unable to comment on the water problem.
“As per the information we have, there is no water treatment facility in the community,” the spokesperson said.
Dealkalizers do not come from a treatment plant and have no effect on the environment, said Vijayanth, who works in the municipal corporation, and added that it was up to the city authorities to take action.
“How do you take care of the waste product coming from a dealkalian plant?
You cannot control it,” he explained.