Sewage: Sewage is waste matter from residential and industrial units, which flows through sewers. Sewage generally flows in solid-liquid state where in the dominant part is of liquid state which helps it to flow through predetermined path known as sewerage system. A layman may define sewage as contaminated water from houses, schools and businesses. The substances responsible for pollution are known as contaminants and can be: feces, soaps, detergents, food substances, rags and anything that is simply discarded off to drains. There are ample amount of methods to dispose the sewage such that it won’t create any sort of pollution to air, water and soil but due to enormous increase in population and rapid growth in industrialization, most of the sewage is left untreated and disposed directly to the rivers which in turn causes river depletion.
River Ganga: Ganga accounts for one fourth of total geographical area of the country covering states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Delhi and parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. After accounting for its geographical area one must consider the demographical features in order to access the sewage generation.
The total population of the given status as per the latest census is 437,816,840. Most of the population doesn’t have access to public washroom or proper sewage system which directly implies that sewage load on Ganga is increasing and needs proper attention.
Major Sources of Pollution: River Ganga
The major sources as accessed by Central Pollution Control Board of India are urban centres, sewage from open drains, industrial effluents, and partially treated toxic waste from industries.
Effects of Sewage:
- 1. The river water has been found to contain ample quantity of toxic elements by various scientists and thereby depleting the dissolved oxygen level in the river which harms the aquatic life present in the river. It has been accessed that these stretches in Ganga are from 40 metre to 500 metres.
- 2. The stretch of Rishikesh Downstream to Garhmukteshwar and Kannauj Upstream to Trighat and few locations at West Bengal (Dakshineshwar, Uluberia& Diamond Harbour) has exceeded the biological oxygen demand limit which can be simply understood that the stretch will be smelling foul and there will be a lot of scum which brings down the river water utilisation by the people living on the either side of the river to zero.
- 3. Sewage entrained into river Ganga has brought hypoxic conditions which are a threat to benthic communities: living organisms around the bed side of the river Ganga.
- 4. The river water doesn’t even qualify for humans to bathe. It can’t be used for any domestic purpose because it doesn’t pass the prescribed limits for any domestic water need.
- 5. It has been also noticed that most of sewage drains are directly disposed into the river Ganga which makes it clear for anyone to understand the pollution level.
The immediate help that can help India save its one of the biggest resources is to design an ecological flow of water such that it brings down the hypoxic conditions for the river to function normally. Ganga Action Plan and various other programs should be employed on serious basis to cut down the sewage disposal rates into the river Ganga. As of now, this issue should be one among the flagship issues to both central and state governments around the geographical area.