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Yamuna ammonia levels spike from upstream waste

Images of dead fish floating in the Yamuna river have been observed in recent days, indicating low levels of BOD (biological oxygen demand) and DO (dissolved oxygen).

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: July 7, 2024, 11:36 PM - 2 mins read

Yamuna ammonia levels spike from upstream waste

Yamuna ammonia levels spike from upstream waste

Representational Image


The recent heavy rainfall has caused a significant increase in the ammonia levels of the Yamuna River over the last three days, as confirmed by testing of untreated water taken from the river at Wazirabad, as reported by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), attributing the rise to the influx of industrial waste from upstream Haryana. 

 

Officials have noted that the initial monsoon showers transport industrial waste that has accumulated in Haryana's drains. They stated that ammonia levels ranging from 2 to 3 parts per million (ppm) have been recorded over the last three to four days.

DJB has the capacity to effectively treat ammonia levels of up to 0.9 ppm in untreated water. However, when the ammonia level exceeds this threshold, the use of chlorine gas for ammonia neutralisation often results in the formation of harmful chloramine compounds.

 

According to DJB reports, the water utility supplied 938 MGD million gallons of water per day on July 4, falling short of the target of 1,000 MGD. This was due to decreased production at both the Chandrawal and Wazirabad water treatment plants caused by elevated ammonia levels. On July 5, the water supply decreased even further to 934 MGD, but then rebounded to 972 MGD on July 6. High ammonia levels in the water serve as indicators of the presence of industrial waste and dyes.

 

DJB officials have stated that pollutants such as dyes, chlorides, and ammonia-based chemicals flow into the water from the Panipat industrial dye drain.

 

Images of dead fish floating in the Yamuna river have been observed in recent days, indicating low levels of BOD (biological oxygen demand) and DO (dissolved oxygen). Local residents have reported that dead fish have been appearing along the river floodplain for nearly two weeks, but the situation has improved in recent days.

 

The issue of elevated levels of ammonia in untreated water is a year-round occurrence, however, the frequency of ammonia spikes seen in the winter (between January and March) is notably higher, with the city experiencing 15-20 such occurrences annually.

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