80% of Indian sewage 'flows untreated into rivers'

Mar 05, 2013
An Indian woman carries a basket of human excrement after cleaning toilets in Nekpur, Uttar Pradesh, on August 10, 2012. Eighty percent of sewage in India is untreated and flows directly into the nation's rivers, polluting the main sources of drinking water, a study by an environment watchdog shows.

Eighty percent of sewage in India is untreated and flows directly into the nation's rivers, polluting the main sources of drinking water, a study by an environment watchdog showed Tuesday.

Indian cities produce nearly 40,000 million litres of sewage every day and barely 20 percent of it is treated, according to "Excreta Does Matter", a new report released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

"The untreated waste dumped into rivers seeps into groundwater, thereby creating a ticking health bomb in India," concludes the report.

Weak or non-existent enforcement of environmental laws, rapid urban development and a lack of awareness about the dangers of sewage are all blamed for .

"Untreated sewage is killing Indian rivers," the report stated.

A 2011 survey by the Central Pollution Control Board revealed only 160 out of nearly 8,000 towns had both sewerage systems and a .

Scientists who worked on the CSE report found that thousands of small factories were dumping untreated sewage into rivers and toxic waste was being mixed with fresh water.

by the team revealed that almost the entire country has nitrate levels higher than the prescribed levels—a result of sewage into groundwater supplies.

Environmentalists blamed the government for failing to regulate the use of water, with the country's annual consumption expected almost to double by 2050.

Explore further: New system to detect mercury in water systems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

Jul 24, 2014

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

katesisco
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2013
I wonder if the over development of areas of marsh and reeds would be the primary cause? When European arrival led to the destruction of the extensive lagoon system of Delhi, this signaled the collapse of natural cleansing systems. India's population has been large for all of history so if pollution arose from this open disposal there would have been massive die offs from pollution-linked bacteria.