Yamuna Water Records More Oxygen During Lockdown But Sewage Remains Primary Polluter
With the nationwide lockdown imposed back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the river Yamuna in the national capital witnessed the days of glory. After industrial activities were shut down for months, the water of the river which is expected to be beyond restoration, breathed life.
According to a study carried out by researchers at University of Chicago’s Tata Centre for Development, there has been a significant increase in dissolved oxygen (DO) in Yamuna water.
The team of researchers used real-time monitoring of the river, comparing the data from February 12 to the readings from May and June, the latest of which was collected on June 5.
"While the DO levels touched 9 mg/l in May, the average reading ranged around 2.82 mg/l for the month. In comparison, the DO levels — essential for sustaining aquatic life in the river — were 0 mg/l when the readings were taken in February," a report by The Times of India said.
Priyank Hirani, team head at the Water-to-Cloud Project, the DO levels ranged between 0 and 2.17 mg/l and had a median value of 0 mg/l; it improved to 2.31 to 9.16 mg/l in May-June, with a median value of 2.82 mg/l.
“While it did rain on June 4, which may have helped the river clean up, 1,232 data points collected on May 22 and May 27 ranged the DO levels between 2.31 and 7.92 mg/l. This signifies a drastic improvement in the DO levels present in the Yamuna, which is critical for a flourishing aquatic life,” Hirani told TOI.
The team is also planning to monitor parameters like biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and e-coli levels — all of which will require lab testing.?
However, despite the improvement at certain levels, the river is nowhere close to where it should be.
Earlier studies by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB have found an improvement in the quality of the river during the lockdown as compared to data from before.