Tap water contamination testing

Our drinking water in Mumbai is under threat due to puncture of main pipes by residents of illegal slums.


The photo above taken by our Residents Forum shows the main BMC line which was punctured by the water mafia.

The main water pipe supplying water to millions of residents, as a result of this horrible pilferage, is open to reverse contamination by sewage from nearby open air toilets in the slums.

How do we detect and confirm if there is actually fecal contamination of our water? It is actually quite easy. Human feces contain large quantities of a bacterium called E Coli. These bacteria are also known as Coliforms, and are not found anywhere else in nature. If we can detect the presence of these bacteria in water, it confirms that there is contamination of the water by feces.

Here is how we can do it:

In order to test the water that comes out of the taps at my home for possible fecal contamination I ordered an E Coli testing kit from a Pathologist friend of mine, Dr. Neena Patil who runs Clinilabs at Borivli.

We decided to do it as a homeschool project with our kids called “Tap water Purity testing” and here is the first half of the project.

The kit contains a sample collection bottle, and a nutrient powder called PA Broth.

We need to label the Bottle according to site of collection of water.

We collect running tap water from our kitchen sink.

Shake gently the water in the PA Broth to dissolve the nutrient powder.

Pour into sample collection bottle.

Now we need to keep this for 48 hours at 30 Degrees Celsius, and observe if the color changes to yellow, we are in deep trouble.

We are waiting for the results.

If you would like to check your water, please let me know. Limited kits available.

 

 

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