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  • Jamshedpur (Jharkhand)

Reduce by help of Technology

The Yamuna is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga and the longest tributary in India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of 6,387 metres (20,955 ft) on the southwestern slopes of Banderpooch peaks of the Lower Himalaya in Uttarakhand, it travels a total length of 1,376 kilometres and has a drainage system of 366,223 square kilometres (141,399 sq mi), 40.2% of the entire Ganga Basin. 

Cause
Long ago, the waters of Yamuna were pristine blue but today the Yamuna is considered to be one of the severely polluted rivers in the world. The Yamuna is particularly polluted downstream of New Delhi, the capital of India, which dumps about 58% of its waste into the river. The most pollution comes from Wazirabad, from where the Yamuna enters Delhi.
The river receives 800 million liters of largely untreated sewage and additional 44 million liters of industrial effluents each day. Only 35% of the sewage released into the river is believed to be treated. 

Pollution Source

• Industrial heavy metal contamination: The catchment area of River Yamuna in Delhi is highly urbanized and is networked with several drains. Najafgarh and Shahdara drains are the major drains that discharge a heavy load of pollutants into the river. The water quality monitoring of River Yamuna has indicated a significant presence of several heavy metals in its water. High amounts of heavy metals in water can cause several health effects such as reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, etc.
• Untreated Sewage: More than 800 million liters of largely untreated sewage is pumped in the Yamuna each day. Another 44 million liters of industrial effluents are also discharged daily into the river. Sewage that is treated before being released into the river accounts for only 35% of the total estimated sewage discharge.
• Domestic Sources: The wastewater mainly comes from household activities hence the presence of high content of detergent, laundry chemicals, and phosphate compounds. Samples collected were found to have a phosphate concentration of 0.51 mg/litre, which is higher than the normal range of 0.005 to 0.05mg/litres. This abundance of phosphate formed layers of toxic froth covering the rivers.
• Idol Immersion leading to increased toxicity: Post-immersion, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) found that the level of heavy metals such as chromium and iron increased significantly. Chromium increased 11 times from the permissible limit of 0.05mg/L, while iron concentration increased 71 times from the 0.3 mg/L limit. If the water is not treated, it will increase the chance of toxins entering the food chain through vegetables grown on the floodplains. 
• Plastic Pollution: In Agra, the Yamuna has been choked by intense plastic pollution. After 2017, ban on single-use plastics, there has still been rampant use of plastics which is evident by the production of plastic. According to records, Delhi produces 2,51,674 tonnes of plastic each year — 50% of which is single-use. That’s roughly 63,000 elephants worth of plastic. 

Solutions

It can be monitored remotely through IoT devices/sensors and also take a sample on daily basis in critical zones where we can easily control all kinds of polluted waste at the source.
• Fe (Iron) monitoring
• Ammonia monitoring
• Methane monitoring
• pH level monitoring
• Phosphate (detergent and laundry chemicals) monitoring
• Chromium monitoring Other steps apart from technologies,
• Upgradation of existing sewage treatment plants (STPs) that don’t comply with standards.
• The locals can report ground results and activities on a regular basis to help authorities keep check on the effluent disposal by the industries.
• New strategies for the existing water treatment such as automated river quality monitoring.
• Educational programs to increase awareness encouraging people to use biodegradable paints for painting idols and stop dumping wastes in the rivers are needed.
• Develop more public toilets and crematoria to reduce the sewage waste into the river.
• Stringent implementation of regulation for industries and hospitals not to dump waste in the river
• Integration of water management by linking the private sector, local communities and NGOs to ensure an effective and efficient allocation and use of water for all.
• Develop parks with fountains or grassy lands, pools, plantations, etc., along the riverbanks to provide opportunities for water to undergo artificial aeration that leads to self-purification of the river.
• Apply rainwater harvesting to meet water requirements throughout the year that is uncontaminated for domestic and other needs.

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