As part of Community Assessment and Awareness Survey Program (CAASP) project (2009-10) the students collected and tested 900 samples of potable water from their own housing societies; 59 of the samples were contaminated. (Report published in Hindustan times, Mumbai, Mar 02, 2011). While the permitted level of coliform, bacteria usually found in sewage and which can cause severe gastric infections, is 10 coli/100 ml, these areas had contamination levels as high as 1,900 coli/100 ml. Students were asked to collect water directly from the civic tap and not from their homes. This was done to avoid the bacteria present in water tanks. In Mumbai, water and sewage pipelines run parallel to each other and any sort of leak can lead to contamination. The project, which is part of the curriculum, involved more than 2,500 students across junior and degree colleges. The project also includes spreading awareness for water and energy conservation. The effort has been shortlisted for the National Urban Water Awards instituted by the Central Ministry of Urban Development.
The plan of work for development of Water Quality field testing Kits (WQFTKs) will be divided into following steps:
Step 1: Evaluation of all possible filed test methods to find out the best possible technique which is to be implemented for the development of WQFTKs.
Step 2: Actual preparation of testing kits after evaluation of methods
Step 3: Certification and authorization of WQFTKs.
The testing is done in some phases:
· Sample collection in WQFTKs through CAASP students
· Filling of performa for the WQFTKs and submission in Laboratory for testing
· Analysis of test results for potability/Non potability of water
· Release of report with specific areas and in pin codes, submission to the civic bodies for further action
Publication and awards