Biological Pollution in Goa’s Rivers

Highlighting the risk that the rivers and coastal bodies of Goa are in, scientists have said that biological pollution, especially e-coli, is a matter of concern for the state.

Outgoing Director of Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dr. S.W.A. Naqvi stated “Many of the in-shore waters, where flushing is not adequate, their number (e-coli pathogens) is rising and of concern.”

He told IANS that the pollution was largely caused due to untreated municipal waste being pumped into water-bodies.

Several scientists and pollution monitoring agencies have provided warnings about the excessive pollution of the state’s rivers.

The GSPCB conducted a study that was published in 2015. According to the study, water in most of the rivers of the state were unsafe for human consumption, especially in the urban areas, with faecal coliform traced to up to 90—100 mgpl, while 30 mgpl is considered normal.

Following Sal River in South Goa, the report revealed that state’s most important River Mandovi, was most polluted. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) on another study of the rivers, found traces of cadmium – a poisonous chemical commonly found in car batteries – in oysters.

“Fortunately, no one consumes them (oysters) raw and you normally cook them for a long time so that takes care of the pollution,” Naqvi said.

“The major conclusion of the project is that the pathogen counts along the Indian coast are higher than normal, which means that this is being affected by bacterial pollution. We analysed some samples (in the Sal river) and found that the bacterial, e-coli count in those samples were very high,” Naqvi concluded.