In a bid to make prudent use of wastewater, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has directed the Gurgaon fire department to use water from the Behrampur treatment plant.
The department has agreed but only to use treated water where it can be utilised immediately and not stored. Officials said storing or using stagnant treated water led to corrosion of equipment.
According the fire department officials, the decision to use treated water was taken at an all-body meeting at the GMDA office on March 7.
“Another meeting is scheduled with the fire department officials soon. A directive has been issued to the fire department, asking if they can utilise wastewater efficiently, provided they are satisfied with the BOD, or biochemical oxygen demand, of the treated water from Behrampur,” said GMDA CEO V Umashankar.
BOD is a parameter used to analyse the effect discharged water has on an object. In case of wastewater, the higher the level of BOD, the lesser the corrosion it will cause, making it proportionately more suitable for consumption or use.
Officials with the fire department said they had no problem using treated water in the event of a major fire, for making VIP helipads or for watering trees, where the water was used up immediately.
“Storing treated water will damage the water pumps, disintegrate the hydraulic seals and contaminate the tanks," said fire safety officer IS Kashyap.
Kashyap added that all 23 fire tenders and four fire brigades drew water from storage tanks fed by water from GMDA pipelines.
GMDA took over water supply, including for the Behrampur treatment plant, from the cash-strapped Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on January 1.
Incidentally, in 2012 the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) had run a test on the Behrampur plant’s water and found that the level of toxins present were much higher than the prescribed limit.