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Sanitary Drainage System the bane of Bangalore Lakes

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 The Sanitary Drainage System in a Mega city like Bombay, and our own Bangalore for an instance, is a source of persistent annoyance leading to exasperation.  The Drainage system of the city of Bangalore has become a curse, plague and even a scourge or woe.

“A sanitary drainage system is a system of piping within public or private premises that conveys sewage or other liquid waste to an approved point of disposal. The intent is to design and install sanitary drainage systems that will function reliably, are neither undersized nor oversized, and are constructed from materials, fittings and connections whose quality is regulated by codes and standards. The basics of sanitary drainage systems include, but are not limited to, the following: public and private sewage disposal; selection of materials; installation of the building sewer, including the building drainage system and components; joining methods between drainage piping and fittings; drainage fixture units for sizing the drainage system; and sumps and ejectors.”

The above is from “Back to basics” series in the journal of PM Engineer. Click here to have a look. I am sure that BBMP has done a good job about the Sanitary Drainage System of the city of Bangalore. However the problem lies in the phenomenal growth of the cities in our country in general and Bangalore in Particular. We are not able to cope up with this “Development and Progress”.

This is the primary reason for pollution of the Lakes in the city of Bangalore.

The sewage that has to travel in the sanitary drainage system of the city, finds its way to the storm water drainage system, due to sewage water exceeding the design values. Hence we see that the Storm water Drain inlets of the lakes delivering Sewage water to these lakes. The basic issue thus is the Sewage Water Drains spilling over into storm water drains.

The lakes like Bellandur and the “Lake view residences like Sobha Dhalia” and others living in villages around Bellandur Lake, are the victims. 


idontspam's picture

By design

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 finds its way to the storm water drainage system, due to sewage water exceeding the design values

I disagree, I believe they have been conviniently redirected to end in the storm water drainage system. I wouldnt expect them to admit as much in magazines. 

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psaram42's picture

Instances of sewage water flowing into storm water drain

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 The reference is to Indiranagar Storm Water Drain which is one of the SWD discharging untreated water in to Bellandur Lake.

  1.  Infiltrated Sewage water in Indiranagar SWD
  2. A View of the picture-1 showing the location in the full covedred SWD
  3. The Opposite side of the above 2 pictures

Image0095Indiranagar SWD-2Indiranagar SWD-5

  1. Storm Water Drain Indiranagar Miranda School Jeevan Bima Nagar Road
  2. Same as above View - 2
  3. Same View - 3

Indiranagar SWD-6Indiranagar SWD-4Indiranagar SWD-7


 Please see the amount of the infiltrating water, which is not supposed to be there. Whether unauthorized or by design adequacy of the sewage water drain. According to my investigation it is a lacuna in the BBMP administration in not providing adequate sewage water drain capacity in certain ward areas. The particular instance under study happens because of dense growth of non standard residential areas of the city. This requires genuinely serious attention by the commissioner BBMP. Can he take us in to confidence?



RKCHARI's picture


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psaram42's picture

Point well taken

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Dear Mr. RK Chari

 The basic thread is about the threat posed by Sewage Water finding its way in to the Storm water drains and subsequently into the lakes. As a result the present storm water drains which are not supposed to carry sewage are polluting the lakes. The fact that the storm water drains are connected to the lake is not in itself the culprit.

 Your point about absorbing the rain water in to the ground water table is well taken. However this point is besides the thread topic.


Rithesh's picture

Mr Chari - you couldnt have been more correct

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RKCHARI's picture

SWD - Solutions

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RKCHARI's picture

One More solution

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Should BBMP be afraid of admitting SWDs are being used to carry sewage (water and solid human waste) to lakes, what we can suggest is a point of source treatment of open drains. Which means, at the point where the sewage pipe joins the SWD we can install ecologically sustainable treatment (small compact units - not huge ones as at KC Valley!) units which will segragate solid from liquid, treat liquid and take it forth in the open drain as odour free water. That may not make the treated sewage water 100% safe for swimming or body contact when it joins the lake, but at least it wont stink and more importantly BBMP Engineers wont feel sleighted that their original design of SWDs was totally unscientific!

Happy imagining Bangalore to be as good as Singapore!



psaram42's picture

Thank you for the clarifications

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 @ RKC

 The clarifications have cleared all my doubts. However my point is that the capacities of Sewage Water Drains and or the design itself at certain points are wrong. They need to be addressed. The sewage water is being treated at KC Valley plants before discharging into Belandur Lake. I don’t think any untreated Sewage Water is being let into Lakes by design. I agree with better solutions if available for Storm (Rain) water management.

RKCHARI's picture

Further Clarification

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Let us differentiate between sewage water pipelines to storm water drains. Sewage water that is treated at KC Valley plant is being fed by sewage pipelines. So naturally the water that comes mixed with human waste gets segregated and treated before it is poured into Bellandur Lake.

However, open storm water from other areas that bring with it rain water, sewage water, floating garbage and human waste are also being discharged into Bellandur Lake. Consequently the KC Valley treatment plant and the treated water it pours into Bellandur lake is a sheer waste of effort and money since the lake continues to get polluted from other sources in any case.

The solution does not lie in closing down the KC Valley plant or in increasing capacities of sewage water pipelines. The solution lies in ensuring other pipes and open drains that discharge itself into Bellandur lake gets its water and solid waste segregated and treated before it joins the lake.

As I said there is no piece meal solution. Either it has to be tackled as a whole or not tackled at all.

Let us hope better sense prevails with the authorities.


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