Project Basis and necessity of Project

River Tapi runs through the city of Surat and is heavily polluted resulting into depletion of the river ecosystem and overall environmental degradation of the area. 44 outlets have been identified that contribute more than 525 MLD sewage flow (including 155 MLD secondary treated sewage as per GPCB consent) to River Tapi during non-monsoon days. River Tapi being the prime source of water for the Surat city; an urgent need has arisen to abate pollution of the river Tapi.

Surat, known as the Gem city of India is situated on the banks of the river Tapi. The river reaches near the end of its journey at Surat before joining the Gulf of Cambay. Thus the intrusion of saline water during high tide takes place up to Surat city. The growing water demand for domestic, industrial and other purposes in the city as also in the nearby Hazira industrial zone warranted augmentation of water supply besides looking into the problem of intrusion of saline water into the river.

With the financial participation of the nearby user industries, a weir cum causeway was constructed by the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) on the river with twin objectives of

  1. Creating water impoundment in order to meet growing water demand of the city/nearby industrial area and
  2. Preventing intrusion of saline water into the river. Presently, 12 water intake wells are located in the river on the upstream of the weir from where water is drawn for domestic and industrial purposes. SMC has six water treatment plants located at Sarthana, Varachha, Katargam, Jahangirabad, Kosad, Mota Varachha and Dindoli, having total treatment capacity of 1468 MLD, are operational.

Presence of red colored larva (Chironomus) was reported in the treated water at the consumer end in the year 2001. Considering the gravity of the problem, SMC retained National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to Investigate into the occurrence of Chironomus in the water supply, evaluate performance of one of the water treatment plant and suggest suitable measures. The important part from the report by NEERI, related to the disposal of untreated sewage into the river tapi is briefly described below, which shows the importance and necessity of the project.