D. I. Lakmini, BA.
PUBLISHED ON June 12, 2021
Pollution of urban water sources can be identified as a major problem in Sri Lanka today as well as globally. Urbanization and population growth are the main reasons for this. It is important to study the threats to water resources as the amount of water available is very limited.
Irregular dumping of waste into urban water sources causes severe water pollution. Currently, there is a risk of water scarcity due to frequent water pollution. Unauthorized dumping of pollutants into rivers in urban areas is a global trend as well as in Sri Lanka.
Thus, urban areas are highly polluted by water sources such as rivers due to the discharge of all unwanted waste and liquid wastewater into water sources. From ancient times the settlements in Sri Lanka have started along the rivers. Even today, we can see the expansion of settlements based on water resources, which has also increased the impact on water resources.
In conducting this study, it was possible to gain an understanding of the disposal of municipal waste to water sources and its impact on the human environment and the natural environment. Accordingly, Institutions will take the lead in the development and conservation of water resources in accordance with the advance notice given to face a water shortage in the year 2025 to prevent the pollution of the Nilwala River and to protect it for future generations.
The study found that families living near the Nilwala River dump their waste in an informal manner. Much of the liquid waste is added to the river. It can be suggested that the wastewater should be treated and discharged. Concrete drainage system designed to discharge wastewater, allowing wastewater to seep into the ground.
Taking legal action against those who dispose of waste in an informal manner. This can lead to individuals being fined according to the nature of the waste (e.g., if liquid waste is disposed of illegally by households).
The amount of water wasted in household activities should be minimized and water overuse (not using water sparingly) should be minimized. Then the amount of wastewater generated can be reduced. Introduction of formal methods for disposal of wastewater and fish waste generated by fish outlets in a manner that does not interfere with the employment of persons engaged in the fishing industry. Care should also be taken to prevent oil spills caused by the fishing vessels they use..
Conducting awareness programs for the families living near the river on the adverse effects of water pollution. This can be done at the level of private institutions as well as at the state level. Introduce recycling methods to prevent unauthorized solid waste disposal. Introduce ways to reuse them. (Materials such as polythene, plastics) To prevent sand buildup at the mouth of the Nilwala River to prevent seasonal salinity of the water and to fill the associated low lying area with sandbags.
The problem of water pollution in the Nilwala River (from Thudawa to Thotamuna) flowing through the Matara Municipal Council area was studied here. In this study, using the mixed methodology, the problems caused by the irregular discharge of waste into the Nilwala River and the impact of water pollution on the Nilwala River were identified.
It is also important to study the actions that the community has taken and introduced to mitigate that impact, how they have impacted water pollution, and what actions can be taken to mitigate the adverse effects. Therefore, it can be pointed out that this study is timely as well as socially important.