Water Pollution Control Measures

  • Realizing the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the water bodies, the Government of India has passed the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 to safeguard our water resources.
  • An ambitious plan to save the river, called the Ganga Action Plan was launched in 1985.
  • It aimed to reduce the pollution levels in the river. However, the increasing population and industrialization have already damaged this mighty river beyond repair.
  • In India, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), an apex body in the field of water quality management, has developed a concept of “designated best use”.

Accordingly the water body is designated as A, B, C, D, E on the basis of

  • pH,
  • dissolved oxygen, mg/1
  • BOD, (200C) mg/l
  • total coliform (MPN/100ml)
  • free ammonia mg/l,
  • electrical conductivity etc.


  • The CPCB, in collaboration with the concerned State Pollution Control Boards, has classified all the water bodies including coastal waters in the country according to their “designated best uses”.
  • This classification helps the water quality managers and planners to set water quality targets and identify needs and priority for water quality restoration programmes for various water bodies in the country.
  • The famous Ganga Action Plan and subsequently the National River Action Plan are results of such exercise.
  • Riparian buffers: A riparian buffer is a vegetated area (a “buffer strip”) near a stream, usually forested, which helps shade and partially protect a stream from the impact of adjacent land uses. It plays a key role in increasing water quality in associated streams, rivers, and lakes, thus providing environmental benefits.
  • Treatment of sewage water and the industrial effluents before releasing it into water bodies. Hot water should be cooled before release from the power plants.
  • Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides should be avoided. Organic farming and efficient use of animal residues as fertilizers can replace chemical fertilizers.
  • Water hyacinth (an aquatic weed, invasive specie) can purify water by taking some toxic materials and a number of heavy metals from water.
  • Oil spills in water can be cleaned with the help of bregoli — a by-product of paper industry resembling saw dust, oil zapper, microorganisms.
  • It has been suggested that we should plant eucalyptus trees all along sewage ponds. These trees absorb all surplus wastewater rapidly and release pure water vapor into the atmosphere.

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