Sewage entering the River Sal in Goa, India. A gutter carrys raw sewage into the River Sal; the color shows the level of pollution. ksidharth / 3 (AFP) – Indian scientists on Friday said that the water in the holiday resort state of Goa was unfit for bathing and fishing due to high levels of bacteria from untreated sewage.

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), which is based in the former Portuguese colony, said that the level of faecal coliform bacteria in water off the coast and in rivers was higher than the international benchmark.

"For safe bathing and international standards it should be 100 CFU (colony forming units) per 100 millilitres but now it has touched 190" in some areas, said NIO scientist Dr N. Ramaiah.

Ramaiah said coastal waters tested by the scientists were generally above the limit, but the problem was most acute in the basins of Goa's two rivers, the Mandovi and Zuari.

A colony forming unit is used in microbiology to measure the number of viable bacteria. Faecal coliform bacteria can be a product of human or animal waste but also storm water run-off or plant material. […]

Tourism officials expressed alarm at the findings, given the state's dependence on foreign visitors. Some 400,000 overseas tourists flock to Goa each year, with its long, sandy beaches a major draw. […]

"Almost all the sewage released in the rivers is untreated. Even one gram of stools contains millions and millions of coliform bacteria. So when it is present in water naturally the count goes up," said Ramaiah. […]

Water in India's Goa 'unfit for bathing'



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