Bad Smells Started to Come From Istanbul's Water. Explaining that the mains water in Istanbul smells due to the intake of water from the Sakarya River, the Istanbul Branch of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers (ÇMO) warned that the organic substances in this water, Geosmin and MIB, turn into carcinogens when combined with chlorine. ÇMO Istanbul Branch managers Emine Girgin, Cevahir Efe Akçelik and Selahattin Beyaz shared with the public their findings regarding the odor in the water, which worries Istanbulites, at a press conference yesterday.
ÇMO officials stated that after the water level decreased in Melen Stream, water was carried from Sakarya River to Istanbul, and argued that the river, which has a basin contaminated with heavy metal pollution and industrial wastes, pollutes the drinking water of Istanbul residents. In the statement, it was stated that there is a wild storage area on the edge of Mudurnu Stream, which is one of the branches of the Sakarya River, which joins the Ankara Stream, Porsuk Stream and Çark Stream, where the treated water of the Ankara, Eskişehir and Sakarya Central Waste Water Treatment plants is discharged. Therefore, it was emphasized that it is extremely dirty and harmful to health.
“It is dangerous to combine with chlorine”
Akçelik stated that the organic substances Geosmin and MIB, produced by blue green algae, are concentrated in the Sakarya River for these reasons and said, "These substances cause the smell of mold, soil and algae in the water."
Branch President Girgin, on the other hand, pointed out that these organic substances, which are called “taste-smell substances” in İSKİ's 'Water Quality Report', create the main threat when they combine with chlorine. Girgin said that these organic substances, which turn into carcinogenic compounds when mixed with chlorine, pose a serious danger to the health of Istanbul residents.
As the rate increases
Selahhattin Beyaz, a member of ÇMO Istanbul branch, explained why the smell is being felt now: “The water taken from the Sakarya River is first combined with Melen and then meets the people of Istanbul over the Ömerli Dam. In the June Water Quality Report of İSKİ, the Geosmin and MIB ratio in Ömerli is around 8 milligrams. When this reaches 10 milligrams, it becomes a threat and its smell begins to be felt. The fact that we started to feel this smell in July shows that this ratio has reached the level of 10 milligrams.”
“Treatment facilities are good but…”
Emphasizing that İSKİ's treatment facilities are extremely successful, Beyaz stated that the problem is in the Sakarya River. "The existing treatment plants are the best possible to purify a normal water, but the Sakarya River requires treatment using different technologies," said Beyaz, adding that their existing plants should be modified to remove organic matter.
Source : Milliyet