Farming with partially treated or untreated waste water from near by dam

Hi All

I could not find thread on this topic. Request guidance from experts.

I have 3 acer agricultural land near kanakapura, Bangalore. There is a govt. water channel flowing close to my land. Waste water from parts of banhalore mixes with water in byramnagla dam. Some of it treated & some untreated. This is sent downstream. By the time it reaches my farm, water would have traveled 40KM. Water is odorless & almost clear.

Most of the farmers grow Mulberry & are into sereculture. half of my land also has Mulberry plantation. I have plans to grow something in rest of the farm. But not sure if it is fine to grow fruits Or vegitables in that water. Thinking of horticulture…but initial cost are very high. Farmers around use this water for cattle, farming & washing cloths.

Can any one suggest what tests to be done to check, if it is safe to grow food for human consumption? There are people  growing fruits & pulse cropts Posts say this water is very nutrient…but might also carry excess desolved salts, heavy metals & may be some chemicals. Good thing is there is no need of current , bore well. Water is available all around year to be taken from channel. Please suggest.

Best Regards

Potability is measured in terms of BOD(Biochemial Oxygen Demand) Bangalore sewage effluent has 40-50BOD. anything less than 5 BOD is potable.
There are many farmers directly using sewage water for irrigation. But in my opinion sewage contains heavy metals like lead which is not advisable.

In your case sewage is traveled for a distance of 40 so it gets aerated and in due course it get de-nitrified. so ill effect is minimum

Thanks Sri for your valuable response. Please let me know of any centers to have water & soil tested, to understand what kinds of crops can be grown on this soil using this water. As such i see they are growing everything. My interest is in Banana/Papaya farming. Hence want to check suitability.

Best Regards

Dear Sri Sai,

What Sri sir said is correct. Since the sewage water is travelled around 40 kms, led, which is heavy in nature will settle at the starting way it self. Mostly metals and salts are heavier density than water, they will settle down in the stream. More over you are stating that water is clear and odour less. It can be taken as a standard ,that your canal water can be taken.

More over, you said that abutting farmers are growing Mulberry and doing seri culture, which is a very delicate crop, and feeding the leaves is dangerous, if any bad is existing, in mulberry leaves.

The Silkworms (univoltine,bivoltine and multivoltine ) are very delicate in nature and if any change in the mulberry quality, they will get affected immediately.

If you want to have a detailed water testing report, it is a very costly affair for our farmers.

Considering all the above, I opine that, your water may not be bad for cultivating vegetables and fruits in normal pattern,  and if your cropping is not intensive farming.

If you want to go faor high density plantations, Soil less farming etc, then you must get the canal water tested.

with best wishes,    g.p.rao,    farmer.

Dear Sri Sai

Forgotten to state about of Water treatment.

water treatment is expensive. if you want to go for high density fruit crops, green house vegetables crops in soil less culture, then you must think about water treatment.

If your crops are normal, then don’t opt for water treatment.

If you want to go for water treatment, pl ask me, along with your budget.

with best wishes,  g.p.rao,  farmer

Thanks Rao Sir for your valuable suggestion. I do not have budget for green house/soil less farming. It will be normal crops like Papaya / Banana with little intercroping. I will use water as it is, without any treatment.

Best Regards

Dear Sri Sai,

please go a head and wish all success in your Papaya/Banana crops,  with some suitable inter crops.

with good wishes,    g.p.rao,  farmer

Did a search on water testing facilities near banglore… … +bangalore

Here is one, which may be cheap/free and relevant… … yan-kendra

Hi Again

Request suggestion on one more point. Now i am confident using water flowing in front of my land:) However still dont have electricity connection. There are lines going near by, but it may take some time & money to get it. Thinking on how to manage farming initially with out electricity.

For sure i have to use flooding/Furrow type of irrigation(used by others). I have to plan land leveling such that there is slight slope from start to end of farm. So that water can be flooded through out. Will there be any other needs to store water for farming? Just want to double check, if i can farm without storage of water. I dont have money or immediate need to invest on bore well. Let me know. Thank you.

Best Regards

Dear Gurus

About applicability of organic cultivation certification…do you think irrigation with partially treated water, makes my land not suitable to get organic farm certification? I have seen retailers buying one katte soppu at Rs.15 from organic farmer, which is good price. Same applies for vegetables.

Some one told me that to get organic farm certificate …even water from neighboring farm(which might have exposed to chemical fertilizers) should not enter our farm. But in my case water from channel travels through others farm(smaller channel) before use in my farm. Can you please let me know. Or even provide contact of organic certification company in and around Bangalore. Thank you.

Best Regards

Dear Sri Said,                                                            Organic certification companies will come regularly/periodically to inspect our lands, and they will check, soil, water  d products, whenever they doubt. If they found contaminated with inorganic fertilisers, pesticides or else banned, they cancelled the  organic certification ,immediately.                  The best source is ground water and or elevated canal water source.                          With best wishes, g.p.Rao,  farmer

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Dear Friends

With reference to this topic, got channel water tested for PH,EC,Hardness & nutrients. My main concern was hardness. Could not get it tested for heavy metals as it is very expensive. Lab people say water is not that bad …but dont know acceptable ranges for agricultural use.

Meanwhile i am waiting for soil test report, request you to have look at this for any abnormal values. Please let me know your opinion. I am going for red lady papaya planting. Thank you.

Best Regards

dear sai,

from the report, as a person dealing with water decontamination dnd de-toxing, the water is perfectly okay for agriculture use.  mainly your pH value is within limits and will not harm the crops.  there is no mention of mercury which has to be watched. otherwise, you can confidently use this water. Red Lady trees dont consume much water, so the exposure of trees to any harmful inflow not noticed by you, is also minimal. the more critically we look at any one aspect, it becomes a threat and we hesitate to use it.  in this case, the water is reasonably clean.  you didnt mention what you mean “partially treated” means - is there a sewerage treatment plant upstream or any heavy polluting source?


Hi Friends

Can you please have a quick look at water testing report. Please let me know of any abnormality, which might cause problem in growing fruits(papaya/Banana) Or vegetables .thank you.

Best Regards