Hussain Sagar Lake – Hyderabad

Eutrophication of Hussain Sagar Lake,
is making it dead with sewage input. Join us to revive it from death bed.

The Hussainsagar lake is one of the largest lake in India and a large (5.7 sq. km water spread area) and a deep (5.02 m. average depth) lake having 270 catchment area is situated on the Deccan plateau at a height of 1788 feet above the sea level in the southeastern part of India, and is located at 17° 22’ of northern latitude and 78° 29’ of the eastern longitude.

The mean maximum and minimum temperature vary from 40 to 14°C and the normal rainfall is 786 mm. Over a decade the lake receiving huge amount of waste water through four major inflow channels from the highly urbanized and industrialized catchment area, therefore, the author taken up the water quality study.

The Profile

Hussain Sagar Lake was built in 1562 during the reign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty at Golkonda. It is an artificial lake built on a tributary of River Musi. Musi is a tributary of the Krishna River in the Deccan Plateau flowing through Telangana state in India. Hyderabad stands on the banks of Musi river, which divides the historic old city with the new city. Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar are dams built on it which used to act as source of water for Hyderabad. It was known as Muchukunda river in olden days

The lake joins the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad besides adding an aesthetic appeal to the twin cities. The lake water was utilized for irrigation and drinking water needs from 1884 until 1930. The total catchment area of the lake is 240 square kilometres (93 sq mi). Through four main feeder nullahs – Picket Nalla, Kukatpally Nalla, Banjara Nalla and Balkapur Nalla – water from the catchment area reaches the lake.

Urbanization and rapid industrialization developed Hyderabad into a metropolis. Today the city is well known for its state-of-the-art infrastructure for information technology and information technology enabled services industry. Besides this, several heavy industries were also set up in the city.

Since 1930, the lake has gradually started receiving sewage and industrial effluents through the feeder nullahs. The Picket Nalla discharges mostly domestic sewage throughout the year into the lake from the north-eastern side. Similarly the Banjara Nalla (from north-western side) and Balkapur Nalla (from western side) discharge mostly domestic sewage into the lake. The Kukatpally Nalla was seen to be discharging a mix of domestic sewage and industrial effluents into the lake from the northern side. This practice of discharging municipal sewage, industry effluents and storm-water from over 10.4 square kilometres increased the content of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus. This suspended organic matter, rich in nutrients, caused eutrophication that allowed growth of algal blooms and water hyacinth.

Measures taken so far to curb the pollution

To address the pollution in the lake, the Government of Andhra Pradesh took initiatives to divert the sewage and industrial effluents into treatment plants. The treated water is then released into the lake to improve the quality of water. To further aid these initiatives, the government initiated a ₹3.7 billion (US$55 million) project in March 2006. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation provided ₹3.1 billion (US$46 million) as an official development assistance loan to the state government. The balance funds were provided by the state government.

The objectives of the project were defined as below:

  • To improve the quality of the lake by preventing pollutants entering into the lake from point and non-point sources of pollution; removing the nutrient-rich sediments.
  • Interception and diversion of dry weather flows; improvement of nullahs in catchment area to check the entry of polluted water into the lake.
  • To improve the overall lake environment and its surroundings for enriched biodiversity.
  • Improving the sanitary conditions of the people living in the catchment area and the vicinity of the lake.
  • Increasing the potentiality of ecological tourism and economic status of people in the catchment area.

The implementation of project and the after effect

The project began implementing steps in March 2008; it was scheduled to conclude in December 2012. Later the project deadline was rescheduled to March 2013.

As a part of the project, seven fountains were installed in the lake in September 2011 to improve the dissolved oxygen content in the water and help aquatic life. The fountains, each of which cost about ₹10 million (US$150,000), have the capacity to pump water to a height of about 40–50 feet. In addition to serving their primary purpose, the fountains also added an aesthetic touch to the look of the lake. Additionally, a new 30 million litres per day (MLD) sewage treatment plant on the Picket Nalla is planned. Upgrade of an existing 20 MLD treatment plant at Hussain Sagar to higher capacity, construction of ring sewers around the lake and a small treatment plant were as a part of the project implementation. An ecological park was also proposed, but it was stalled due to a legal dispute. Besides this, shoreline improvement work at Sanjeevaiah Park was also taken up. Dredging and disposal of sediment was also planned for this project. It was said that dredging from Picket Nalla, Balkapur Nalla and Banjara Nalla will result in extraction of 7 cubic metres (9.2 cu yd) of non-hazardous and nutrient-rich sediment. The disposal of this extract was to be planned together with the state pollution control agency.

The Situation post the project

  • As study for the quality of water of Hussain Sagar lake, published in International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 5, Issue 9, September-2014, was conducted by four eminent environmentalists, including A. Sridhar Kumar, Environmental specialist, Irrigation & CAD, Hyderabad, Telangana State, K. Shnakaraiah, Research scholar, earth & space sciences, University of Hyderabad, P.L.K.M.Rao, Senior environmental consultant, Hyderabad and M. Sathyanarayana Managing Director, ClinicaPro Data Research Pvt.Ltd, Hyderabad, found the following parameters of the water quality of the Hussain Sagar lake; From the descriptive analysis (table. 2), the average concentrations of pH vary from 7.3 to 7.9 showing neutral to basic and alkaline the water in all the stations. The DO was observed very low average value varies from 0.2 to 2.9 mg/L indicating fragile water quality, and the COD (BOD) average values are very  high  varies   from 116  to   536  mg/L indicating organic pollution. The T.Alkalinity average values are varies between 314 to 559 mg/L, this high alkalinity water may neutralize the acids present in the water. It was observed that there are some high values of TKN, TN, TP, TO&G, Pb, Cd, Ni, T.Cr, Ar and Zn due to point and non-point sources, which may be attributed to the domestic waste water discharge and industrial activities.


Station wise, the parameters like T.Alk, Ba,TN and Cu & Ni are showing high average values in station one and two. The parameters like Temp, TO&G, Zn,  and  COD  (BOD),  TKN,  Pb,  TP,  T.Cr, TSS, Turb and Ar are showing high average concentrations in the station three and four respectively, whereas in the station five pH, DO and Cd are showing high average concentrations. The presence of only heavy metal parameters were observed in station C2, whereas, stations C1, C3, C4 & C5 having both the physico-chemical and heavy metal parameters.


Overall, the discharge of municipal sewage, industrial effluents, the storm water discharge containing diluted sewage and other impurities on the land surface from over 240 square kilometers area of watershed have resulted in dumping of high amounts of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorous in to the water and indicating the increased eutrophication. This situation suggests a strong variability due to presence of anthropogenic sources from the catchment affecting the water quality.

  • Another more recent study was conducted by two research scholars, namely, Manchala Lingaswamy (Research Scholar, Department of Environmental Science, University College of Sciences, Osmania University, Hyderabad) and Praveen Raj Saxena (Department of Applied Geochemistry, Osmania University, University College of Sciences, Hyderabad) in March, 2016 that got published in DOI Journal, “Current World Environment” Vol. 11(2), 537-543 (2016). The study was carried out to assess the water quality of three lakes of Hyderabad, Telangana State, India viz., Hussain Sagar, Fox Sagar and Kattamysamma Lake by using water quality index (WQI). For this study systematic sampling has been carried out by collecting sixteen samples from each lake. The collected samples were analyzed for physico-chemical parameters like pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Hardness (TH), Total Alkalinity (TA), Sodium (Na+), Potassium (K+), Calcium (Ca2+), Magnesium (Mg2+), Nitrates (NO32-), Sulphates (SO42-), Fluoride (F-) and Chloride (Cl-) according to Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (APHA 2005) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guide manual: Water and Waste water analysis. Following table show what the analysis reported;

The WQI (water Quality Index), values of Hussain Sagar, Fox Sagar and Kattamysamma Lakes were 132.43, 113.09, and 104.29 respectively. The highest value of WQI was observed in Hussain Sagar while lowest value was observed in Kattamysamma Lake. WQI of all three lakes, falling under E grade and unsuitable for drinking purpose category (WQI > 100) (Table.5). The table confirms that all the three lakes have water unfit for human consumption.


Hussain Sagar Lake - Hyderabad

This petition is now closed.

End date: May 10, 2020

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