Saturday, August 26, 2006

Water supplied in Valley substandard: Report

Kathmandu, August 26 :
A report has revealed that the drinking water supplied by the government for half the Kathmandu Valley is below the expected standard.
Drinking water samples examined from 28 of 59 places did not contain any chlorine, the simplest method of disinfecting water.
A joint body, formed on July 27, with representatives from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC), Environment and Public Health Organisation and NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation has been testing the quality of piped water in 115 places in all three districts throughout the Valley from August 1.
The consumers who have private taps first test the water for presence of Free Residual Chlorine by using simple kits and submit the report to the joint body. The water samples from these taps are again tested in advanced laboratories to confirm the initial findings.
A recently compiled report of the tests revealed that water samples from Balaju, Chikanmugal, Asan, Bhotebahal, Kamalachhi, Guchha Tole, Jhhochhen, Tebhal, Rabi Bhawan, Bauddha, Jaisideval, Hyoomata, Kamalpokhari, Mahaboudhha, Mahankal Galfutar, Naradevi, Nayabazar, Swayambhu, Tebahal, Bansbari, Gongabu, Kirtipur and Balkumari had no chlorine traces.
Chlorine presence was 1 mg/l in China Road of Thimi, Sallaghari, Basagopal of Bhaktapur and Dhapasi of Kathmandu, which is equally hazardous.
“Only in Baluwatar, Pako, Maitidevi and Pachali, the presence of chlorine is found to be between 0.2 to 0.5 mg/l, which is said to be drinkable according to the WHO standard,” the report said.
According to WHO standard, the water with 0.2 mg/l to 0.5/l is drinkable while lower than 0.2 is contaminated and over 1 mg is hazardous.
“The report shows that the water quality is still far from being acceptable in many places,” said Prakash Amatya, the executive director of NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation.
He added that the examination of water quality is even more important during the rainy season, when probability of infiltration of sewage in water pipe is high and that can also result in epidemic outbreak in the urban setting.
Deputy general manager of NWSC Madan Shankar Shrestha said that noticing low or nil chlorine is a natural process because the presence of it decreases in highly polluted water and also with time. “In such places raising chlorine presence also is not a solution. But we have to admit that water pollution increases in the rainy season,” he said.
He urged that the consumers of the areas where the water samples showed nil chlorine presence take precaution to disinfect drinking water before they consume it.

Published: August 27, 2006 12:00 am On: Kathmandu

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