Foreign Affairs

Drinking Water Trigger A Slow, Tortuous & Spectacular Demise

By K. Arulananthan –

Dr. K. Arulananthan

Dr. K. Arulananthan

Wellawatte : Moving to a new apartments at the third floor, as usual drawn water from kitchen tap and boiled prior to drinking. On the second day, all who shared the same water had complained severe thoracic discomfort. Later, came to know that the tap water is drawn from a tube effectively water and distributed among the unsuspicious residence with no any purification.

Rathupaswala : A quickly increasing town, surrounded by paddy fields, is positioned at about 25 km from Colombo. Water is drawn from open duck properly for drinking. A colleague of mine, who lives in Rathupaswala, drawn water from a effectively at her home and tested at the laboratory, exactly where she performs, discovered that the pH remained in between 2 and three – Acidic (pH significantly less than 7 are mentioned to be acidic).

Now the residents at Rathupaswala are supplied with public water program (pipe borne water), thanks for the mass struggle, which ended with deaths, injuries and damage to home. Nevertheless, no 1 knows what triggered the acidity to the well water, a factory or geology of the soil or each! (Rathu –RED, paswala -SOIL)

Mahaweli Upper Catchment : Below the project “Managing Agro-chemical Multiuse Aquatic Systems (MAMAS)”, water samples had been drawn from upper catchment of Mahaweli River by one particular my collogue for testing agrochemical pollution. The samples were offered to be tested for pesticide at the institute, which constituted the expert group to examine the severity of the oil contamination with ground water at Chunnakam. The institute reported that the pesticide content is “not detectable” (negligible or nil) in all water samples. My colleague told me that, suspecting the outcome, he injected pesticide into the sample and handed more than to the very same institute for testing. Nevertheless the test report from the institute indicated that the pesticide content is at not detectable level!

Systematic Monitoring of water quality is the first step to assure safe drinking water. - Photo courtesy Amantha Perera

Systematic Monitoring of water high quality is the initial step to assure secure drinking water. &#8211 Photo courtesy Amantha Perera

Coastal waters: A current coastal water quality monitoring outcomes revealed that Escherichia coli, a bacteria associated with fecal matter and cause for water borne disease far exceed the accepted limit (The widely accepted limit is 500 cfu/100 ml).The lead to is identified as the municipal raw sewage, discharged at about 2 km into the sea from coastline in Colombo, in other places it is discharged at the coast line itself. One particular of my colleagues, an on looker of the presentation of the monitoring result told me that “it seems taking a swim at our coastal waters is like swimming in a septic tank!”

Padavi-Sripura : CKDu, Chronic Kidney Disease, where “u” stands for unknown or uncertain etiology, was 1st reported in 1994. Soon after two decades, it is at an epidemic scale, affecting far more than 50,000, additional spreading into Northern, Eastern, North Western, Central, and Uva provinces. I keep in mind, it was earlier told that cooking in an aluminum vessel could be the potential cause for the CKD, not too long ago it is reported that the potential result in could be the drinking water contaminated with pesticides. Nevertheless no one appears to know the trigger!.

Chunnakam : In January 2015, it is reported that the Northern Provincial Council has appointed a team of specialists to investigate the contamination of ground water from Chunnakam Power Station. There are other reports indicated that that two separate teams from the Power and Energy Ministry and the Disaster Management Ministry would assess the ground situation and concern would be addressed inside two weeks and also reported that an independent committee consisting of officials from the ministry and the Central Environmental Authority to study the oil contamination issue (Sundaytimes-25.01.2015).

The most typical and deadly pollutants in the drinking water are of biological origin (pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa) and chemical contaminants, which consist of naturally occurring constituents (Arsenic, Barium, Boron, and so forth ), synthetic pollutants (Cadmium, Mercury, and so on ), organic pollutants (Benzene, Carbon tetrachloride, and so forth.) Sri Lanka Requirements Institute published “Tolerance limits for inland surface waters used as raw water for public water supply (SLS 722)”, which contain, if not all the biological and chemical containments, at least for most of them. Is the drinking water within the tolerance limit? No 1 seems to know!

Secure an efficient and successful monitoring, assessment and enforcement is vital to make certain safe drinking water. Ceylon Environmental Authority is mandated to undertake surveys and investigations as to the causes, nature, extent and prevention of pollution and undertake investigations and inspections to ensure compliance in inland waters.

Systematic Monitoring of water top quality is the very first step to assure secure drinking water. Though, discrete monitoring is reported, in my restricted search, I haven’t come across any systematic continuous monitoring. It appears that we do not have capacity to monitor all the health hazardous chemical contaminants. Even, the instruments offered look to be not in desirable working situation, due to lack of certified and trained personals and lack of information in calibration of instruments. Therefore, as of today, we could never know the good quality of water and continue to drink with deadly pollutants.

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