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87% Water in Rawalpindi, 75% in Islamabad unfit for human consumption: Study

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (NNI): A study conducted by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources reveals that 87% water in Rawalpindi and 75% in Islamabad is not fit for human consumption because of bacteria contamination.
The findings of the water quality assessments were made public by the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Muhammad Akram Kahlun at a news conference here.
The study says most of water samples except for Simy Dam reservoir in Islamabad and Chitti Tanki in Rawalpindi were found fit in respect of colour, odour and taste. Similarly, in respect of chemical quality both ground and surface water samples come up to the WHO and Pakistan Standard Institute standards for drinking water.
The findings of the Council, however, show that 75% samples in islamabad and 87% samples in Rawalpindi were found unsafe for human consumption due to bacterial contamination.
The Chairman pointed out that water samples collected from Noorpur Shahan, which is first distribution point after treatment from Simply Dam, and seven million gallon reservoir of CDA were found free from bacterial contamination. This means that the problem may be within the distribution system due to intermittent water supply, leakage of pipes, pollution from sewerage pipes and contaminated local cisterns in the houses.
He said water supply agencies like CDA and Rawalpindi WASA are being approached to ensure the supply of safe water upto consumer end by adding appropriate dose of chlorine and fulfilling effective treatment conditions.
He said public should also periodically clean all domestic underground and overhead tanks in their houses. He said use of lead free gasoline for vehicles should be encouraged particularly in areas like Islamabad and Rawalpindi where surface water is the main source of drinking water to avoid excessive absorption of lead from atmosphere.
The Chairman PCRWR recommended that lead or plastic pipes having lead contents and use of sub-standard chemicals in water treatment should be discouraged. He also proposed that no new water supply scheme should be approved unless detailed investigation of water quality, quantity and its sustainability have been carried out.
He said the study is part of a major programme launched to monitor quality of water in the country. National Water Quality Monitoring Programme covers twenty-one cities from all the four provinces in the first phase. He said donor agencies have shown interest to expand the programme to rural areas where majority of the population lives.
he cities where the programme has been launched include Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujrat, Lahore, Sialkot, Sheikhpura, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Kasur, Bahawalpur, Multan, Hyderabad, Karachi, Sukkur, Quetta, Khuzdar, Loralai, Ziarat, Peshawar, Mardan and Mangora.ŚNNI

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