Sunday, June 27, 2004

Kathmandu water contains arsenic

Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, June 26[2004]:

It is no news that the capital's water is contaminated. But it has now been revealed that the drinking water supplied by the government contains arsenic. A resident of Tahachal Bal Krishna Shrestha recently decided to get the tap water tested in a laboratory. And he got a major shock when the results showed that water distributed by the Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC) from its deep tube well at Mahendra Ratna Campus contained arsenic.
Government authorities have been silent about arsenic in the capital's water. "I did not expect to find arsenic in the tap water in my area," said Shrestha. He had the water tested in the Environment and Public Health Organisation lab on June 20. The results showed the sample contained 0.02 mg of arsenic per litre of water. The WHO standard is 0.01 mg per litre. It contained an alarming amount of ammonia — 63.5 mg per litre, the amount of which should be limited to 1.5 mg, according to the WHO. Chairman of Consumer Forum Nepal, Harendra Bahadur Shrestha, has planned to take a team to the NWSC on Monday or Tuesday to protest the government's "irresponsible" act. Deputy GM of NWSC, Narendra Bahadur Pradhan, admitted arsenic can be found in two or three sources out of around four dozen deep-wells of NWSC, but "it is not so alarming as to create panic".
[ KATHMANDU, JUNE 27, 2004, Ashad 13, 2061 ]