Kathmandu, October 27:
Piped water distributed in many areas of Kathmandu Valley is lacking in chlorine, according to a survey to be released soon. Both high and low chlorine concentration are harmful for public health.
The Free Residual Chlorine Survey in piped water, conducted in the valley for the past three months, has shown that water in at least 17 out of selected 93 areas contains no chlorine at all, while there is low concentration of chlorine in piped water distributed in many other areas. A total of 120 volunteers from all five municipalities took 1,552 samples to prepare the report, to be published after Tihar.
“The report has shown that piped water distributed in the Valley is not at all suitable for drinking. It shows the poor condition of water and sanitation in our capital,” said Triratna Manandhar, a programme officer at the NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation (NGOFUWS). The survey was conducted by NGOFUWS with supports from UN-HABITAT, as part of Cholera Mitigation Campaign 2007.
The problem of absence of chlorine in piped water has hit the small town of Kirtipur the hardest. Out of the seven points examined there, piped water distributed in four places — Dhusitole, Nagaun, Tyanglaphant, Khasibazar — had no chlorine at all.
In Kathmandu, 11 places out of 57 survey points showed that piped water distributed there is totally lacking in chlorine. The places where water is distributed without chlorine include Ombahal, Chapali, Hyoomata, Jaishideval, Dhokatol, Bauddha Phulbari, Goldhunga Balaju, Maruhiti, Thapathali, In addition, over 75 per cent of the tests in Maru, Jhochhen, Indrachowk, Guchhatole, Yatkhabahal, Milanchowk Kapan showed nil chlorine in those areas.
Out of 12 points in Bhaktapur, severe problem of chlorine deficiency was observed only in Katunje. Lalitpur is relatively less affected. Only in Sundhara, 80 per cent of tests resulted in nil chlorine.
On the contrary, chlorine concentration was found to be high in a number of areas. The areas with high chlorine in Kathmandu are Putalisadak Newplaza, Maharajgunj Chakrapath, Milanchowk Baneshwor and Jhwabahal. In Lalitpur, Nirmalbasti of Satdobato was found to be the only area where the concentration of chlorine was high.
Only nine spots of Kathmandu and two of Kirtipur are blessed with normal concentration of chlorine. The areas include Dhapasi Chauki, Old Baneshowr, Tankeshowr, Wotu, Dallu Awas, Chhetrapati Chowk, Bijeshwwri, Soaltimod and Pepsikola Koreshwor of Kathmandu and Kamalpokhari of Kirtipur. Generally, 0 to 0.2 milligramme of chlorine in one litre of water is considered less, 0.2 to 0.5 mg is considered normal and 0.5 to 1 mg is taken as high concentration. “The WHO has set that 0.2 to 0.5 mg of chlorine in a litre of water is standard. Less than it means that bacteria still live in the water and excessive chlorine in long term may cause cancer to the public,” said Rosha Raut, lab in-charge at the Nepal Environment and Public Health Organisation.
The study was conducted in 56 places in Kathmandu, 11 places in Lalitpur, 12 places in Bhaktapur, seven places in Kirtipur and three places in Thimi.