If you’ve woken up to dry taps this morning, blame it on a high level of ammonia in the Yamuna.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has had to shut down two of its largest water treatment plants because of this, leaving more than half the city high and dry. The two plants supply 210 million gallons of water a day to the city, which is one-third of the demand.
Since the DJB had not anticipated the situation, it was unable to inform residents of the affected areas. According to sources, the evening supply may also be hit as the restoration work will continue till Wednesday evening.
“We have set up a monitoring committee and are trying to restore supply at the earliest,” said Ramesh Negi, chief executive officer of DJB.
The normal level of ammonia in water is 0.02 parts per million (PPM). This had risen to 1.3 PPM on Tuesday evening.
“The source of pollution has been traced to Haryana,” said Sanjam Chima, spokesperson, Delhi Jal Board. Board officials say that the indiscriminate discharge of industrial and domestic waste into the Panipat drain is the root cause of this problem.
“We have found high levels of ammonia, which indicates domestic pollution and also a very high level of chromium, which is indicative of industrial waste pollution,” said a senior official of the Delhi Jal Board.
Negi has requested Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta to take up the matter with his Haryana counterpart to mitigate the crisis, officials have told Hindustan Times.