With increasing cases of water contamination cases in the city, the Department of Microbiology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has come up with a water testing kit which comes at a nominal price of Rupees 40.
The kit will help residents check the quality of drinking water right inside their homes.
Department head Professor Param Pal Sahota said that the quality of drinking water has severely deteriorated over the years. This happens due to various reasons like poor quality distribution pipes, non-chlorination, leakage of sewerage pipes and biofilm formation in storage tanks. The surfaces in contact with finished water are colonised by micro-organisms, so it remains unfit for drinking even treatment.
She added, "World Health Organization has estimated that up to 80% of all diseases in the world are caused by poor sanitation, polluted water or unavailability of clean water. In India, nearly 21% of all communicable diseases are waterborne and amongst them diarrhoea is responsible for 25-30 % deaths among children."
Another Microbiology expert Dr. Gulab Pandove said that unlike conventional methods of testing, the kit offers easy interpretation of results and does not require any big equipments.
Method to use the kit
The kit is basically a small bottle containing a combination of fermentable sugars. Users simply have to cut open the aluminum seal and add water up to the calibrated mark and seal it with a rubber stopper. The kit should then be kept at a warm place (37oC) for 48 hrs. Observe the colour change after 48 hrs.
If the solution turns yellow then it is unfit for drinking, if there is no colour change then it is safe for drinking.
Efficiency of kit gets appreciated
The kit has been widely appreciated by users in the city.
Sarabjeet Singh, a city based teacher said "It is easy to use provided you follow the instructions given on the kit."
Another user Dilpreet Singh, a farmer from the district said, "I feel every household should use this kit. The water we drink is so impure and infected that even our aqua guards fail to clean it. Prevention is better than cure."