33% drinking water samples in Ghaziabad have faecal contamination
District officials said teams of the health department collected the samples from different government and private establishments in January and February
Around a third of Ghaziabad’s potable water is adulterated with faecal contamination, district officials said on Sunday, citing the findings of spot tests of water samples collected from 359 sources such as residential societies, schools and commercial complexes in the past two months.
This puts residents of Ghaziabad at risk of acquiring infections such as typhoid, jaundice and cholera, said Dr Rakesh Gupta, district surveillance officer.
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Officials said health department teams collected the samples from different government and private establishments in January and February, and while 238 samples were satisfactory, 121 tested positive for contamination.
“The presence of faecal coliform or other type of faecal contamination could be due to mixing of sewerage or broken sewer lines or failure to disinfect water source,” said Gupta.
The samples were tested at the district health laboratory in Ghaziabad.
Gupta said the test reports have been sent to the Ghaziabad Police, who may take legal action against offenders for not preventing contamination.
“Usually, we send these reports to the district administration and the civic agency only, but we have now started sending these reports to the police as well. They may take legal action to ensure compliance and strict enforcement,” Gupta added.
The samples were picked up from water plants, handpumps, religious places, schools, water-tanks of buildings like high-rises, food outlets in malls, hotels, JJ clusters and water sources at residential localities.
“The failed samples indicate that if a person drinks such water, she or he may be prone to risk of acquiring diseases like typhoid, jaundice and cholera,” Gupta said.
“From March onwards, we will try to collect at least 500 samples per month and ensure that there is strict compliance,” he added.
However, officials said that tests for heavy metals, fluoride and other contaminants were not performed on the water samples due to resource constraints, and they were only tested for chlorination and faecal matter.
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The Ghaziabad municipal corporation’s general manager (water works), Anand Triptahi, and executive engineer Yogendra Yadav, could not be reached for comments.
In June last year, Tripathi had said 82% of the city’s 100 residential wards get tap water supply.
“It is the primary work of the corporation that water supplied through tap supply or water-tankers is properly chlorinated,” said Mithilesh Kumar, city health officer.
Meanwhile, Dr Ashish Agarwal, former president of Indian Medical Association (Ghaziabad chapter), said, “The failure of the samples indicates that there is lack of surveillance and enforcement. The contaminated water leads to health complications. This will continue if enforcement is not stepped up.”