High ammonia levels hit water supply to nearly 1 lakh Delhi houses
Water supply in many parts of north and central Delhi was hit on Sunday as two treatment plants at Wazirabad and Chandrawal had to be stopped entirely due to a leakage in the carrier lined channel (CLC) and “dangerously high” levels of ammonia in raw water.
“Operations at the plants had to be suspended in the morning due to leakage in the CLC that brings water from Haryana to Delhi. The situation will improve in a day,” Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra said.
As the leakage was being repaired, water supply in the CLC had been diverted to the Yamuna, the water of which is extremely contaminated with levels of ammonia ranging between 3.5 ppm and 4 ppm.
“The raw water from Yamuna cannot be treated with agents like chlorine as after coming in contact with ammonia it will produce trihalomethane which is carcinogenic in nature. The ammonia treatment plant, which was inaugurated last year, cannot treat anything beyond 1-2ppm,” a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official told HT.
According to him, nearly 35-40 lakh people across 7-8 lakh households in New Delhi Municipal Council area, Delhi Cantonment, north and old Delhi, are impacted by this water crisis.
However, Mishra tweeted in the evening that the repair of CLC would be completed by 9pm on Sunday night and supply will be restored by 7am on Monday morning in most parts. He said that the DJB has also asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to check the quality of raw water samples.
“No compromise on water quality. Supply to be affected for one day in areas covered by Chandrawal and Wazirabad plants. I am personally monitoring the situation and we are in constant touch with authorities in Haryana,” he tweeted.
A DJB official said it had made arrangements for water tankers. In case of acute shortage, residents of these areas could contact the DJB office of their area for water tankers.
DJB plants treat around 900 million gallons of water per day (MGD), of which Wazirabad and Chandrawal plants account for about 220 MGD.