Diarrhoea outbreak in Chandigarh colony: Contaminated tubewell water is the reason
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Diarrhoea outbreak in Chandigarh colony: Contaminated tubewell water is the reason

E. coli found in sample from one of the six tubewells supplying water.

punjab Updated: Jun 21, 2018 12:40 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Diarrhoea outbreak,Chandigarh,Chandigarh health department
Diarrhoea patients at the Manimajra civil hospital in Chandigarh.(HT File)

After around 150 people have been treated for diarrhoea at the Manimajra civil hospital in the past week, the Chandigarh health department has finally found the source of water contamination in Mauli Jagran.

The water from Tubewell No. 4 was found “grossly contaminated” with the bacteria E. coli, a report revealed on Wednesday.

E. coli is a type of bacteria that can cause intestinal infections, include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. More severe cases can lead to bloody diarrhoea, dehydration and even kidney failure.The bacteria enters the drinking water supply when there is poor sanitation.

Mauli Jagran and surrounding areas are being supplied water from six tubewells. HT reported on Monday how water is stored in a filthy tank next to Tubewell No. 2. The health department also found that Tubewell No. 3 was not properly covered.

‘Very high level’

Initially, the health department had collected 118 water samples from houses for hydrogen sulphide test, but the reports found no contamination.

Following this, samples were taken from the six tubewells for multiple tube test on Monday. The reports that came after 48 hours confirmed contamination in one of them.

“The water of Tubewell No. 4 is grossly contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Ideally, the MPN (most probable number) of water should be less than 1 but here it was over 180. The level is too high,” said Dr Upendrajeet Singh Gill, a UT health department official. MPN gives the concentration of microorganisms in a sample.

MC chief engineer Manoj Kumar Bansal said: “We have closed the tubewell and it will not affect the residents. We will clean the supply lines and are hopeful to resume normal supply by Thursday evening.”

According to health officials, there were 15 fresh cases of diarrhoea reported at the civil hospital on Wednesday, taking the total number to 156.

The health department said 5,800 houses have been surveyed and 2,000 chlorine tablets, 1,200 oral rehydration solution (ORS) sachets and 5,000 informative pamphlets have been distributed since the outbreak came to light.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 12:40 IST