New Delhi, May 26: The Indian subsidiary of a US firm has offered a solution to the problem of arsenic contamination of ground water in the state.
Pentair Water India, the 100 per cent subsidiary of Pentair Inc, had launched an arsenic troubleshooting project in the state with the public health department as part of a scheme financed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, the project ran aground because of funding problems.
Efforts are now on to refloat the project with the assistance of the state government.
“It was a project involving hundreds of crores of rupees. However, after the pilot stage, it ran into funding problems. We hope to resolve the problems and go full steam,” said Gautam Khanna, CEO, Pentair Water Treatment.
The water utility is also working on an ambitious project to come with solution to problems posed by excess iron content in water in parts of Bengal and most of the north-eastern states.
Arsenic, a semi-metallic element, is dangerous if consumed. Ingested in sufficient quantities, arsenic can be fatal. The most celebrated arsenic death was of Napoleon, who was slow-poisoned with arsenic-laced wine when he was incarcerated by the British on the island of St Helena.
The technology for arsenic removal is a proprietary product of Pentair.
The project involves two different pressure tanks that are manufactured by Pentair. These have to be attached to hand pumps, preferably community hand pumps in villages, to treat ground water and make it arsenic-free. “One arsenic-removal system costs about Rs 10,000-11,000,” said senior company officials.
“Arsenic in water is absorbed by the media or the special substance in the tanks,” said Neeraj Gupta, a senior manager.
“Being a company that sees itself as a provider of solution pertaining to all aspects of water, our research scientists are trying to come up with a solution to iron-content problems in Bengal. Once successful, we will sell it to the domestic segment, directly to the consumers,” said Gupta, a specialist in polymer science.
Pentair Inc manufactures tools in the field of water technology. Headquartered in the US, the company operates from more than 50 locations in North America, Europe and Asia.