The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 6 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tests find water unsafe to drink

Tests on municipal drinking water samples have detected a high level of contamination, calling for further analysis.

The report of the test conducted in a government laboratory, issued on Monday (February 4), has declared the sample water not fit for drinking owing to bacterial contamination and high turbidity (mud and dirt content). The sample water was 40 times (see chart) the desirable amount of nephelo turbidity unit (NTU) per litre and 20 times its maximum permissible limit.

Social activist Brijnandan Pathak, who got the sample collected from Lakshman Sahay Lane off Gurdwara Road tested in the public health and engineering department, Gaya, laboratory said he got a test conducted on June 16, 2012, at the same facility. Then too, the laboratory had declared the sample not fit for drinking.

Kanti Devi, a resident of Lakshman Sahay Lane, too complained that the municipal water supplied was contaminated. Devi said: “The water supplied by Gaya Municipal Corporation (GMC) is not even fit for drinking by animals.” “In our area, sinking borewell is extremely difficult because of hard rock found underground. So, we have to fetch potable water from borewells. We use the municipal water just for cleaning utensils and washing clothes,” said Raju Prasad, another resident of the lane.

GMC superintending engineer Ashok Kumar Singh told The Telegraph: “The water the pump lifts from beneath the ground is pure, as proved in laboratory tests. Pipeline leaks at some points are possible but we have not received any complaint so far. Else, the leaks would have been repaired.”

Pathak has sent a memorandum to chief minister Nitish Kumar, drawing his attention to the quality of water being supplied through pipes in areas like Gurdwara Road, Lakshman Sahay Lane, Station Road, Gol Bagicha, Purani Mal Godown, Murli Hill, Domtoli Road, Panchayati Akhada and Pitamaheshwar Road.

Magadh University professor of chemistry and analytical chemist Ranjit Kumar Verma mentioned the necessity to get more samples collected for laboratory tests. He said: “A single sample analysis is only indicative in nature and does not have much scientific significance unless results are repeated and a proper statistical analysis of the data is done as per international norms.”