Home / News / India /  Of total 13 lakh drinking water samples, over 1 lakh fail quality test: Centre

The union ministry of Jal Shakti has found a shocking outcome in its latest study on drinking water. As per the government's surveillance programme, more than 1.11 lakh of the 13 lakh drinking water samples across the country have been found contaminated.

Traces of chemicals and minerals, such as arsenic, fluoride, iron, and uranium, in the earth layer, local land use practices like fertilisers, pesticides, livestock, and concentrated feeding operations have been found in the contaminated drinking water samples, according to the data under the Jal Shakti ministry programme.

Water contamination also includes malfunctioning on-site wastewater treatment systems such as septic systems and twin pit toilets; microbial contamination through a mixture of wastewater in the drinking water source or distribution line, the ministry said.

In addition, drinking water that is not properly treated or that travels through an improperly maintained distribution system, pipes, may also create conditions that increase the risk of contamination, it said.

The Jal Shakti ministry informed that the testing of water samples is being done across 2,011 active laboratories, and water from 2,05,941 villages has been tested till so far.

The Centre has also started water quality surveillance using field test kits (FTKs) under which five women from every village are trained in water quality surveillance using these kits to lead these activities in their village, the ministry said.

As per the ministry's data, 7,39,362 users have been trained for testing water samples using FTKs and 6,27,752 samples have been tested across 32,697 villages, and 22,518 contaminated samples have been found using the kits.

The ministry in March had launched a framework and guidelines for testing, monitoring, and surveillance of drinking water quality as well as a water quality information management system (WQMIS), an online portal that provides detailed information on laboratories.

The basic water quality parameters prescribed under the guidelines are pH value, total dissolved solids, turbidity, chloride, total alkalinity, total hardness, sulphate, iron, total arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, total coliform bacteria, E.coli or thermo-tolerant coliform bacteria, the ministry said.

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