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80% of drinking water unfit for human consumption in Sindh
By Tariq Butt July 21, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: More than 80 per cent of water samples collected from surface and groundwater sources in 14 districts of Sindh for analysis have shown that water quality in these areas has worsened over the past few months.

Earlier, 75 per cent drinking water samples collected from 13 districts were found unfit for human consumption.

The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) had conducted a bacterial and chemical analysis of water samples collected in Karachi, Thatta, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Sukkur, Shikarpur and Larkana districts.

Of the 460 samples, 232 were collected from surface water sources (canals, water supply schemes, pumping stations), 46 from reverse osmosis/filtration plants and three from mixed (ground plus surface water) sources.

Collection spots for water samples included educational institutions, public points and tertiary care hospitals. The results were analysed in the light of World Health Organisation (WHO) and Sindh Environmental Quality Standards on drinking water.

A total of 118 drinking water samples were collected from Karachi, of which 99 samples were collected from surface water sources, including water supply system, filtration plants and pumping stations and 13 samples from reverse osmosis plants.

According to the report, 107 (90.7pc) of the 118 samples were found unsafe for human consumption, which means only 11 samples were suitable for drinking.

Around 104 samples had bacterial contamination. Of them, 40pc samples had faecal contamination. High turbidity and higher levels of sulphate, nitrate-nitrogen, total hardness, calcium, magnesium and potassium were also found in water.

In comparison, of the 28 samples collected from Tharparkar district, 10 samples (35.7pc) were found unfit for human consumption.

“Most samples were found safe from bacteriological contamination when collected directly from the reverse osmosis plant. Samples collected from community storage tanks/ponds, however, were found severely contaminated with coliforms and E.coli,” the report says.

The study team observed the same situation at the Misri Shah reverse osmosis plant in Mithi and another plant installed in Islamkot.

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