Thursday, May 23, 2019 | ePaper

WASA not yet capable to supply 100% pure water

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TO protest a research finding that had revealed the water supplied by the Dhaka WASA was undrinkable, Managing Director of WASA claimed the tapped water "is 100 per cent pure" though he himself boils the water at his home. City dwellers have long complained that the derelict supply lines are responsible for rampant water contamination. The tapped water time to time becomes odorous, undrinkable and contaminated. The TIB study found that 91 percent of WASA subscribers burn gas worth Tk 332 crore a year only to boil the supply water to make it drinkable.
With 3.74 lakh connections in its 360sqkm service area, WASA produces 240 crore litres of water daily. Of this, 22 per cent is surface water taken and treated from rivers and the rest is extracted from underground with 900 deep tube wells. This water is brought to city dwellers' homes through a network of 60,000 km supply lines -- 36,000 km of which are derelict 150-year-old pipes. WASA has so far replaced just 24,000km of the network with modern supply lines.
The TIB findings reflect the city dwellers' perception to the supplied water. The large market of bottled and jar water also explicitly state the state of WASA water and its acceptability. The WASA MD also said in terms of e-Coli and other contamination, the water is 100 per cent pure at the deep tube wells and 84 per cent pure in WASA supply lines. But the TIB found 1.4 million cubic metres human waste is generated in the area every day. The WASA has the capacity to treat only 50,000 cubic metres while the rest 96 per cent is released into canals and rivers, which are the source of 22 per cent of WASA water.
What's true is that, the WASA has been facing challenges of providing pure drinking water to the people for a long time. It is not yet sure when it would be capable to meet the challenge.

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