Pakistan

Filtration Plants - Threat to Citizens' Health (as of 27 June 2016)

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Drinking water supply in Pakistan is characterized by some achievements and many challenges. Despite high population growth the country has increased the share of the population with access to an improved water source from 85% in 1990 to 92% in 2010, although this does not necessarily mean that the water from these sources is safe to drink. A study conducted by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources reveals that 87% water in Rawalpindi and 75% in Islamabad is not fit for human consumption because of bacterial contamination .Public-sector water filtration plants, which are considered a main source of safe drinking water for the general public in many parts of the country, have been found to be providing contaminated water in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, because of the poor operation and maintenance of these facilities. At the filtration plants, water passes through a multi-tiered process of filtration and then is made available at the source through taps for the public. People fill their containers with the assumed safe water for free and take it away for their consumption . At the filtration plants, the authorities chlorinate the water and use ultraviolet lamps to kill germs. Still, bacteria have been found in the water samples, indicating that chlorination is not being adequately carried out and that the ultraviolet lamps are either defective or not being replaced on time. The rusty filters and containers of more than 42 water filtration plants situated in different parts of Chaklala and Rawalpindi Cantonments could not be replaced or defective. The supply of clean drinking water has become a question for more than five million people. The contaminated water carries bacteria that can spread hepatitis and other fatal diseases amongst the citizens. The chlorine filters, UV lamps and metal containers of the filtration plants require replacement with new ones every three months, but the cartridges of 27 filtration plants situated in the two cantonments areas have not been replaced. The filtration plants situated at Tench Bhatta, Misrial Road, Shalay Valley, Allama Iqbal Colony, Barf Khana Chowk, Azizabad, Gawalmandi, Naseerabad, Ashyana Chowk, Kank Mandi, Children Park British Homes, Adra, Peshawar Road, Police Station and Ahemdabad require replacement of cartridges with new filters