Fluoride Action Network

Answer to dry zone drinking water woes

Source: Daily News | March 5th, 2012 | By Priyanka Kurugala
Location: Sri Lanka

Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) scientist J P Padmasiri and engineer W M Jayawardhana have successfully designed a water purification unit which can reduce excess thickness and fluoride in drinking water in the dry zone.

This new unit will be useful to clean and purify drinking water in the dry zone, specially the North Central Province, where water borne disease including kidney ailments are proliferating.

IFS which functions under the Technology and Research Ministry conducts basic and advanced scientific research and makes new innovations which uplift scientific and technological activities in Sri Lanka.

The institute’s early surveys have revealed that a majority of wells in the dry zone have a high fluoride content. Safety levels of fluoride is 0.6 mg/1 per litre.

People in dry zone areas face serious health problems such as the ugly staining known as dental fluorosis. It can be caused due to excess fluoride in their drinking water, Padmasiri said.

The researchers’ attention has now focused on whether the water contaminated with excess fluoride and thickness can cause chronic kidney disease which has become a life threatening issue in Sri Lanka, he said.

The development of the Electro Coagulation Water Purification Unit by scientists of the institute will eliminate the shortcomings of the established community based water supply projects which distribute drinking water considered unsuitable.

The Technology and Research Ministry has identified this problem and allocated Rs 12 million to install 10 water purification units in areas badly affected by low quality water.

Padmasiri said they have installed four water purification units at Mahavillachchiya, Galadiwulwewa and two units in Nochchiyagama in the Anuradhapura district in line with the Deyata Kirula 2012 Development Exhibition.

They were installed and commissioned with the technical support from a private institution in Kurunegala.