Fluoride Action Network

‘Potable’ water in 78 villages unfit to drink

Source: The Times of India | December 21st, 2013 | By Kapil Dixit
Location: India

ALLAHABAD: In an alarming revelation, the ‘potable’ water of 78 villages in trans-Ganga and Yamuna areas of the district was found to contain high levels of harmful substances like fluoride, iron, titanium and nitrates during a water testing exercise.

The testing was conducted by the department of rural development in 1,426 villages across 20 blocks of the district. District development officer (DDO) RC Pandey told TOI, “After receiving the test results, we have advised deep boring in villages where the potable water contains fluoride, iron and titanium. We have also decided to set up big potable water tanks for providing safe drinking water to the villagers.”

Officials said the team conducted re-testing in villages where the status of potable water was not upto the mark. The team members had inducted three villagers from each village to help with the testing and asked a series of questions while preparing the report.

The villagers were given field testing kits to check the status of primary potable water resources like water pipelines and hand-pumps. Pandey said the department is now analyzing the reasons behind the contamination of potable water by substances harmful for human health.

An official added, “Efforts are underway to provide pure and clean drinking water to villagers. We have been apprising villagers about methods to check the quality of water resources, especially the hand-pumps available within the villages.”

Officials are also discussing the adverse impact of contaminated water with villagers and measures to purify water. The use of deep safe wells is also recommended as their water contains no arsenic particles.

The project was aimed to improve the quality of life by enhancing access to better water supply and sanitation facilities in the rural areas ensuring sustainability. The exercise was also facilitated by officials of block development officer, Jal Nigam and local panchayat.

Villagers are also being apprised about the use of filters to remove fluoride and the best diet to prevent ailments caused by contaminated water. “If there is fluoride in water, neither its colour nor its taste or smell change,” said an expert, adding that the fluoride content of water is not affected by boiling.

He said prevention essential to checking fluorosis as there is no effective treatment for the disease yet.