Civic body has trained five technicians to analyse water samples

Mangalore City Corporation will set up a drinking water testing unit in its laboratory at Lalbagh within a fortnight . It is to ensure better public health, according to Sudarshan C. M., Health Officer (in-charge) at the civic body.

Dr. Sudarshan told The Hindu that the multi-purpose health workers of the civic body would collect samples from open wells or borewells of houses or other establishments. It had trained 43 workers on the method of collecting samples. It had trained five of its laboratory technicians in analysing water samples.

The laboratory technicians were only analysing blood samples so far.

To a query, the doctor said if people suspected that the piped water supplied to them was contaminated; its samples could be tested.

Dr. Sudarshan said that the unit would not accept the samples brought by people. It was because the samples would have to be collected in a prescribed method. Otherwise, there would be variation in test results.

The Health Officer (in-charge) said that as the first step the health workers had collected samples from open wells in Mangaladevi area and Urwa Stores on Monday. They would be analysed at the district laboratory under the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

He said the health section at the corporation was ready to collect the samples from the doorsteps of people from now on. They would be analysed at the district laboratory till the testing unit at the corporation building was ready.

The Health Officer (in-charge) said people would have to submit a request in writing if they wanted to get water tested. The corporation would charge them a fee, which was yet to be fixed, for testing the samples.

Dr. Sudarshan said if the test results of the samples were positive the health section at the civic body would take two steps. If it was a well or a tank, chlorination would be done to remove contamination. If the contamination of the source was due to leakage in the manholes or sewer network, the engineering section at the corporation would be asked to undertake the repair works. He said that the contamination of the source could be due to other factors as well, which would be found out.

The Health Officer said that after the chlorination of wells and repairing the sewer network or manholes water samples would be tested again. If it was found positive again it would be recommended to stop using water from that particular source for drinking.

Water from the source could be used for other purposes.

Dr. Sudarshan said that prevalence of E.coli bacteria contaminated drinking water more than other bacteria.

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