NSS volunteers of city college collect samples from household wells

On Wednesday, around 35 volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of Providence Women’s College here formed small teams of 3 to 4 members and set out to selected households in the college’s neighbourhood. Their mission was to collect a bottle of water each from the wells of the houses they visited, to test if the water was potable.

It all started with a sanitation survey conducted by the NSS volunteers in the college’s neighbourhood, spread across Ward 9 and 10 of the City Corporation. The survey found that sanitation condition of 32 of the 100 households included in the survey was critical.

“We decided that something more should be done about it,” said R. Sini, one of the two NSS programme officers of the college. Soon the NSS unit of the college got in touch with the Water Quality Division of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) at Kunnamangalam in the district. The centre agreed to send a mobile water quality testing lab to the neighbourhood free of cost.

The NSS volunteers handed over the water samples they collected to the mobile laboratory that visited the college on Wednesday. The water testing team of the CWRDM comprising a microbiologist and chemist conducted some initial investigations on the samples and took them to the centre for further analysis.

According to P.S. Harikumar, Head, Water Quality Division at CWRDM, the complete result of the test would be available in a week, which would be handed over to the residents in the form of a ‘water-card.’

Different parameters of the collected samples would be tested at the CWRDM to assess quality. They included testing pH value, total dissolved solids, chlorides, and bacteria among other things, said Dr. Harikumar.

The testing would be done free of cost since it was being done as part of a water literacy campaign undertaken by the CWRDM.

“Otherwise these test will cost Rs.1,000 per sample,” said Dr. Harikumar.

Once the tests results were handed over to the residents, the CWRDM would conduct a one-day session for them. Details of the remedial measures to be taken to maintain the quality of well water would be given to them.

Experts would also interact with them and sensitise them to the importance of ensuring drinking water quality.

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