TWAD Board to test 6 lakh water samples across Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD) will soon launch a drinking water safety week campaign across the State for free-of-cost testing of samples.

Over six lakh samples of drinking water from prominent sources will be tested during the campaign, which will educate people on quality standards, the quality of water they are drinking and diseases likely to be caused by the poor quality.

“This is the first time that such a campaign is being held in the country,” S. Maruthu Pandian, TWAD Board Executive Engineer, Rural Water Supply, told The Hindu on Sunday. TWAD Board will be spending Rs. 3.55 crore on the campaign.

Water samples from hand-pumps, mini-power pumps, power pumps, overhead tanks and public fountains will be collected through the pump operators of local bodies concerned. Besides, people would be encouraged to bring samples of drinking water for testing at the offices of the local bodies or in schools in the locality. Mobile teams will also be deployed for sample collection.

The testing will be done for four days for which adequate awareness will be conducted through rallies.

Testing kits

“We have planned to ask schoolchildren to bring water samples for testing. The testing will be done by teachers trained to use the field water testing kits. The results will be made public within 15 minutes,” Mr. Pandian said.

All the results of the tests will be uploaded on the TWAD Board website.

“It is the right of every citizen to know the quality of water he/she is drinking and this campaign is only to ensure that,” Mr. Pandian added.

The field water testing kit developed (patented registered) by the TWAD Board will be used for testing the water samples. Each kit, costing Rs. 2,100,will be able to test 100 samples of water for 15 parameters like pH value, total hardness, content of chemicals like fluoride and nitrate.

Quality mapping

After the campaign, the TWAD Board officials will undertake water quality mapping.

“Wherever the quality of water is found to be not potable, officials of local body concerned will be advised to look for alternative source of water,” the official said.