Water supply hit as ammonia levels rise

North, north-west and central Delhi affected, Delhi Jal Board says situation to improve today

January 16, 2017 01:33 am | Updated 07:37 am IST - New Delhi:

Water supply in north, north-west and central Delhi was affected due to high ammonia levels in the raw water supply on Sunday. Operations had to be suspended in Chandrawal and Wazirabad treatment plants, which supply water to the affected areas.

By evening, however, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials said that the water supply will be restored by Monday morning.

The worst affected areas are old Delhi, Karol Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Burari and other adjoining areas. Lutyens Delhi will be partially affected as water from the Sonia Vihar treatment plant is being supplied there.

Raw water

Operations at the plants had to be suspended on Sunday morning due to leakage in the carrier lined channel (CLC) that brings water from Haryana to Delhi.

To plug the leakage, the water supply in the CLC has been diverted to the Yamuna river, the water of which is extremely contaminated with levels of ammonia ranging between 3.5 ppm and 4 ppm.

Carrier lined channel

“The CLC is leaked in Haryana. We get raw water through CLC. Haryana is repairing it so we need to shut CLC. Now water coming through main river course where ammonia is dangerously high. So production from two plants stopped temporarily. No compromise on water quality. Supply to be affected for one day in areas covered by Chandrawal and Wazirabad plants. I am personally monitoring the situation and we are in constant touch with authorities in Haryana,” DJB chief Kapil Mishra said in a series of tweets.

Mr. Mishra later tweeted: “Supply to be affected for one day in areas covered by chandrawal and wazirabad plants. Repair of CLC will be completed by 9 pm tonight (Sunday). Supply to be restored by tomorrow (Monday) morning 7 am in most parts [sic].”

The DJB plants treat around 900 million gallons of water a day (MGD), of which Wazirabad and Chandrawal plants account for about 220 MGD. Water tankers are being provided in the affected areas. The DJB has also asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to check the quality of raw water samples.


Mr. Mishra told the media that the ammonia treatment plant, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal last year, cannot treat anything beyond 1-2 ppm. The water with very high ammonia levels cannot be treated with agents like chlorine as after coming in contact with ammonia it will produce trihalomethane, which is carcinogenic in nature.

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