High levels of chlorine detected in water samples

The special squad deployed by the district administration to check the quality of water supplied by private tankers was in for a surprise after seeing the test results of a few samples taken when the team was active a week ago.

The residual chlorine levels were found 10 times higher than the maximum limit in three samples drawn from tankers collecting water from private wells in Aluva and Kalamassery. The sudden spike in chlorine levels came after previous samples tested negative for residual chlorine. The presence of residual chlorine is an indicator that sufficient amount of chlorine had been added to the water to inactivate bacteria and some viruses.

“The presence of residual chlorine was nil in majority of samples drawn from private wells. To overcome this shortcoming, the operators started adding chlorine without adhering to the guidelines. A tanker driver told us that a bucketful of chlorine was added to the tanker,” said a senior member of the squad.

The unchecked dumping resulted in chlorine levels reaching 5 mg/litre in samples examined by the team. Officials said they had decided to ask drivers to take tankers with high residual chlorine to the hydrants operated by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). “The idea was to fill water from the hydrants till the residual chlorine level reached the prescribed limit of 0.2 mg/litre to 0.5 mg/litre,” they added. High levels of chlorine could result in irritation of eyes and throat and vomiting.

Safe water

The report submitted by the special squad to the Assembly Committee on Petitions and the district administration in January had pointed out that water drawn from hydrants and supply points of the Kerala Water Authority was safe as they were found to have residual chlorine within the prescribed range.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:55:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/high-levels-of-chlorine-detected-in-water-samples/article30937068.ece

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