Treating contaminated water

  • 29/09/2003

Treating contaminated water The problem of natural contamination of groundwater with highly toxic poisons like arsenic and fluoride is here to stay. The million-dollar question is: Is there a way out for this global problem?

Most of the techniques used by developed nations remove arsenic and fluoride from drinking water at the treatment plant. Developing countries, including India, do not have proper treatment plants even at the urban centres. Villages hardly figure in this incomplete picture. Thus the real task of tacking contamination is at the village level. Once the toxicity has been identified in a particular tube well in a village, cheap, cost-effective, methods are needed at the household level to remove the toxins from water before ingestion.

Rapid analytical methods are needed to identify the polluted sources of water. K N Mathur, senior deputy director general, Geological Survey of India, recommends the use of portable Water Analyses Kit and portable Ion Analyzer Kit to respectively detect the injurious presence of fluoride and arsenic. These equipments are cost-effective, he says.

In an endeavour to provide arsenic-free water to affected people in Bangladesh and Nepal, innovative ideas mooted by local residents have been tested and are being used. The

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