Voluntary association Jeevan Initiative had collected samples from drinking water facilities available/installed at 10 prominent public places and submitted for bacteriological and chemical analysis of the same at the State Public Health Laboratory. All these samples failed the bacteriological tests, and four of them failed even the chemical tests. That means water in all these places is unsatisfactory for drinking purpose. This has been confirmed by the reports obtained from the laboratory. The tests were carried out as per IS 10500:1991 standard.

These samples were collected from drinking water facilities at Guwahati Railway Station, Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) Canteen at Paltan  Bazaar, Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) Canteen, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Latasil Primary School, Guwahati Blind High School, Gauhati University Arts Canteen and the Court premises of the District & Session Judge, Kamrup. Samples were collected in sterile bottles purchased from the Public Health Laboratory.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), E.Coli bacteria should be zero per 100 ml of any drinking water. Presence of E.Coli is proof enough that the water is totally unfit for drinking. Coliform bacteria too should be totally absent in drinking water. The more such bacteria form, the more is the infection. And yet, in all of the water samples tested, dangerous presence of both E.Coli and Coliform has been detected.

In drinking water sample collected from ASTC, E.Coli has been found to be 2400 MPN/100 ml. This quantity is 1100 in Railway Station and Blind High School, 240 in University, 150 in ISBT, 44 in District & Sessions Court premises, 43 in GMC Hospital, 21 in Latasil Primary School, l7 in MMC Hospital and 4 in Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra. And all of this should have been zero.

On the other hand, Coliform organism in drinking water sample collected from Railway Station, ASTC, ISBT, Blind High School and the Court premises of District & Session Judge, Kamrup has been found to be 2400 MPN/100ml, while it’s 1100 in MMC Hospital, 460 in University, 240 in GMC Hospital, 93 in Latasil Primary School and 9 in Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra. All of this should have been zero.

Samples collected from drinking water facilities of ASTC Canteen, Railway Station, MMC Hospital and the Court premises of District & Session Judge were found to be chemically unsatisfactory as well.

Turbidity in ASTC Canteen water is 11 NTU, while the maximum limit is 5 NTU. Turbidity in Railway Station water is also higher (9 NTU). It also has Iron (0.53 mg) higher than the maximum limit of 0.30 mg. Iron in MMC Hospital water is also higher (0.40mg). Water sample collected from the Court premises of District & Session Judge has higher turbidity (10 NTU) as well as higher Total Solid (614 mg) beyond the normal limit of 500 mg  and Total Alkalinity (360 mg) beyond the limit of 200 mg.

It may be mentioned that drinking water infected with bacteria may cause various diseases including hepatitis A, B, C, jaundice, diarrhoea, typhoid, dysentery, cholera etc.

Collected from: JEEVAN( as permitted by Suresh Ranjan Goduka, Editor, Jeevan.)