Answer to dry zone drinking water woes
Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) scientist J P Padmasiri and
engineer W M Jayawardhana have successfully designed a water
purification unit which can reduce excess thickness and fluoride in
drinking water in the dry zone.
This new unit will be useful to clean and purify drinking water in
the dry zone, specially the North Central Province, where water borne
disease including kidney ailments are proliferating.
IFS which functions under the Technology and Research Ministry
conducts basic and advanced scientific research and makes new
innovations which uplift scientific and technological activities in Sri
The institute’s early surveys have revealed that a majority of wells
in the dry zone have a high fluoride content. Safety levels of fluoride
is 0.6 mg/1 per litre.
People in dry zone areas face serious health problems such as the
ugly staining known as dental fluorosis. It can be caused due to excess
fluoride in their drinking water, Padmasiri said.
The researchers’ attention has now focused on whether the water
contaminated with excess fluoride and thickness can cause chronic kidney
disease which has become a life threatening issue in Sri Lanka, he said.
The development of the Electro Coagulation Water Purification Unit by
scientists of the institute will eliminate the shortcomings of the
established community based water supply projects which distribute
drinking water considered unsuitable.
The Technology and Research Ministry has identified this problem and
allocated Rs 12 million to install 10 water purification units in areas
badly affected by low quality water.
Padmasiri said they have installed four water purification units at
Mahavillachchiya, Galadiwulwewa and two units in Nochchiyagama in the
Anuradhapura district in line with the Deyata Kirula 2012 Development
They were installed and commissioned with the technical support from
a private institution in Kurunegala.