Anuradhapura tank contamination rate on the rise - Irrigation Department | Daily News


Anuradhapura tank contamination rate on the rise - Irrigation Department

Reports point towards high turbidity, alkalinity levels:

The contamination rate of water in the major reservoirs of the Anuradhapura District is found to be on the rise due to the adverse effects of illegal activates. The levels of turbidity and alkalinity, as well as those of iron, nitrate, phosphate, and sulfate in major reservoirs are higher than the permissible levels according to the laboratory reports of the Water Quality Monitoring Unit of the Irrigation Department.

As an example, although the permissible level of total alkalinity shall be < 200mg/l, the level of same at Abhaya Wewa is 760 mg/l, 494mg/l in the Tissa wewa, 1,344mg/l in Mahavilachchiya, 680mg/l in the Nuwara Wewa, 1,113mg/l Mahakanadarawa, 709mg/l in the Nachchaduwa tank, 1,576mg/l in Rajanganaya, 1,464mg/l in Angamuwa, 624mg/l in the Manankattiya tank, 998mg/l in Hurulu Wewa, 590mg/l in the Padaviya tank, and 654mg/l in Wahalkada.

Furthermore, iron concentrations at several reservoirs such as Manankattiya, Wahalkada, Mahakanadarawa, and the Nuwara Wewa are found to have exceeded the permissible level; that is < 0.3 mg/l.

Meanwhile, an evaluation conducted by the Water Safety Plan Advisory Unit of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) on the adverse effects of illegal human activities on tank water quality in Nuwara Wewa, Tissa wewa, Thuruwila, Rajanganaya, and Nachchaduwa, has shown that contamination levels of E. coli bacteria has been gradually increasing in them from 2013 onward.

The NDSDB has submitted a report to the Government, urging it to implement a mechanism to restrict human activities in tanks which are used to divert water to be used for water treatment plants and the introduction of a comprehensive catchment management system under the implementation of a water safety plan, immediately, to ensure acceptable water quality in all reservoirs.

Anuradhapura irrigation engineers emphasised that the contamination of water in major tanks, along with rising levels of heavy metals, is mainly caused by illicit human activities such as the clearing of tank reservations, large-scale illegal cultivation, use of chemical fertiliser and other agrochemicals, and the disposing of sewage into tanks.

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