Govt to classify water supplied by tanker

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 2, 2016-

The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) has set quality standards for the water supplied by tanker, and it plans to enforce them this week. 

According to DoCSM Director Hari Narayan Belbase, the water supplied by tanker truck will be classified as being good for drinking, cleaning and construction purposes.

The department decided to act after finding out that the same tanker was being used to transport water for varied uses, posing a risk to people’s health as contaminated water could end up in people’s kitchens. 

Belbase said that tankers would be allowed to carry water fit for a particular purpose only as tests showed that most of the water being supplied by them contained harmful contaminants like ammonia. 

“After inspecting the water source and testing the quality of the water, we will categorize tanker filling stations into three segments,” he said.

As per the DoCSM, the government has banned the installation of deep tube wells within a 200-metre distance of river banks. However, many filling stations have been conducting business from river banks and dispensing water into tankers. 

These outlets can be found on the banks of the Bagmati, Bishnumati, Hanumante and Dhobi Khola rivers, and at other locations near rivers like Jorpati, Manamayju, Chalnakhel and Godavari in the Kathmandu Valley. 

Besides setting quality standards, the department plans to require water tankers to be painted with the brand name of their product. Water filling stations currently use stickers on their containers which can be easily peeled off. Belbase said the provision would help keep track of the concerned companies through the brand names of their products. 

The DoCSM said it acted in response to growing complaints that the drinking water supplied by tanker truck was contaminated and posed a risk to public health. 

The department said it would fix the standards with the help of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) and the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.  

The department has found out during its market monitoring that many brands of bottled drinking water were contaminated with harmful microbes, excessive iron, algae or harmful gases like ammonia. 

A DFTQC market monitoring report has also revealed that most of the incidences of adulteration are related to bottled water. The department took action against the suppliers of 53 adulterated products in fiscal 2014-15, and 25 were bottled drinking water. Likewise, 39 of the 279 complaints the department received about adulteration in fiscal 2013-14 were related with bottled water. 

Meanwhile, the DoCSM said it would intensify scrutiny of bottled drinking water plants in a few days. “We will take stern action against them if their products are found to be contaminated,” Belbase said. 

There are an estimated 250 mineral water bottling businesses in the Kathmandu Valley. According to a report, the valley consumes more than 900,000 litres of bottled mineral water daily.

Published: 02-02-2016 08:53

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