A recent survey by the NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation (NGOFUWS) and tests by consumers themselves found that chlorine content in 47 per cent of piped water samples collected from 120 places of the Kathmandu Valley is nil.
At least 648 samples (47 per cent) among the 1,385 tested in between June 9 and August 25, contained no Free Residual Chlorine (FRC) while 99 samples contained higher FRC than recommended.
Traces of FRC in water are the indicator that the water is free from germs. Low FRC (less than 0.2 mg per liter) means incomplete destruction of germs.
Xinhua quoted Praksha Amatya, executive director of NGOFUWS as saying, "Absence of FRC is an indicator that the water might be contaminated with pathogens. There is an increase in the cases of waterborne diseases during the last few months."
Chandra Lal Nakarmi, technical manager of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL), said they treat the water in reservoirs at the rate of one to two mg per liter and the loss of chlorine at the household level could be due to the distance between the place of utilization and reservoir.
"KUKL was planning to repair the distribution lines," Nakarmi added.