Contaminated groundwater becoming injurious for Faisalabadites

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Continuous use of pesticides, outflow of industrial effluent and untreated liquid and solid waste had been contaminating the ground water in the third biggest city of the country posing serious health hazards to citizens. Known as Manchester of Paki-stan and housing nearly five million people,

residents of Faisalabad wait for a panacea since years that rescues them from bitter exposure to mul-tiple water borne diseases.

Despite scattered efforts to meet the clean drinking water needs of the citizens, the problem still per-sists with people exposed to diseases like hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, worm infections, gastro-enteritis, dysentery and even cancer.

According to a spokesman of irrigation department, besides other causes, untreated industrial effluent is too dangerous as some industrialist discharge it directly underground through a hole or well.“By doing this, they apparently save handsome money to be spent on effluent treatment but expose millions of people to ailment,” the spokesman said.

No matter that the city witnessed sizeable industrial growth providing employment to hundreds of thou-sands people across the district. But, it should have not been at the cost of human health.

“Pumping out groundwater extensively in urban area has also affected the quality of subsoil water in some areas to the extent that it cannot be even used for irrigation purposes,” the spokesman added.

According to a study conducted by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) a couple of years back, around 59% groundwater

in city area was unsafe for drinking.

The samples of surface and groundwater collected from various parts of the city were found contami-nated with microbial component besides chloride, fluoride, hardness and TDS. The results showed 36% sodium-bicarbonate, 18% magnesium-bicarbonate, 18% sodium-chloride, 14% calcium-bicarbonate and 9% sodium-sulphate contamination.

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