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Study finds toxic chemical in Kelani River

11 September 2015 01:55 am - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Studies conducted by the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) have found high levels of toxic chemical Arsenic - nearly 0.004 kg / m3 (4.00 milligrams) per litre - in several areas in the Kelani River which is main source of drinking water for Colombo and its suburbs.

Environmentalist and Researcher Ravindra Kariyawasam of the CENS yesterday told the Daily Mirror that the highest level of arsenic was found in water samples obtained near the Ambatale Pumping Station.

He said the arsenic contamination of the Kelani River was caused due to the release of chemicals and effluent substances by over 150 industries located in the Biyagama Industrial Zone.

According to him, it takes about 20 years for even an atom of arsenic to get decomposed and the duration for the decomposition of nearly 0.004 kg / m3 arsenic found in Kelani River waters will take decades.

Due to the arsenic contagion, the natural water purifying process in the Kelani River had come to a standstill after micro species and trees which contributed in natural water purifying had been harmed continuously, Environmentalist Kariyawasam said.

He also said as far as he was concerned, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board was not having a method to chlorinate water contaminated by arsenic adding the situation might cause dangerous health problems for the consumers.

It is known that consuming high levels of arsenic could lead to serious medical complications such as skin, lungs, bladder and kidney cancers and other toxic health effects, including cardiovascular disease, neurological problems and developmental disorders.

He said that a series of studies was being carried out by the CENS since 2013 on the Kelani River, Po River in Italy and Satluj River in India.

The studies are being conducted by several qualified persons including Prof. Rajesh Goyal from Desh Bhagat University, India, Prof. D.F.Gerewal from India, German Scientist Freeza Michelle and Italian Scientist Ayarin Giagomppi. The CENS is a registered non-profitable institution run by private funds of the contributors, Mr. Kariyawasam said.

The full report of the findings of their studies will be handed over to the Environment Ministry and President Maithripala Sirisena with the completion of the studies in December, 2016.

He also said it was they who conducted the studies on the Rathupaswala water issue by taking water samples from the area. He said they did not get approval from any government authorities before they conducted studies since they already knew that they would not be allowed to carry out the studies. (Piyumi Fonseka)

 
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  Comments - 11

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  • vandyk Friday, 11 September 2015 12:38 PM

    We've got ourselves a ginormous environmental crisis in our hands , not only is our drinking water poisoned we will also be bathing with it and bye bye to all the organisms endemic to that area! we need to fine the life out of them and use the money back into help boost up the purification process.

    ANTON Friday, 11 September 2015 01:14 PM

    DILAN SEEMS TO HAVE THROWN HIS BOTTLE OF POISON IN TO THE RIVER.

    Mohan Friday, 11 September 2015 01:40 PM

    Millions of people drink this water. This must be treated as a national crisis an action should be taken to save millions of human lives. How can we wait till the report is finalized in December 2016?

    Nature Friday, 11 September 2015 01:40 PM

    Pump all the contaminated water to parliament.

    sss Friday, 11 September 2015 03:03 PM

    Streams with Multi colored water have been flowing in to the river for a long time

    Nana Friday, 11 September 2015 03:46 PM

    This is a gimmick to increase the water charges

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 11 September 2015 11:13 AM

    Now they will say, they want more ministers to sort the problem.

    lara Friday, 11 September 2015 11:19 AM

    This is going to open up opportunity to catch water resources by foreign companies so that they can sell filers and bottle waters

    Krisna Friday, 11 September 2015 12:07 PM

    All politicians are the culprits

    lkboy Friday, 11 September 2015 12:20 PM

    This is a serious situation.

    OMG Friday, 11 September 2015 12:22 PM

    oh my god, it is scary. so this shows that our government is not interested of public health. dammit we are talking about some serious issue here.


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