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Provision of pure water: A challenge for authorities

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is one of the oldest public health concerns. Water may appear clear and pure, but water from wells or plants or other sources may contain dissolved minerals and other substances. Efforts are done at governmental, public and private levels to purify this water.
In order to know the quality of drinking water provided by filtration plants to the residents of Rawalpindi, a survey was conducted with the supervision of Senior Water Expert, IUCN Pakistan water Program to different filtration plants installed by WASA and other public and private organizations. Questionnaire based survey was done to analyze users’ satisfaction regarding the quality of water. Samples of both inflow and outflow water were also collected from many filtration plants.
During our first phase of survey, we covered the areas of Bahria town, Gulrez and DHA 1 Rawalpindi. As they are newly built housing societies, they enjoy all the basic facilities of life. Along with other facilities, they have easy access to safe and pure drinking water at their nearest water filtration plants. Residents of these societies do not consume water from pipeline at their homes because of unpleasant odour and taste. They are facilitated with water filtration plants in almost all their sectors which make it easier for them to get good quality drinking water.
For our second phase study, we mostly surveyed the areas which lie under the Cantonment Board authorities, Murree road, Rawal raod, Sixth raod, Dhamyal camp. We visited the water filtration units of Askari 4, Askari 10 and some of the areas of Scheme 3, Rawalpindi. Residents of these areas do not consume pipe line or tanker water directly for their drinking purpose. It was very interesting to know that either they consume boiled water or mineral water. Very less preferred water from boring wells. Residents, who are left with no choice, go to filter plants to get pure drinking water. Almost all of them are satisfied by the quality of water of their filtration plants. Few of the residents, which are extra conscious about their health and hygiene, told us that they boil filter water before drinking to avoid health risks.
Hygienic conditions within the filtration units were no up to the mark. The tiled floors were not clean at all. They should be cleaned after every to hours to ensure maintenance of healthy environment. It is quite shocking that no one from the visitors has ever noticed this problem. Even the filtration unit authorities have closed their eyes.