No one knows the exact quality of water being supplied by the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khenipani Limited (KUKL), but doctors say that the water has to be boiled at least 30 minutes to make it drinkable.
Doctors have even urged consumers not to rely on so-called purified bottle water, as harmful bacteria have found in most of such water sold by different companies.
“Don´t rely on the quality of bottle water. Boil it at least for half an hour before drinking it,” said Dr Kailash Prasad Shah, acting Director at Kanti Children Hospital, adding, “One should also avoid green salad, which has become a major source of diarrheal infection.” He said that boiling water for half an hour is only way to be avoid the risk.
According to Dr Shah, one could easily get waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, jaundice, dysentery and others if proper care is not taken to ensure the quality of water being supplied in the capital.
KUKL, which is responsible to ensure water quality, admitted that it cannot guarantee the quality of water by the time it reaches the taps at individual households.
“The water we supply from our distribution channel is safe, but we cannot guarantee its quality at the taps fitted at our customers,” said KUKL spokesperson Milan Kumar Shakya. “Applying precautions is always better.”
Shakya denied revealing internal water quality report of KUKL, but source said that about 30 percent of the water reached in household taps contaminated. He claims that Quality control laboratory has accelerated its work to ensure water quality.
Every years, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) use to take legal actions against water purifying companies over its water quality.
Gastro cases surge in capital
Though the monsoon is yet to start, the number of patients infected with waterborne diseases has started surging in the valley´s hospitals.
The Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) said that every day about two dozen new patients infected with gastroenteritis come to the hospital for treatment.
The hospital runs separate gastro ward during monsoon.
“The number of patients is set to rise also because the quality of water has not much improved across the country,” said Dr Rajesh Shah. Dr Shah asked all to avoid street food and ensure water quality before drink.
Similarly, authority at Kanti Children Hospital said that gastro ward of the hospital is packed up with viral diarrhea cases.
Doctors said that the number of the patients infected with waterborne diseases is set to rise as monsoon is yet to start.
Hospitals across the country witness hundreds of cases of gastroenteritis during monsoon.