Arsenic Poisoning in West Bengal : Betai Report

PERFORMANCE OF ARSENIC REMOVAL PLANT FOR TREATING GROUND WATER WITH COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

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Unit-2 :
Itknola Para, Betai
Caretaker- Khitish Chandra Adhikarai
Type of unit: B.E. College
Families using: 60

The unit is running for last 10 months. The performance of this unit is flawless. One person is doing the maintenance and operation. There is also no leakage from soldering joints. Only 35-40 families drink water from this unit. The villagers of this area better educated and conscious. All pay Rs. 5/- as maintenance cost. Minimum pressure on the instrument. This can be the example how one unit can ideally work if proper maintenance is done and not roughly handled.

Unit-3 :
B. R. Ambedkar College, Betai
Caretaker- Prof. M. C. Moulick
Type of unit: B.E. College
Using: College students and 150 families

Although principal Dr. M. C. Moulick of the college is taking care of the unit but it showed arsenic above 0.05 µg/L two times and according to Dr. Moulick ,time to time, there is leakage from soldering area. The instrument also did not function properly a few times. According to Dr. Moulick now frequent backwash is necessary which was not needed so frequently earlier. This unit has also the other problems as described with Unit-1.

Unit-4 :
Kharermath (Purba), Jitpur, Betai
Caretaker- Mangal Biswas
Type of unit: B.E. College
Families using: 50

The performance of this BE College unit is the poorest among all 4 units. This is not functioning at all. Most of the time the system is not in working condition. Reasons are many but non co-operation among section of villagers appears the main reason. Most of the villagers are illiterate in this area. Recently we noticed that along with water the villagers collecting for drinking Al2O3 is also coming. Out of 3 times we measured the water sample twice the arsenic concentration in final water was above 0.05 µg/L.

Unit-5 :
Jitpur (Tabu Para), Betai
Caretaker- Dilip Poddar
Type of unit: AIIHPH
Families using: 60

When we went to the site on 21st May 2000, system was not working. When asked for the reason, it was told that due to gusty wind the aluminium sheet covering both the tanks was removed and the Al2(S04)3 and bleaching powder containers went away due to wind like a football.

It was further reported that understanding, co-operations among villagers needed to run the system smoothly. This is the system where the input water is 0.051 µg/l. Nearby all hand tubewells were not available for connection, so new tubewell installed and fortunately the tube-well was found low arsenic.

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