Recently, the Delhi Jal Board(DJB) said water supply to parts of north, central and south Delhi would be disrupted on Wednesday following a spike in ammonia levels in the Yamuna.
- The most recent spike was noted on 28th & 29th December , when ammonia levels shot up to 7.3 parts per million (ppm) at the Wazirabad pond area — where DJB draws water from — against its acceptable limit of 0.5 ppm.
- When Ammonia concentration rises beyond the DJB’s treatment capacity of 0.9 ppm, water production at 3 out of 9 water treatment plants — Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla — have to be stopped or reduced, which impacts supply to parts of the city.
- This issue is a long-standing one between Haryana and Delhi, with DJB officials stating that the spike in ammonia levels has been more frequent this year.
|Impact of increased levels of Ammonia
|Yamuna Action Plan
Blame on Haryana
The river Yamuna flows into Delhi from Haryana and the state has industrial units in Sonipat, close to Delhi’s northern border. Ammonia is used as an industrial chemical in the production of fertilisers, plastics and dyes.
Reason for increased pollution in Yamuna river
- The mix of two drains: A specific area where both Haryana and Delhi agree on is the mixing of two drains carrying drinking water and sewage or industrial waste, or both, in Sonipat.
- The two drains often mix due to overflow or damage to the wall that separates them.
- Increased capacity to treat ammonia levels in the water by DJB
- The Water Ministerof Delhi has directed that ozone-based units to treat ammonia levels up to 4 ppm should be installed at Chandrawal and Wazirabad WTPs.
- The laying of a conduit pipeline to separate the two drains would also reduce pollution of potable water