GUWAHATI, Dec 4 - The turbidity of the Brahmaputra water, which is attributed by some circles to some �mischievous activities� on the Yarlung Tsangpo inside the Chinese territory, cannot pose any threat to human health if the water is properly filtered. This was the finding of the water testing laboratory of the Central Water Commission (CWC) here.
Yarlung Tsangpo is known as the Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and Dihang in Assam. It is the main contributing stem of the Brahmaputra and it contributes around 33 per cent to the total water that flows through the Brahmaputra. This is nearly one-third of the total Brahmaputra discharge.
Sources in the CWC told this correspondent here today that the CWC laboratory tested the Brahmaputra water samples, collected at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh and Dibrugarh and Bhomoraguri in Assam since November 29. The tests conducted on the samples for 22 parameters, led to the above conclusion. The parameters included the physical and the chemical ones.
However, the turbidity level of the Siang water (before filtration) was found to be 90 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU), against the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) set range of normal level of zero to ten NTU for drinking water. This level of turbidity is harmful for aquatic life and it may affect animals too if they consume such highly turbid water, CWC sources said.
But, after filtration, the water becomes clean and safe for drinking, said the CWC sources, adding, the pH value of the turbid sample of Siang water collected at Pasighat was found to be 8.01. The pH value ranging between 6.5 and 8.5 pH is safe for human consumption, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Water Resources Department (WRD) of the State has also collected Brahmaputra water samples from Dibrugarh (Dibrugarh and Bogibeel bridge point), Tezpur and Dhemaji. The Dibrugarh and Dhemaji water samples were sent to Jorhat Engineering College, while the Tezpur water samples were sent to the DLL Sonitpur for testing. The results of the tests would be known within a day or two, WRD Secretary RP Das said.
The water of the Siang or that of the Brahmaputra remains quite clean during this time of the year. Turbidity of the above level of the waters of the two rivers is a quite abnormal development. Some sources in the State�s WRD are of the opinion that the above development may be attributed to incidents of landslide in the upper reaches of the Siang either in the Indian territory or inside the Chinese territory.
It is pertinent to mention here that an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude recently shook the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. According to the China Earthquake Administration, the epicenter of the earthquake was at Nyingchi in the Tibet Autonomous Region near the Indo-China border.
Some media reports suggest that water of the Siang started turning turbid for about two months back in Arunachal Pradesh. Cases of death of fishes and domesticated animals from some parts of Arunachal Pradesh under the impact of this change in the water quality of the river were also reported.
According to the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) of Arunachal Pradesh, the turbidity level of the Siang water was found to be 425 NTU a few days back, which is stated to be more than 400 times of the normal NTU.
Deputy Commissioner of Upper Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh told this correspondent over phone that the situation concerning the turbidity of the Siang water remained unchanged even today.