snow in Delhi: Pollutant level in water increase ammonia level is sharpened in Yamuna.

What snow in Delhi ? Jal Board Faces Water Quality Crisis Amidst Rising Ammonia Levels

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is grappling with a significant water quality challenge as the level of pollutants in the raw water spiked on Wednesday. Notably, ammonia levels surged from 3 parts per million (ppm) on Monday to 5 ppm by 7 pm on Wednesday.

Operational Impact:

In response to the escalating crisis, DJB officials have taken measures to address the situation. The Wazirabad water treatment plant, a crucial facility in the water supply network, has been partially shut down, currently operating at only 50% of its capacity. This decision comes as a response to the heightened ammonia levels, which can adversely affect water treatment processes.

Supply Warning and Advisory:

DJB had issued a prior advisory, cautioning residents about potential disruptions in water supplies until the water quality situation improves. However, there has been no response from the Delhi government to queries seeking comments on the matter.

Ammonia Challenges Throughout the Year:

It is essential to note that DJB consistently faces challenges related to high ammonia levels in the Yamuna water. While this issue persists throughout the year, it becomes particularly acute between January and March.

Dilution Efforts:

To mitigate the impact on water treatment, DJB officials are actively working on diverting more raw water from alternative sources for dilution. The aim is to maintain operational stability at the Chandrawal water treatment plant, another vital facility in the water distribution network.

Government Response:

Despite attempts to gather information, HT’s outreach to the Delhi government has yielded no response, leaving the public uncertain about the government’s stance on the unfolding water quality crisis.

Ammonia Treatment Limits:

DJB can effectively treat up to 0.9ppm of ammonia in raw water. Beyond this threshold, neutralizing ammonia with chlorine gas poses challenges, leading to the formation of toxic chloramine compounds.

Fluctuating Ammonia Levels:

During the night of Tuesday and Wednesday, there was a brief respite when ammonia levels dropped to 1.1ppm to 1.2ppm at the Wazirabad water treatment plant. However, the turbidity levels remained high at 58 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), significantly surpassing the acceptable limit of 3 NTU for clear supply water. Subsequently, ammonia levels rose throughout the day, reaching 3ppm at 3:30 pm with a turbidity level of 60 NTUs, eventually spiking to 5ppm by 7 pm.

Operational Challenges:

The levels surpassed the treatable limit, leading to an inability to maintain operations. In such instances, the plant can only sustain operations if fed by the carrier-lined canal (CLC) or Munak.

Pollutant Source Dispute:

DJB officials have consistently claimed that pollutants such as dyes, chlorides, and ammonia-based chemicals originate from the Panipat industrial dye drain. They attribute high ammonia levels to untreated water from industries in Haryana. However, the Haryana government has repeatedly denied these allegations.

Impact on Delhi Areas:

The repercussions of high pollution levels are evident in north and central Delhi. Some areas experienced zero water supply, while others received a curtailed supply at low pressure, underscoring the immediate and widespread impact of the ongoing water quality challenge.


As Delhi navigates through these challenges, the focus remains on managing the ammonia levels and ensuring the continued delivery of safe and reliable water to the residents of the city.