Diesel leak contaminates Nilwala river

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) Sri Lanka

Water supply to Akuressa, Malimbada, Matara, Mirissa, Dondra, Gandara, Kottagoda and Dickwella have been suspended temporarily after 15,000 litres of diesel leaked to the river from an underground tank of a fuel station.

“Residents and the authorities were quick to respond to plug the leak, however the diesel had already flowed to the river. We have suspended the supply of water to the areas until the contaminated water is flushed out of the system,” said Chairman, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, K. Alahudeen Ansar.

He said this was the upstream of the Balukawala, Kadduwa and Nadugala intake. The Matara water treatment plant has been shut down. The Akuressa police have also initiated an investigation. “The Marine Environment Protection Authority has been called in to assist in removing the layer of oil from the river. We will continue to check raw and treated water for contaminant levels,” he said.

Swift action has also been taken to remove the fuel stored in the underground tank which led to the leak. Ansar assured the public that the NSWDB will resume the supply of clean water to the affected areas.

(Sunday Observer)