LAHORE - Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has admitted before the Lahore High Court that some of its tubewells in the City are pumping out arsenic-contaminated ground water, which is a serious health hazards to Lahorites. The WASA also told the court that in view of presence of arsenic poison in water WASA has advised the Punjab government and Local Government Department to change its project of water filtration plants installed in 150 union councils of Lahore into Arsenic Removing Type Plants to supply clean water to the citizens. Managing Director WASA Dr Javed Iqbal appearing before LHC Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif submitted a detailed-report admitting that poisonous arsenic element was present in ground water of the agencys tubewells. In October 2009 it was informed to the Punjab government about the presence of arsenic-contaminated water in the City, said Dr Javed in his report. However, he said the reports of various labs including environment protection department and PCSIR showed varying results on arsenic level in water samples. Speaking on behalf of MD WASA Additional Advocate General Hanif Khatana said recently WASa has collected water samples from 453 tubewells in City and requested University of Engineering and Technology (UET) to conduct tests on the samples to confirms reports about presence of arsenic contamination and the finale results are awaited. Khatana said it may take sometime and sought adjournment and as a result the court adjourned the hearing till July 28. The report of Dr Javed said WASA requested UET for through sampling of its 453 tubewells and testing of samples in under process by the UET laboratory. Ordinary laboratory tests cannot find arsenic level in water reliably and so now it is being done at UET using analysis method known as Atomic Absorption Method by Spectrometer. The report stated that after analysis UET sent 165 samples to WASA on June 29 and July 5 in which only 02 samples were found above permissible arsenic limit of 50pph (normal WHO limit for arsenic in water) while arsenic content in rest of the samples was between 10pph and 50pph. The report added that 285 samples are under analysis at UET lab but it may take sometime as the chemical namely Sodium Boro Hydrate (nabh4) required for arsenic testing is very costly and short in the market. Prof Dr Sajjad Hayder of UET has informed WASA that the nabh4 chemical will be brought from Karachi if it is available there and then further analysis will be carried out on the samples, the report stated. Report also stated that earlier in October 2009 Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) conducted analysis of 183 water samples taken from WASAs water and 74 samples were found contained with arsenic being above permissible limit of 50pph (Pakistan standard). The WASA report stressed that the results of PCRWR were not reliable as its labs lacked better testing facility and it could only be authentically tested by Atomic Absorption Method by Spectrometer, which was not available in the lab. The report stated the earlier PCSIR labs also found 7 water samples beyond permissible limit showing 86.2pph arsenic level in the water while in 13 of its samples it was below dangerous level. On the other hand, in an analysis of EPD labs arsenic was found from 200pph to 500pph, which the WASa report said was not reliable. EPD analysis indicted that out of 392 tubewells of WASA about 168 tubewells were pumping out arsenic containing water, posing threat to urban health. It was report of EPD, which after getting published in a newspaper was converted into a suo motu notice by the chief Justice June 28 and the CJ had sought report from MD WASA. 905 power pilferers caught The Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) teams headed by Surveillance & Investigation Manager Syed Saleem Akhtar caught 905 power pilferers in the City on Tuesday. According to a Press release issued here Tuesday, in June, about 669 theft cases, 103 cases of slowness of meter, 26 cases of consumers using commercial supply through domestic meters and 107 cases of over-billing were detected.