Eighty percent of drinking water in Assiut comes from artesian wells and only 20 percent of water is filtered through purification plants, officials from a water company told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The purification plants also suffer from technical problems that threaten their breakdown, said officials from the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater.
Water networks are deteriorating day after day, and artesian wells are not sufficiently sterilized to kill bacteria, said the officials, who refused to be identified.
Despite promises by former Irrigation Ministry officials, nothing has been done to deal with the drinking water, often contaminated with bacteria.
The chlorination systems installed in wells two years ago are also defective, the officials said. Specialists said chlorination systems were fitted after the water was found to contain high levels of residues and bacteria.
Some of the chlorination systems in the wells have been shut down, causing the water to flow to the residents without first being cleaned.
According to quality control labs, water samples obtained from January to March have shown that the 746 artesian wells in Assiut do not conform to safety specifications.
The polluted water has led to higher incidence of kidney failure in the Upper Egyptian city.
”The percentage of kidney diseases is on the rise. The main reason is the contamination of water,” said Massoud Abdel Karim, a hospital official in Assiut.