High levels of ammonia in Yamuna water: the cause and effect

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News: Delhi Jal Board(DJB) had to reduce water production capacity by 25% after high levels of ammonia were detected in the Yamuna river.

Facts:

  • Ammonia: It is a colourless gas and is used as an industrial chemical in the production of fertilisers, plastics, synthetic fibres, dyes and other products. 
  • How does it occur? It occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of organic waste matter and may also find its way to ground and surface water sources through industrial effluents or through contamination by sewage.
  • Acceptable level of Ammonia: If the concentration of ammonia in water is above 1 ppm it is toxic to fishes.In humans, long term ingestion of water having ammonia levels of 1 ppm or above may cause damage to internal organs.

Additional Facts:

  • Yamuna River: It is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga and the longest tributary in India.It originates from the Yamunotri Glacier in Uttarakhand and merges with Ganga at Prayagraj.It flows through the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.