UNEP-GRID/Arendal, Norway ( http://enrin.grida.no )

Tajikistan State of Environment Report 2002/Urban Environment/Drinking Water,                                link: http://enrin.grida.no/htmls/tadjik/soe2001/eng/htmls/city.htm 

Nearly 97% of the urban population uses tap water. However, 60-80% of plumbing is out-of-date and requires reconstruction. Over 90% of water pipes use underground water; however, in some southern and northern regions, the underground waters are still subject to contamination. The lack of drinking water, caused by unsatisfactory operation of pump stations and insufficient funding of municipal water supply, has been observed in residential districts of Dushanbe, Khujand, Isfara, and Kulyab. A deficit of capacities of wastewater purifying systems has long been observed in cities and settlements, which has resulted in the excessive volumes of contaminated water and faecal pollution.

The water quality is considered “very clean” and “clean”, though mineralization of some underground water sources is over 1 g/l. Moreover, excessive water turbidity can be observed, when water is taken from open sources, e.g. in Dushanbe. In 1997-1998, the bacteriological contamination of tap water caused the epidemic of typhoid. The main sources of water contamination in cities are discharges of unpurified industrial waters within, storage of wastes near water-protecting zones, etc.

Urban population is subject to various diseases, including typhoid, hepatitis, intestinal disorders, and respiratory diseases. According to the research, the rate of disease in a contaminated zone is 1.5-3 times as high as in a conventionally unpolluted zone.