Ambient Water  Quality

Ambient water quality is a set of numerical concentration limits of physical, chemical and biological parameters recommended for support and maintenance of a designated water use.

The parameters have different degree of impacts on human health & other environmental systems. A water body can be categorized into beneficial water uses such as drinking, bathing or contact recreation, fisheries and aquatic organism, irrigation and agriculture based on the concentration of physical chemical and biological parameters.

Central Environmental Authority has prepared Ambient water Quality Standards. According to the prepared standards a water body is categorized  in to following six categories.

Category A  - Water that requires Simple treatment for drinking

Category B  - Bathing and contact recreational water

Category C  - Water suitable for aquatic life

Category D -  Water source that require to undergo general treatment process for drinking

Category E -  Water suitable for irrigation and agricultural activities

Category F -  The water with minimum quality but does not fall into categories A to E

Ambathale - Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Station

Monitoring of the  water quality of a river,  which is a source of drinking water is a prerequisite, and essential in conservation of water bodies used for human consumption.

Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Station at drinking water intake of the National Water Supply & Drainage Board at Ambatale, is the first state- of- the- art monitoring station established by the CEA.

The monitoring parameters are Dissolved Oxygen, Ammonia, pH, Electrical Conductivity, Turbidity, Total Organic Carbon, Oil in Water and Colour.

The CEA is in the process of establishing two more Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Stations along Kelani River at identified crucial points. Financial support for the project was given by the Coca Cola Beverages Lanka Ltd as a Community Social Responsibility Programme, and the technical assistance was given by the Analytical Instruments Pvt Ltd.

Ambathale - Water Quality Monitoring Station
Parameters Monitored  at Ambathale - Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Station
Ambient Water Quality Standards

  • Category A  - Water that requires simple treatment for drinking

  • Category B  - Bathing and contact recreational water

  • Category C  - Water suitable for aquatic life

  • Category D -  Water source that require to undergo general treatment process for drinking

  • Category E -  Water suitable for irrigation and agricultural activities

  • Category F -  The water with minimum quality but does not fall into categories A to E

Water Pollution and It's Impacts

Humans have established communities and flourished around sources of clean, drinkable water since the beginning of time. It’s vital to our survival.


Do you know that you can survive several days without food but not without water? It’s heartbreaking to know that millions of people worldwide do not have access to this most basic need, and are dying of thirst and water borne diseases. Freshwater sources around the world are threatened by water pollution. Not only are we managing our resources poorly through wastage, we are also thoughtlessly dirtying it.


Sources of Pollution

The main sources of water pollution are the following:


  • Discharge of untreated Raw Sewage from households and factories

  • Chemicals dumped from Factories

  • Agricultural run-offs that make their way into our rivers and streams and groundwater sources

  • Urbanization

  • The rising use of synthetic organic substances

  • Oil Spills

  • Acid Rain caused by the burning of Fossil Fuels

Human littering in rivers, oceans, lakes and other bodies of water. Harmful litter includes plastics, aluminum, glass and Styrofoam. Almost everything that is a byproduct of our civilization is polluting our drinking water. Governments, through various Clean Water Acts and water resource policies have sought to regulate the discharges of pollutants in the water to minimize pollution and contamination. From 1990 to 2006, an additional 1.6 billion people had access to safe drinking water. But we are not acting fast enough and most factories still find a way to dump their toxic wastes in the sea, unseen.


Effect of Polluted Water on Humans

How does water pollution affect humans? Try drinking untreated water nowadays and your body will immediately react to it. You will get a stomach ache at the least. Water-borne diseases account for the deaths of 3,575,000 people a year! That’s equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every hour, and the majority of these are children.


Infectious diseases can be spread  through contaminated water. Some of these water-borne diseases are Typhoid, Cholera, Paratyphoid Fever, Dysentery, Jaundice, Amoebiasis and Malaria.


Chemicals in the water also have negative effects on our health.


Pesticides – can damage the nervous system and cause cancer because of the carbonates and organophosphates that they contain. Chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrinal damage.


Nitrates – are especially dangerous to babies that drink formula milk. It restricts the amount of oxygen in the brain and cause the “blue baby” syndrome.


Lead – can accumulate in the body and damage the central nervous system.


Arsenic – causes liver damage, skin cancer and vascular diseases


Flourides -  in excessive amounts can make your teeth yellow and cause damage to the spinal cord.


Petrochemicals – even with very low exposure, can cause cancer.


These are just to name a few.


Let’s do our Part…

Water pollution is a known threat to humans and we can do our part to help keep our waters clean.


  • Don’t throw litter in the ocean.

  • Don’t dispose of chemicals, paint, in water supplies and drains.

  • If you see anyone throwing litter into any body of water, report it to the authorities.

  • Help increase awareness by educating your children and increasing awareness within your community.

There’s a long way to go, but as we mature as a society and as our technologies progress, we can improve our methods of protecting our water supply. Right now, everyone just needs to do their share, from their end.

Water Quality Monitoring Unit - Ambathale

Central Environmental Authority Currently have one Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Station located in Ambathale.

Funded by - Coca Cola Beverages Lanka  Pvt Ltd

Facilitated by - National Water Supply and Drainage Board

Find Us

Call Us


Central Environmental Authority

No: 104, Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka

Telephone: 011-7877277, 7877278, 7877279, 7877280

Hotline: 011-2888999

© Reserved by Central Environmental Authority

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