This study made an attempt to acquire information on water availability and assess the drinking water quality level of Bagmati river corridors. It identified the different modes of water supply sources and then examined drinking water quality in 37 squatters and 5 indigenous communities which consists 3693 households within Kathmandu Valley. To assess the state of drinking water quality at sources and points of use (POU), the standard water quality indicators were obtained through different parameters. 90 representative water sources’ samples for testing the water quality at point of use were carried-out through random sampling of households in the communities. The survey was conducted by visiting each community and gathered information through key informant interview (KII) and questionnaire survey in May that is, pre-monsoon season of the year 2015. The result shows that the maximum samples of the water consumed in the squatter settlements are poor in quality and unhygienic for drinking proposes which does not meet National Drinking Water Quality Standard-2006. Out of 90 source sample, 81 source samples are contaminated in one or many forms. Tube well source has been found contaminated both in biological and chemical form. Tanker source is also emerging as the second major water supply source supplying to a large number of households consists with coliform, and has been noticed in almost all type of sources. P/A vial test concludes that even Jar water, which is considered to be most pure and safe, is contaminated with coliform bacteria. 68% people are willing to pay higher cost for good quality water; so, it is recommended that water samples of every season should be tested even if it makes production cost higher. Water quality regulator should provide awareness program about maintenance of the minimum quality standards (MQS) of drinking water.
Key words: Water sources, willingness to pay, water quality assessment, Coliform, Escherichia coli, Kathmandu valley.
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