Quality, Standards and Testing

Water needed for human consumption, industrial purposes or other requirements must cater to certain minimum standards. The quality of any water is defined by its physical and chemical properties (characteristics). Physical properties include its appearance (colour, clarity and odour, perhaps also its taste) while the chemical properties refer to the constituents dissolved in it. Some of the physical properties are measurable and can be expressed in units of measurement while others like appearance, odour or taste are clearly subjective. However, all the chemical constituents can be measured accurately.

Drinking water must meet certain quality standards to safeguard the health of the people. The permissible and desirable limits of various parameters in drinking water have been detailed as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standard specifications for potable water. These parameters are included in BIS-10500-1991. The various parameters covered include colour, odour, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, elemental compounds such as iron, manganese, sulphate, nitrate, chloride, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, zinc and coliform bacteria. The tolerance limits for inland surface waters for various classes of water use have been published by the Central Water Commission. Per ISI-IS: 2296-1982, the tolerance limits of parameters are specified as per classified use of water depending on various uses of water ranging from Class A to Class E.

What does the water that one drinks contain, what substances are dissolved in it and what are their safe limits? What are the issues that affect water quality? For more detailed information on all this, please read our FAQs on Rules, Regulations & Standards concerning water and Equipments used to measure water quality and quantity

  • Inconsistencies in Centre's flagship irrigation scheme, reveals CAG audit A performance audit of the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) for the period 2008 to 2017, has revealed that the Centre's flagship irrigation scheme is laden with delays, deficiencies in ...
    swatiposted 6 days 13 hours agoread more
  • Waterborne diseases are diseases transmitted through drinking water contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms such as protozoa, viruses, bacteria, and intestinal parasites. Most waterborne diseases are characterised by diarrhoea and can result in dehydration and even death in very serious cas...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 week 5 days agoread more
  • Himachal, Kerala, TN front-runners in NITI Aayog index on development goals NITI Aayog has come out with a baseline index for the performance of all states based on various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and found that Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are among the front-runner...
    swatiposted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • Out of 41 study points, the Ganga clean only at the Haridwar barrage location: CPCB In compliance with the Supreme Court order, the Central Pollution Control Board has released the “Biological Water Quality Assessment of the River Ganga” report. As per the report, out of the 41 locations monito...
    swatiposted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • Put aside Rs 500 crore for lake clean-up: NGT to Karnataka government Taking note of the authorities' neglect of pollution in Bellandur and Varthur lakes, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Karnataka government to put aside Rs 500 crore towards the cleaning up of these lakes. The tribunal ...
    swatiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • The Erai river, the main tributary of the Wardha river, is the lifeline for the people of Chandrapur in Maharashtra. It primarily supplies water to the Chandrapur city and Chandrapur super thermal power station (CSTPS). Since 1984, after the initiation of operations of M/s C...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • Government focusing on Ganga clean-up and not its rejuvenation: Environmentalists The India Rivers Week 2018 was held in New Delhi with 'Can India Rejuvenate Ganga' as the theme. During the event, environmentalists claimed that as many as 940 dams, barrages and weirs have been built on the Ganga ri...
    swatiposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • India is running out of water fast. As if this is not bad news enough, it has been found that even the available water is highly polluted with organic and hazardous pollutants. Infact, a recent Water Aid report finds that India is among the top countries with the worst access to clean water clo...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 months 13 hours agoread more
  • Himalayan council constituted for sustainable development of the Himalayas In order to ensure sustainable development of the Himalayan region, NITI Aayog has constituted the Himalayan State Regional Council. The council will be chaired by Dr V.K. Saraswat, member, NITI Aayog and will also include t...
    swatiposted 2 months 4 days agoread more
  • Basanti Haldar (45) has been living in a slum at Kalikapur in Kolkata for over two decades. She works as a domestic help in an upscale locality in the neighbourhood. She is happy nowadays due to an increase in her income.  The installation of Automated Dispensing Units (ADU) has not only provi...
    arathiposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Mazhapolima wins accolades for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity The community-based government programme, Mazhapolima in Thrissur district in Kerala has received the Danish Water Air Food Award 2018 for offering a sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity. The pro...
    swatiposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Lucknow-based Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR) have developed a technology for disinfecting water that promises to provide safe and clean drinking water at a cost of just two paise per litre.  The technology...
    arathiposted 3 months 3 days agoread more
  • My family is living in Noida since 1985. We are using RO filteration, but recently three ROs have stopped working. AMC vendor says authority water has high TDS of 2500 on first floor and 3500 on second. I want to know if RO does not work when TDS is more than 2000. I have installed new pipes. Please...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • We have just a year to go for Swachh Bharat Mission’s (SBM) deadline of making India open-defecation free (ODF). In the last four years, the government has built 86.08 million toilets (as on September 26, 2018) throughout the country as a part of this flagship programme on providing safe sani...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • I am trying to understand if any area in Chennai gets clean metro water through out the year which end user can consume by letting it to their sump directly. Central Chennai is currently facing acute water shortage and as far as I enquired looks most of them gets intermittent supply, that too metro ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Uttar Pradesh generates second most urban sewage in India at 12 percent of the national total behind only Maharashtra at 13 percent. As per the response of Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan to a question asked in the Lok Sabha on August 1, 2017, urban areas in...
    arathiposted 3 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • I am from central Chennai and groundwater level in our area has drastically reduced, wo have to depend on other sources (Lorry and Metro water). Metro water often gets polluted so we are looking for control valve open/close by observing the flow through hand pump before letting it to the sump. The c...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 1 day agoread more
  • Hi, In our Apartment STP water quality gets affected regularly, when checked with AMC vendor we got to know that chemicals i.e paints, acid etc causes damage to STP. Please let me know whether really this kind of chemicals spoil the STP. If yes, please share the details of the chemicals/households ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 3 days agoread more
  • The family of Somesh Manikpuri of Amasivani colony in Raipur is still in shock of his sudden demise from jaundice in May this year. Six similar deaths have been reported from Raipur since April 2018. Memsingh Chandrakar, a resident of Naharpara, another locality in Raipur, was also affected by jaund...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 months 3 days agoread more
  • As the Ganga emerges from the glaciers and glides along the foothills of the mighty Himalayas through the towns and cities with their sprawling ghats, engineered embankments, hydroelectric dams, and interrupted flows at barrages, the icy chilliness of its waters is lost. Pilgrims swarm its bank to p...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 4 days agoread more

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Inconsistencies in Centre's flagship irrigation scheme, reveals CAG audit

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What are waterborne diseases and why are they important? Here is all the information that you need to know waterborne diseases better.

Waterborne diseases are diseases transmitted through

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Policy matters this week

Himachal, Kerala, TN front-runners in NITI Aayog index on development goals

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Out of 41 study points, the Ganga clean only at the Haridwar barrage location: CPCB

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Put aside Rs 500 crore for lake clean-up: NGT to Karnataka government

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The polluted Erai river needs to be restored before it completely dies and leaves the people dependent on it searching for drinking water.

The Erai river, the main tributary of the Wardha river, is the lifeline for the people of Chandrapur in Maharashtra. It primarily supplies water to the Chandrapur city and Chandrapur super thermal power station (CSTPS). Since 1984, after the initiation of operations of M/s CSTPS and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), the river has begun to get polluted and is now gasping for breath.

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Government focusing on Ganga clean-up and not its rejuvenation: Environmentalists

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A study finds drinking water in peri-urban areas around Bengaluru has high levels of bacteriological and chemical contaminants making it unfit for consumption.

India is running out of water fast. As if this is not bad news enough, it has been found that even the available water is highly polluted with organic and hazardous pollutants. Infact, a recent Water Aid report finds that India is among the top countries with the worst access to clean water close to homes.

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Policy matters this week

Himalayan council constituted for sustainable development of the Himalayas

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While potable water dispensing units provided under WASH has come as a boon to Kalikapur slum residents, they struggle to meet other water needs due to lack of piped water.

Basanti Haldar (45) has been living in a slum at Kalikapur in Kolkata for over two decades. She works as a domestic help in an upscale locality in the neighbourhood. She is happy nowadays due to an increase in her income. 

The installation of Automated Dispensing Units (ADU) has not only provided her with clean potable water but have also saved her from the cumbersome job of standing in long serpentine queues for a bucket of water. She has time for more work that has also helped her earn better. 

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