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

  • The tds in my borewell water is 5500, kindly suggest me how to reduce the tds to 1500?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • NGT slaps a fine of Rs 100 crore on TN government for failing to restore Chennai's waterways Taking note of the consistent failure of the state in restoring the Chennai waterways—Adyar, Cooum and Buckingham Canal—the National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on the Tamil Nadu g...
    swatiposted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • World Bank to provide Rs 11,000 crore for dam safety Under the ongoing Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Programme (DRIP), the World Bank has approved Rs 11,000 crore for improving the safety and operational performance of 733 large dams across 18 states over the next 10 years. Besides operation, ...
    swatiposted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Navigation lock at Farakka Barrage redesigned for Hilsa migration This monsoon, the Hilsa fish will be able to swim down the Ganga all the way up to Allahabad from the Bay of Bengal. The migration of the fish till Allahabad had been stopped after the Farakka Barrage was built on the ...
    swatiposted 3 months 2 days agoread more
  • Are you ready to apply the collective brain power of multinationals, startups, innovators and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders to make sustainable change for urban water in India? Join us at a one-day workshop on 27th or 28th February 2019, where you will have the opportunity to demonstrate you...
    priyadposted 3 months 2 days agoread more
  • Identify farmers for income support scheme: NITI Aayog to states NITI Aayog has ordered all states to identify small and marginal farmers who will receive Rs 2,000 as the first instalment by March-end under the Rs 75,000-crore income support package announced in the budget. Taking note of farmers' ...
    swatiposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • (Question received through email) Dear sir/madam, I am interested to know whether the electromagnetic water conditioners are certified by you/other bodies/institutions for use as anti-scale forming/scale-inhibiting  device/method  for routine domestic  use. Have ...
    swatiposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • HC orders demolition of illegal prawn gheries in Odisha wetlands The Odisha high court has ordered the state government to initiate the demolition of illegal prawn farms in Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake in order to restore the ecology of the two wetlands. Gheries are areas encroached ...
    swatiposted 3 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • We have a borewell which giver smelly water during rainy days. Any reliable and perment solution to test the water and fix it to have a clean water.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • 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 4 months 1 day 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 4 months 1 week 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 4 months 3 weeks 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 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Need help on this. I had recently tested a newly dug well to use water for construction purpose. All parameters except the alkalinity were within permissible limits. Your feedback will be appreciated. Thank you.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 5 months 6 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 5 months 6 days 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 5 months 2 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 5 months 2 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 5 months 3 weeks 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 5 months 4 weeks 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 6 months 3 days agoread more

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Policy matter this week

DDA allocates 42.5 acre plot on Yamuna floodplains for waste dumping

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar, Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate 27 June 2006
Original Query: Vijaya Saradhi Atluri, Byrraju Foundation, Hyderabad
Posted: 20 April 2006

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 13 December 2006
 
From Kanishk Negi, Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Udaipur, Rajasthan
Posted: 29 September 2006
 

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate 5 July 2006

Original Query: Sharadbala Joshi, Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC),Loughborough University, UK

Posted: 16 June 2006

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Activists seek President, PM intervention to protect mangrove trees in Maharashtra

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Piramal Sarvajal's water ATMs are a good example of community-level decentralised drinking water solutions that are sustainable.

According to WASH watch report (2017), over 150 million people in India live without access to safe drinking water. A majority of these people reside in underserved or unserved sections of the society that lives beyond the pipe. As a result, they are dependent on water sources that are not safe for drinking, leading to waterborne diseases. Diarrhoea continues to be a leading cause of death in children below the age of five. As per data, approximately 321 children deaths are reported every day in India (WHO, 2015). 

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Policy matters this week

UN Environment Assembly adopts resolutions on single-use plastics, nitorgen management piloted by India

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Chemical contamination of drinking water is a significant health concern in India, one we haven’t realised the magnitude of. Practitioners across sectors must come together to tackle this issue.

Fluoride, arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals in drinking water pose significant health risks (such as fluorosis and arsenicosis) to our population.

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Not just surface water, pollution leads to deficit in dissolved oxygen in Ganga's riverbed sediment: Study

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In a decade, only a quarter of centrally funded major to medium irrigation schemes completed: Report

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