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

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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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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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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.

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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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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. 

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