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

  • A Future Earth Conference Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis The Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) of Future Earth is organizing its first international conference in partnership with Divecha C...
    priyadposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Chikkaballapur is a district in the state of Karnataka, just north of the capital Bengaluru. A peri-urban area that was once an agricultural centre for this region, today Chikkaballapur is facing a unique problem.  Decreasing rainfall has meant increasing periods of drought for this area, wh...
    priyadposted 10 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Prime Minister Modi pitches for a collective effort to overcome water crisis in the country Taking note of the looming water crisis in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made three requests to the nation during his Mann Ki Baat radio address this past Sunday. He urged all Indians to crea...
    swatiposted 11 months 3 days agoread more
  • Hello, I stay at a housing at Doltala, Madhyamgram. There are white deposits on utensils, bottles and the washroom walls and floor and on the taps.Despite regular cleaning the deposits are difficult to remove and develop into scaly deposit with time. The filter that I use, too has deposits. I am no...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 11 months 5 days agoread more
  • Hi, Have got a borewell at my house, but it has very hard water. Can using a softener make it portable or does it require softener & RO. Any other suggestions would be great. Attached a copy of water test report. Thankyou
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Hello, My borewell water contains 1 mg/l of iron. IS456:2000 explains that iron presence is not suitable for construction purposes. I don't have any alternative may I use it? If I use it what effectit will have on the concrete. Or else, I use it for curing only ?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The threat of desertification increases in 26 of 29 states As per the State of India's Environment (SoE) 2019 in Figures, between 2003-05 and 2011-13, India has witnessed an increase in the level of desertification in 26 of 29 states. More than 80 percent of the country's degraded land lies in just...
    swatiposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • THE ORGANIZATION Splash is an international charitable organization headquartered in Seattle, WA, founded in 2007. Our mission is simple: “We clean water for kids.” Small, young and growing, Splash is in a unique position to be groundbreaking in the global health and WASH sectors, able to try n...
    priyadposted 11 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Can STP water after aeration and filtration be used for groundwater recharging?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 12 months 1 day agoread more
  • Jal Shakti ministry formed by merging water ministry and drinking water ministry The government has launched the new Jal Shakti ministry by merging the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has b...
    swatiposted 12 months 1 day agoread more
  • RO water is causing vitamin D deficiency epidemic. What are the healthier alternatives?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 12 months 4 days agoread more
  • At most inter-state boundaries, Ganga's faecal coliform level exceeds limit As per the data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the faecal coliform level in the Ganga river is found to be three to 12 times higher than the permissible level at most inter-state boundaries. At 12 t...
    swatiposted 1 year 3 days agoread more
  • At what frequency drinking water is to be tested for its potability?Ffrequency is as per which norms?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 5 days agoread more
  • Tamil Nadu is one of the most water-vulnerable states in India that depends heavily on groundwater for irrigation. As high as 56 percent of land in the state is currently irrigated by groundwater and the remaining by tanks and canals. The provision of subsidies by the state government for irrigation...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • I will be shifting to a building soon, where the TDS of water ranges from 300 to 400. There is no municipal connection and the community has a water treatment plant. The water coming in the taps is softened to some extent. In such a scenario do I need a RO system or should I get a water filter? Most...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • In our industry, we are having RO system and 30 percent of wastewater is being produced by this system. I checked the TDS of wastewater and it was 3200 ppm. Now I would like to use this wastewater for growing plants. Could you suggest a few varieties that would be able to thrive at this level of TDS...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • NGT raps green ministry for failing to curb depletion of groundwater The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pulled up the environment ministry for failing to furnish a report, sought by the tribunal earlier, on the actions taken to tackle groundwater depletion. In January, the tribunal had ordered t...
    swatiposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • A recent study by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation on batteries titled Dead and buried: A situational analysis of battery waste management in India estimates that 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are being consumed annually in India. The report talks abou...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Under Namami Gange mission, only 10 out of 100 new sewage projects completed As per the records, the government has been able to finish only 10 of the 100 sewage infrastructure projects under the Namami Gange mission. Nearly Rs 28,000 crore has been sanctioned for the sewage management wo...
    swatiposted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Yamuna was considered a nurturing and life-enhancing goddess in the past. Legend has it that bathing in the sacred waters of the Yamuna, the sister of Yama, the god of death, frees one from the ordeal of death. The 1376-km river is a tributary of the Ganga and originates in the Yamunotri gl...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more

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A study finds that a number of locations in the country have high concentrations of micropollutants in groundwater posing a risk to health and environment.

Groundwater pollution due to organic micropollutants is becoming a major cause of concern in many parts of the world, where water resources are on the decline. India is the largest user of groundwater and the presence of micropollutants in groundwater has been a growing concern. What do studies on micropollutants in groundwater in India show?

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The Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) set up a Task Group to draft a new water policy for Karnataka in December 2017 and the report is now in public domain. What are the suggestions that the report makes?

The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for water in the state. Expanding irrigation and urbanisation, possibly have also had a negative impact on river basins and water conflicts are seeing a rise in the state. All these developments have substantially complicated and aggravated the water challenges in Karnataka.

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This unique low cost fluoride removal technology is not only affordable, but is also easy to operate as a water treatment filter with high efficiency suitable for rural application.

Groundwater contamination has emerged as an alarming issue in India and a recent UN report reveals that India ranks 120th among the 122 countries in terms of water quality index. As high as 70 percent of the water supply in India is contaminated, resulting in nearly 0.2 million deaths each year.

Poisoned waters: Fluoride contamination of groundwater

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India leads the world in pollution-linked deaths: Study
According to a report by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), India and China led in the number of deaths linked to pollution, with about 2.3 million and 1.8 million respectively, followed by Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan.

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Study finds, only one out of five river basins in the country can cope with climate change

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Locals say impact assessment report does not accurately represent the real impact of Luhri II hydropower project

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Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face

Water, its use, availability, and impact on people has been on the public policy debate centerstage for the past several years. In India, a growing water crisis driven by climate change, inefficiency, and water pollution is slowly moving to a near-permanent state that will harm the country’s people, economy and environment.  

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Water from a new borewell in our housing society has the composition as attached. Request for a suggestion for cost effective treatment to supply utility water for 16 families.

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A report by NIUA brings to light the chinks in Jaipur's sewage system and suggests some solutions.

A major area of concern currently for India is the proper disposal of wastewater in urban areas. The huge increase in supply of potable water to cater to the needs of modern urban households has correspondingly increased the quantum of wastewater. The implementation of the Swacch Bharat Mission has also led to a substantial increase in the number of toilets and this has increased the faecal sludge and the wastewater load considerably.

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Policy matters this week

Delhi CM announces free sewage cleaning schemes for unauthorised colonies

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