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

  • In 2010, nine-year-old Kailash from Miyati village, Jhabua developed symptoms of skeletal fluorosis. Fluorosis, which affects millions of people in India, is a health issue caused due to high fluoride content in drinking water. Skeletal fluorosis is marked by deformed bones. It affected all aspects ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Hello, We have extremely hard water of TDS 1500 and hardness 700 mg/ltr. We have a softener installed but it is not giving satisfactory results . A local technician informed us that softeners do not work with well water with this high hardness. Is this true? What is the solution for this? We have a...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • It is a fairly common practice among people to buy bottled drinking water while travelling in India with the hope that it will minimise the risk of getting ill due to contaminated water. But is this water safe to drink? Recent evidence shows that as high as three out of 10 units of the packaged dri...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Rabindra Kumar Jena, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Balasore, Odisha knew that something was wrong with the health of people in a part of his constituency but he could not put his finger to it. By sheer chance, in 2015, he got to know that this seemed to be related to excessive fluoride in water...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • On the completion of five successful consecutive editions of IFAT India, IFAT India has now established itself as India's leading trade fair for Water, Sewage, Solid Waste and Recycling. This show will provide opportunities to the attendees to display their products, technologies and new innovations...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Farmers anxious as government stops water supply from the Sardar Sarovar dam for irrigation Following the Gujarat government’s decision to stop supplying water from the Sardar Sarovar dam for irrigation, farmers in the region are a concerned lot. With crops all set to ripen, lack of canal water s...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Kaudikasa is a small village with a population of just 350 people in the Ambagad Chowki block of the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh. Despite its small size, Kaudikasa village has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Severe health problems have been reported from the village, thanks to a...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Hi, I am from Bangalore and we have purchased apartment in a residential complex where ground water is green/brown color. This is a newly built apartment which is housing 80 flats, and all the residents are facing the same issue and are very much worried. We had got the water tested from a lab in B...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Located in the Hauz Khas urban village in the busy metropolis of Delhi is an exquisitely landscaped lush green patch. This deer park, with spotted deer, peacocks and numerous birds, leads to an incredibly beautiful lake. As per a plaque at the site, the lake is a part of the medieval (13th century) ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Hi, We recently dug a bore well in Visakhapatnam, India at a depth of 240 feet. The water seems to be a little oily, sticky, when used for bathing and cleaning. We had a original bore about 10 feet away for 80 feet that dried out. We used this original bore for 2 decades with out any problems. Howe...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Around 25 lakh pilgrims across the country took a holy dip in the Mahanadi during the Rajim kumbh festival held in Rajim from January 31-February 13, 2018. For this annual religious extravaganza at the confluence of the Mahanadi, Sondur and Pairi rivers in Chhattisgarh, the state government organise...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • GoI allocations for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is Rs. 22,357 crores For the first time in the last four years, the allocation for the sanitation programme Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has gone down from Rs 19,248 (RE 2017-18) to Rs 17, 843 crore (2018-2019). Out of this, Rs 15,...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • After several failed attempts at retrieving a stuck bore pump from 360 feet in a bore well, our mechanic poured 3kg of washing soap powder into the borewell to ease out the retrieval process as a last option. Finally, we did not succeed in retrieving the pump. During drilling, first water source fou...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • One of the major causes of deterioration of water quality is the increase in overall salinity. Total hardness and the presence of materials like fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, and toxic metal ions determine salinity levels in groundwater. With the demand for groundwater growing rapidly, its explo...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Hello Sir, I want to set up water bottling plan in Shrivardhan district. Could you please advise on the equipment needed for setting up the plant? Nitin Darge E mail: nitindarge1604@gmail.com  
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Poka-yoke* is a simple Japanese quality principle from the 60s--the use of any automatic device or method that makes it impossible for an error to occur. It is a simple idea. 'Simplicity' always wins!  Now, let's switch to STP operators and poka-yoke!  Manual scavenging is still widely p...
    arathiposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • In the beginning, the borewell water showed a good ph of 8.5, but was greyish color as there was some grey sand getting mixed in it, so we put some pebbles to block the sand from getting in. But now, I am getting a sewage and chemical kind of smell from the water. I'm really starting to get annoyed...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Environment ministry announces new strategy to revive major river water systems The environment ministry has announced a new strategy for the conservation and rejuvenation of major river water systems. As per the ministry, the present strategy for conservation of rivers is limited to tackling pollu...
    swatiposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • India among bottom performers in global Environmental Performance Index  As per the latest global Environmental Performance Index (EPI), India is ranked among the bottom five performers. The reason behind slipping from the 141st position two years ago to 177th position this year is poor handli...
    swatiposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • River Mutha, the pride of Pune, lovingly called 'Muthai' or 'mother Mutha', is dying a slow death, thanks to the rapidly urbanising city which is depositing huge amounts of untreated sewage and dirt in its waters. Mutha originates at a village named Vegare, in the Western Ghats, about 45 km to the ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 3 months agoread more

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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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News this week

Mazhapolima wins accolades for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity

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In Aleppey district of Kerala is there any borewell water test lab? Else in Kerala where is water test lab near to Alleppey district ?

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The technology, named Oneer, is based on the principle of anodic oxidation.

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

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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 suggest, how to reduce TDS in water?

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As Swachh Bharat Mission is racing towards its 2019 deadline, a CAG report reveals that sanitation is not a one-time exercise and there is a need to look beyond the deadline.

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 sanitation to all by October 2019.

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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 water often gets polluted so have to rely on lorry only.

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An RTI application reveals huge gaps in sewage treatment infrastructure in UP.

Uttar Pradesh generates second most urban sewage in India at 12 percent of the national total behind only Maharashtra at 13 percent.

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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 challenge here is metro water line to the sump is some 8 feet deep and we don't have proper provision to get down. Can someone please advice if we can have some control valve above the ground level by any means ?

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