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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Dear Sir,

Presently we are using river water after pre-treatment using  clarifier, sand filter, ultra filtration (UF) through UV lamp.

The water parameters are as follows:

  • Ph-7.76,
  • TDS=52 ppm,
  • TH-36 ppm,
  • Calcium-12 ppm.

Is the water suitable for drinking purpose or do we need to add any other minerals?

Please help.

Regards,

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This one day session on the challenges faced in access to water and improved water sources through water credit initiatives was organised by water.org

Uday Shankar from water.org welcomed the audience and introduced the issue of access to safe water and sanitation. Gary White, water.org, set the tone of the seminar by explaining his organisation’s vision of ‘getting safe water’ for everyone. He explained the concept of water credit, which is a microfinance-based watercredit initiative that sees rural people as citizens and customers and offers them the financial power to access safe drinking water and basic sanitation services.

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What are the different ways through which water can be purified before it can be consumed? Read on to know more about the traditional and household water purification methods practised by rural communities in developing countries.

This article published in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems includes a collation of traditional household water purification methods practised by rural communities in developing countries.

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Rivers are one of the prime suppliers of drinking water. They are also important for agriculture, fisheries and recreational activities. However some of these activities also pollute the rivers. Pollution can be either from point sources such as industrial or sewage effluent discharges, or can be diffused from roads or agricultural run-off. Therefore it is necessary that rivers are protected from pollution and are managed as a sustainable resource for all of the activities that depend on their water quality.

Against this backdrop, this document by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) elaborates on the river water quality in India. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees in Union-Territories of India are responsible for restoration and maintenance of the wholesomeness of aquatic resources. To ensure that the water quality is being maintained or restored at desired level it is important that the pollution control boards regularly monitor the water quality. The water quality monitoring is performed with following objectives:

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A 3 day national seminar organised for creating awareness and triggering a dialogue among scientists and lay people on the emerging challenges related to water resources, quality and conservation

This three day national seminar was jointly organised by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Thiruvananthapuram, and the C Achutha Menon Foundation (AMF), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and included presentations and discussions on a range of water related themes such as water scarcity, water conservation, commercialisation of water, water conflicts and water management.

The seminar aimed at creating awareness and triggering a dialogue among scientists, academicians, researchers, activists, as well as lay people on the emerging challenges related to water resources, water quality and water conservation in the state of Kerala. The seminar was inaugurated by Shri V M Sudheeran, Ex MP and former speaker, while Dr Rajasekaran Pillai, Executive Vice President KSCSTE, delivered the keynote address with the felicitation by Shri M P Achuthan, MP.

The seminar included discussions under five different themes related to water issues that included water scarcity, water conservation, commercialisation of water, water as an new area for conflicts and water management.

Seminar on water management

The three day seminar on water management at the Achuta Menon Foundation, Trivandrum, Kerala

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It is a study report on water situation in India. It provides data and information on water coverage, water quality and availability in various urban centers in India. It also talks about water demand by different sectors and water management for a sustainable future.

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The site contains maps showing the concentration of fluoride, chloride, iron, nitrate and salinity in Tamil Nadu.

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This document provides information on the environmental sustainability index at the state level .

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