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

  • Groundwater is a major source of water for a large number of Indians with 66 percent rural households and 27 percent urban households directly depending on it for drinking purposes, as per Census 2011. There is a greater daily dependence on groundwater for non-potable uses. Almost 75 percent of Ind...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Basubai is a mother of three young children—Ajay (9), Manju (11) and Sonu (13). She is married to Mukesh Singh in Jamniamota village in Bakaner block in Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh. Annoyed by the yellowing and staining of the teeth of her children, she would always complain to her husband ...
    arathiposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • The availability of potable drinking water remains a challenge in rural areas in several parts of the country. Commercially available water filters are costly, need electricity to run and reverse osmosis (RO)-based purifiers waste a lot of water. Now Indian scientists have developed a unique low-cos...
    arathiposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Up until two decades ago, the main sources of drinking water in Rajasthan included surface water from perennial ponds, reservoirs, lakes, dams, rivers and streams with borewells and tubewells used sparingly and only in remote areas. All this changed when guinea worm infections started appearing in t...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Dear Sir, My village is situated in Uttarakhand in the Himalayan region on a hill in Chamoli district . I want to setup a bottled drinking water plant. It will be give employment to local people and everyone knows that all water comes from the Himalaya. Many young boys in our area are unemployed an...
    gerhwalposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • My house is under 500 m of distance from a new STP plant. At night, strong foul smell disturbs us and even the noise of the plant sometimes. We are really worried about the hazardous effects the plant could have on our body due to such prolonged exposure to the smell. As I was unsuccessful in findi...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Weather forecasts from India Meteorological Department (IMD) are all set to undergo major improvement with the commissioning of two very high-resolution weather prediction systems.  The new systems would have a resolution of 12-km grid scale, marking a big jump from the present level of 23 km....
    arathiposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • There seems to be no end to the drinking water crisis in the Bemetara district in Chhattisgarh. It is only becoming worse with every passing day. More than 40 percent of all the hand pumps installed in the district have run dry due to the depletion of groundwater level.   This situation h...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 5 days agoread more
  • Hello, Every time it rains, I see huge rain water gushing through the roads and drains of Bangalore city. The entire water gets wasted as it reaches the sewage and flows out of city as sewage water. If we can stock this running water across the areas, it should recharge the depleting ground water a...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Farhanuddin was just five years old when a pain in his knee began bothering him. It was 2013. Slowly, his legs began to change shape. They got so badly deformed that it began to affect his everyday life. He was gloomy and tired most times and had trouble walking. His parents thought that lengra bhoo...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Despite making sanitation a national priority with Swachh Bharat Mission, 50 percent of India defecated in the open till 2014. The goal to make India open defecation free by 2019 seemed ambitious. The government provided funding but it also sought active participation from the corporate sector. Comp...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • India’s sanitation crisis involves huge cost. Transforming the country’s sanitation and waste management by 2019 is tall order. “Swachh Bharat Mission, the most ambitious cleanliness campaign in Indian history could well be the most expensive failure in recent times,” says Naina Lal Kidwai, ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Nanotechnology deals with particles that are several thousand times smaller than the human hair, and it is being put to use in a variety of applications such as drug delivery and diagnostic tests.  A group of Indian researchers has now developed a simple technique for deriving nanoparticl...
    arathiposted 2 years 4 weeks agoread more
  • National Green Tribunal forms commission to inspect Bengaluru lakes Unhappy with the Karnataka government’s reply regarding the revival of the Bellandur, Varthur and Agara lakes, the National Green Tribunal set up a commission comprising officials and experts to inspect Bengaluru’s polluted lak...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • KSPCB says Cauvery water can be used for drinking after conventional treatment A report prepared by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has clarified that water from River Cauvery isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. The report stated that the water can be classified under C...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • In a significant input for the growing debate on global climate change, a study by researchers at the Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) has found that there is a remarkable increase in the concentration of black carbon in the atmosphere near the pilgrim town of Gangotri in U...
    arathiposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Fluorosis continues to be a regional issue in Telangana to this day, even decades after the first cases were discovered in Nalgonda in 1937. More than three lakh people in the district are affected with skeletal and dental fluorosis, a stigma that has stuck for generations. Excessive fluor...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 2 months agoread more

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RO water is causing vitamin D deficiency epidemic. What are the healthier alternatives?

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At most inter-state boundaries, Ganga's faecal coliform level exceeds limit

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At what frequency drinking water is to be tested for its potability?Ffrequency is as per which norms?

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A study shows that although borewells have improved women’s access to water in the short term, they have increased water insecurity and the suffering of women in the long term.

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 and loans for deepening of existing borewells and construction of new ones have turned borewells into a main source of water for irrigation. This has encouraged farmers to extract groundwater by drilling deeper and deeper.

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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 people have installed RO. Please help.

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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.

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NGT raps green ministry for failing to curb depletion of groundwater

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Study reveals how tossing of dry cell batteries in our dustbins poisons the environment.

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 about their use in a variety of products and devices ranging from cars to mobiles, laptops, watches, television remotes, toys, medical devices and inverters.

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Under Namami Gange mission, only 10 out of 100 new sewage projects completed

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A sensor network system is being used for mapping and monitoring the water quality of river Yamuna.

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 glacier in the lower Himalayas. It passes through several states in north India including Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi where the river was once its lifeline.

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