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

  • This is Vinay here recently have constructed my home near Bannerghatta Road in Bangalore, where in have drilled a borewell to 850 feet. The water force was so much that I couldn't drill further. Once I started using the water, I noticed it changes to brown colour and smells bad i.e. once I start the...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Present TDS level is 24, is this within the accepted range / limit?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Sir, we live in an apartment where the recycled water and the fresh water is stored side by side. There is a wall that divides these 2 tanks. Is it safe to continue this method of storage? Is there any regulation or case law to restrict this practice?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Which water system should I use for well water with TDS of 1200 - 1500 I mean which gbd membrane should I use my to machine For TDS level of 1300 to 1400?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • I want to set up a greywater treatment unit at home, in this regard I want to know the characteristics of washing machine wastewater. Can someone tell the exact parameters for washing machine wastewater?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Seven percent of rural India has no access to clean water: World Water Day report As per WaterAid’s new report--Wild Water: State of the World’s Water 2017--63.4 million people have no access to clean water in rural India. With 67 percent of India’s population living in rural areas, this mean...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • This story is of Punawli Kalan village in Uttar Pradesh, where a community with the support of a women-led federation, solved its water woes by developing a community-owned water supply system. Punawli Kalan village is situated in Jhansi district, in the drought-prone Bundelkhand region of Central ...
    priyadposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Last year I have Purchased a Dr. Aquaguard Magnna HD RO+UV. After 1 Year when there technician come for maintenance he show me that the TDS of water is 129. He said that the, 129 TDS is very high. I have to change the cartilages. Can you please tell me what is the safe range of drinking water.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Water pollution is a serious problem in India with 70 percent of its surface and groundwater resources contaminated by biological, toxic, organic, and inorganic pollutants. As a result, the socio-economic cost of poor water quality is high. Around 1.5 million children under five years die each year ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Southern India reels under drought-like conditions All the southern states, except Telangana, are facing drought-like conditions. Tamil Nadu is the worst hit with 80 percent deficit in water storage in the state’s reservoirs, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The collective water ...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Arsenic present in drinking water at many habitations: Centre The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has informed the Rajya Sabha that drinking water in 66,663 habitations across the country is affected by arsenic and fluoride contamination. However, the government is working to provide...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • In the last few decades, India has seen an increasing number of people migrating from rural areas to urban cities in search of work and better living. These migrants often get employed in the informal sector as construction workers, vendors, domestic servants, etc. They also live in informal settlem...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • People of Sikkim stand against Teesta hydel project The proposed 520 MW Teesta Stage IV hydropower project in Sikkim is being opposed by the indigenous Lepchas, a local community in the state that worships mountains and rivers. The project that has been proposed by the National Hydro Power Corporat...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems and play a crucial role in everything from water conservation, flood regulation and groundwater recharge to micro-climate regulation, providing safe habitat to biota, and more. As per the National Wetland Atlas 2011 report, the millennium ecosystem...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Can I use reverse osmosis reject water in media filters back wash? where TDS of reject I have is 1200 ppm.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • At a time when the government’s attention is steered towards the concerns of the northern rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna, it is seldom that the polluted rivers of the south India come up for discussion. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had in its 2015 report noted that around 37,00...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • With a total population of 1200, Sonnahallipura village in Hoskote taluk of Bangalore Rural district has 250 homes. This village was chosen by the Rotary Club of Bangalore, Indiranagar to start a micro-credit programme for 10 women’s self-help groups (SHG) and a low-cost sanitary napkin manufactur...
    priyadposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • We have analysed our bore water and give below the details for reference, comments and suggestion. Physical properties: appearance when analysed - turbid. After filtration - clear. PH value at 25 C - 6.95. Colour - Yellowish. odour - Agreeabe . turbidity - 21.0. Electrical conductivity - 5840 microm...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • What is the source that increases COD, TSS and alkalinity of Sewage water in a Hospital? My hospital consists of Laboratory, CSSD, Operation Theatre, Pharmacy, kitchen, etc. Also how can these parameters be kept under control
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power with Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the country on May 26, 2014, the new government initiated several key programmes with the protection of the environment in mind. One of the major programmes that gained momentum instantly was the Ganga r...
    swatiposted 2 years 7 months agoread more

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While Swachh Bharat Mission is focused on improving sanitation in the country, an ODF India remains a distant dream. Can corporate contribution ease the sanitation challenges India faces?

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. Companies were compelled to loosen their purse strings as Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 made corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory.

CSR platform for WASH in Maharashtra

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Swachh Bharat Mission: Could the most ambitious cleanliness campaign in Indian history also be the most expensive failure?

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, CEO of FICCI and the Chair of India Sanitation Coalition, a platform for partnerships to work towards achieving sustainable sanitation for India. 

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Super tiny particles derived from table sugar can detect lead in water which is harmful for human consumption.

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 nanoparticles from table sugar and have shown that these particles can be used as sensors for detecting lead in water. 

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Policy matters this week

National Green Tribunal forms commission to inspect Bengaluru lakes

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News this week

KSPCB says Cauvery water can be used for drinking after conventional treatment

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A study finds an increased concentration of black carbon in Gangotri region during tourist seasons.

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 Uttarakhand during the two annual tourist seasons of April to June and during September and October. 

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Engaging with the fluorosis problem in Nalgonda gave the FKAN a chance to understand the problem and apply the solutions nationally.

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 fluoride intake leads to fluorosis, a chronic condition marked by mottling of the teeth and, if severe, calcification of the ligaments.

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INREM Foundation’s work helped develop protocols on designing proactive action on safe water and nutrition to help mitigate fluorosis in Jhabua.

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 of Kailash's life including his education, physical functioning, social acceptance, etc.

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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 an RO installed for drinking purposes, but need soft water for other purposes mainly for residential use in the house. Please also suggest a good company that offers these services.

Thanks

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A study finds that lack of coordination, poor stakeholder involvement, inadequate training and poor infrastructure hinder the enforcement of bottled water quality standards in India.

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?

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