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Drinking Water Quality Standards

WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS AND BIS STANDARDS FOR VARIOUS CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONSTITUENTS

S.No.

Parameters

Drinking water
 IS 10500 : 2012

Permissible Limit

Maximum Limit

1

Odor

Agreeable

Agreeable

2

Taste

Agreeable

Agreeable

3

 pH

6.5 to 8.5

No relaxation

4

 TDS (mg/l)

500

2000

5

 Hardness (as CaCO3) (mg/l)

200

600

6

 Alkalinity (as CaCO3) (mg/l)

200

600

7

 Nitrate (mg/l)

45

No relaxation

8

Sulfate (mg/l)

200

400

9

 Fluoride (mg/l)

1

1.5

10

 Chloride (mg/l)

250

1000

11

 Turbidity (NTU)

5

10

12

 Arsenic (mg/l)

0.01

0.05

13

 Copper (mg/l)

0.05

1.5

14

 Cadmium (mg/l)

0.003

No relaxation

15

 Chromium (mg/l)

0.05

No relaxation

16

 Lead (mg/l)

0.01

No relaxation

17

 Iron (mg/l)

0.3

No relaxation

18

 Zinc (mg/l)

5

15

19

 Fecal Coliform (cfu)

0

0

20

 E. Coli (cfu)

0

0

1. IRON

  • Effects on Your Health,  Although a low level of iron cannot do much harm, iron in water is considered as a contaminant because it also contains bacteria that feed off it. In addition to this, high iron content leads to an overload which can cause diabetes, hemochromatosis, stomach problems, nausea, and vomiting. However, you could not drink enough water to consume toxic levels of iron. The Environmental Protection Agency considers iron in well water as a secondary contaminant, which means it does not have a direct impact on health. ... Truthfully, it will not affect your health, but it will cause costly damage and other issues.

  • However, too much iron can have a toxic effect on the plant, weakening and eventually killing it. It should be noted that plants only absorb ferrous iron particles from the soil, and that other types of iron particles will not affect plants

  • Secondary drinking water contaminants do not pose health risks to humans at levels usually found in water. The drinking water standard for iron is 0.3 milligrams per liter (mg/l), and the standard for manganese is 0.05 mg/l.

2. FLUORIDE: an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective.

  • It prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults.  in areas where fluoride levels in the water are low can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay in the local population.
  • Too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis, which can damage bones and joints. It causes thyroid and neurological problems.

3. RESIDUAL CHLORINE: 

  • Residual chlorine is the low level amount of chlorine remaining in the water after a certain period or contact time after its initial application. It constitutes an important safeguard against the risk of subsequent microbial contamination after treatment—a unique and significant benefit for public health.

  • The Water Supply Act provides that the content of free residual chlorine at the water tap should be maintained at 0.1 mg/L or more (in the case of combined residual chlorine, 0.4 mg/L or more). Residual chlorine is measured by oxidation-reduction titration using a platinum electrode.

4.CHLORIDE:

Free Chlorine is the type that we commonly test for to determine the proper chlorine levels in pool water. Free Chlorine is also the chlorine that is still available to sanitize your water. Combined Chlorine is the chlorine that has already been “used up” sanitizing your water. And Total Chlorine is the sum of the two.

  • Chlorine levels up to 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L or 4 parts per million (ppm) are considered safe in drinking water.

Side Effects of chlorine

  • Airway irritation.
  • Wheezing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Cough.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Skin irritation.

Residual chlorine and free chlorine is an important parameter and is a measure of the amount of   available chlorine remaining in water system after the chlorination. 

5.ARSENIC:

  • Arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries.
  • Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form.
  • Contaminated water used for drinking, food preparation and irrigation of food crops poses the greatest threat to public health from arsenic.
  • Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions. It has also been associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In utero and early childhood exposure has been linked to negative impacts on cognitive development and increased deaths in young adults.
  • The most important action in affected communities is the prevention of further exposure to arsenic by provision of a safe water supply.

Acute or immediate symptoms of a toxic level of exposure to arsenic may include the following:

  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dark urine (termed black water urine)
  • Dehydration.
  • Cardiac problems.
  • Hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells)
  • Vertigo

The most cost-effective method for removing arsenic from a private water supply appears to be reverse osmosis, commonly called RO. RO can be thought of as filtration at a molecular level. It works by forcing water through a special, selective membrane.

6.LEAD:

  • Lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of older fixtures or from the solder that connects pipes. When water sits in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply. 
  • The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and plumbing fixtures. Certain pipes that carry drinking water from the water source to the home may contain lead. Household plumbing fixtures, welding solder, and pipe fittings also contain lead.
  • The maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels.
  • Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.
  • Lead in the body is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time. Human exposure is usually assessed through the measurement of lead in blood.
  • Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
  • There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects.
  • Lead exposure is preventable

You may also wish to consider water treatment methods such as reverse osmosis, distillation, and carbon filters specially designed to remove lead. You can find effective and affordable water filters specifically designed to remove lead. In general, carbon-based faucet-mount filters are good bets. ... Cold water generally contains less lead than warm or hot tap water. Boiling water does not remove lead.

7.NICKEL:

  • Under normal conditions nickel does not react with water. Solubility of nickel and nickel compounds. Elementary nickel is water insoluble at T=20oC pressure = 1 bar. However, nickel compounds may be water soluble. Nickel chloride is most water soluble; 553 g/L at 20oC, to 880 g/L at 99.9oC.

  • Nickel behaves the same as iron, and can be removed by a strong acid cation exchanger. Activated-carbon filtration can be used to reduce the amount of nickel in drinking water, but may not remove it all. Reverse osmosis will remove 97 - 98% of the nickel from drinking water.

  • Nickel in our Tap Water. ... Copper pipeline probably doesn't contain any nickel, whereas nickel is abundant in the zinc coated steel or iron made galvanized pipes. “The primary source of nickel in drinking-water is leaching from metals in contact with drinking-water, such as pipes and fittings.

MICROBIOLOGICAL TEST: 

         Bacteriological water analysis is a method of analysing water to estimate the numbers of bacteria present and, if needed, to find out what sort of bacteria they are. ... It is a microbiological analytical procedure which uses samples of water and from these samples determines the concentration of bacteria

Escherichia Coli: 

          Coli (Escherichia coli), is a type of bacteria that normally lives in your intestines. It's also found in the gut of some animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless and even help keep your digestive tract healthy. But some strains can cause diarrhea if you eat contaminated food or drink fouled water. Some strains of E. coli bacteria may also cause severe anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death. Other strains of E. coli can cause urinary tract infections or other infections.

Waste Water/River Water/ Pond Water Test

Step 1 - Test for Ammonia

  Ammonia is an extremely toxic waste product produced by fish and other types of organisms in a fish pond or other body of water. A detectable amount of ammonia found in pond water can cause fish to experience gill damage, impaired functions and can often prove to be fatal. If ammonia is detected, begin using an ammonia remover in your pond water. Slowly changing pond water is another option. 

Step 2 – Test pH Level

Maintaining an appropriate pH level in pond water is key to the survival of the plants and fish within the pond. The pH test is also a part of the test kit. pH is a measure of whether water is acidic or basic. Fish have an average blood pH of 7.4, so pond water with a pH close to this is optimum. An acceptable range would be 6.5 to 9.0. Fish can become stressed in water with a pH ranging from 4.0 to 6.5 and 9.0 to 11.0

  • A COD water test indirectly measures the amount of organic and inorganic pollutants in the water. In a healthy aquatic resource, there should be a COD reading of 0 mg/l indicating that there are no contaminates consuming oxygen and taxing the system.
  • Dissolved oxygen (DO) refers to oxygen molecules that are dissolved in the water and readily available for respiration by aquatic life. ... Test the DO level in your pond to determine whether your aquatic habitat is a suitable environment for fish and other species.
  • Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of the pond can affect the oxygen cycle and thus, the oxygen equilibrium. Five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) is the amount of DO needed by aerobic biological organisms in the water to break down organic material present at a constant temperature during a 5-day period.

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