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BIS Standards For Drinking Water

According to UNICEF, less than 50% of the Indian population has access to clean drinking water. This data is not only alarming but saddening.

In the absence of clean drinking water, people succumb to diseases like diarrhoea, hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery, etc.

To safeguard people from such illnesses, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has certain quality standards for drinking water. The main idea behind this was to provide clean and safe drinking water to the people.

Let us look at the specified BIS standards for drinking water and why it is essential.


What is BIS?

BIS stands for Bureau of Indian Standards. It was established on 23 December 1986.

Its main goal was to have uniform standards of quality for different categories of agricultural or manufactured goods. It requires product testing as well as licensing to notify that the particular product had been approved by the BIS.


BIS for Drinking Water

Drinking Water

According to the BIS (IS_10500 and revised module IS 10500:2012), the following are the standards that will make the water drinkable:


Parameter Acceptable Limit Permissible Limit in the Absence of ALternate Source
Odour Agreeable Agreeable
pH Value 6.5-8.5 No relaxation
Taste Agreeable Agreeable
Total Dissolved Solids mg/L 500 2000
Turbidity 1 5
Ammonia mg/L 0.5 No relaxation
Iron mg/L 0.3 No relaxation
Mineral Oil mg/L 0.5 No relaxation
Sulphate mg/L 200 400
E. coli or thermotolerant coliform bacteria2 Shall not be detectable in any 100 ml sample Shall not be detectable in any 100 ml sample

Importance of BIS for Drinking Water

As you can see in the aforementioned table, BIS takes several steps to approve clean drinking water for our health.

It goes without saying that drinking contaminated water can lead to several types of health adversities. It can cause diarrhoea, dehydration, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, stomach ache, cramps, etc.

Consuming contaminated water over an extended period can lead to fatal health conditions.

This is mainly due to the presence of:

  • Fluoride
  • Pesticides
  • coli Bacteria
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Lead
  • Faecal Matter
  • Petrochemicals
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites

When the water is checked by BIS, the composition of such compounds are evaluated.


Ways to Get Clean Drinking Water

Apart from BIS, you can also get your water purified and cleaned in the following ways:

Water Filter

Water Filter

The easiest way to get clean water is by investing in a reliable water filtration system. The machine consists of several layers of water filters through which the water is passed. Once it does, the water molecules pass through them, leaving behind the contaminants and other harmful substances.

This method is easy, does not require much time, and also guarantees filtered and clean water.

If you do not want to shell out money, you can also make it at home. You can make it with the help of sand, charcoal, and cement. However, if you want ideal protection, it is best to get a reliable water filter from the market.


Solar Water Purification

Solar Water Purification

You can also use solar energy to purify water. This solution is best if you want reliable results without using intensive technology. It is more popular in rural areas.

The best thing about solar water purification is that it does not cause any kind of pollution. It is not harmful to the environment in any sort of way.

There are four types of solar water purification systems:

  1. Solar water disinfection (SODIS)
  2. Solar water pasteurisation
  3. Solar distillation
  4. Solar water treatment systems

These methods are easy to use, easy on the pocket, and durable.


Water Chlorination

As the name suggests, chlorine or chlorine compounds are added to water to purify it. This method is known to kill viruses, bacteria, or any other microbial organisms. Due to this,  it helps in preventing diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery, etc.

Approximately 1-16mg/L is the proportion of chlorine added to the water. Chlorine gas might also be used.



Boiling Water

Lastly, the easiest method to get purified water is boiling it. It is useful in killing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. It can also treat water if it is murky or cloudy.



As clean drinking water is necessary for our well-being, BIS has set such high standards. Even when it comes to packaged water, the companies have to conform to the BIS.

In conclusion, ensure that your water filter is functioning properly. If it isn’t, get it checked with a water purification expert immediately.

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