Safe Drinking Water Guidelines in India as Per BIS

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Getting safe and clean drinking water is the basic right of every citizen in India. But nowadays, most of the natural water resources are contaminated. According to the report of NSO, it is seen that almost two-thirds of the houses in India drink untreated, unsafe, and contaminated water. According to recent statistics, almost ten metropolitan cities have been receiving contaminated water. Only 8% of them boil water every day, which is not a very efficient process of eliminating the contaminants. According to SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), each country requires achieving the above goal by almost 2030. Considering this goal, BIS or Bureau of Indian Standard have announced some guidelines for safe drinking water.

BIS has stated that it is compulsory to test the water sources regularly and make sure that the supplied drinking water is meeting the set standard or not. If not, then what is the level of unacceptability or contamination? There is another guideline from the Ministry of Water Resources announced in 2005. It is called the Uniform Protocol for Water Quality monitoring. The enhancing threat of anthropogenic and geogenic contamination has led to this necessity mentioned here.

The tap water in Delhi is the most unsafe one among the 13 metropolitan cities from where the water samples are taken. The other cities which have failed the test include Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Bengaluru. All the other cities have also failed the water quality test. Among these lists, Mumbai is the only city whose tap water samples met all the parameters of the Indian Standard 10500:2012, which is the specification for perfect drinking.

 

BIS Guidelines Set For the Quality of Drinking Water

According to the Central Ground Water Board, BIS has specifications in the Quality Monitoring Protocol of the Uniform Drinking Water. This standard comes with two limitations, which are permissible and acceptable limits in the alternate source absence. If any specification exceeds this restriction, then that water sample is considered as contaminated for human consumption. If any water sample is bacteriologically contaminated with viruses and E.coli or any chemical contamination present that will limit the highest permissible restrictions, then the BIS will consider it not suitable for drinking. According to the BIS 1500-2012, the acceptable bacteria and other contamination restrictions are as below.

 

Testing Parameters Acceptable Limit Permissible Limit
pH value 6.5 to 8.5 No relaxation
Total Hardness as Caco3 mg/liter, Maximum 200 600
Total Max Iron Fe mg/liter 0.3 No relaxation
Odor acceptable Acceptable
Turbidity 1 5
Presence or absence of E.Coli Cannot be detected in 100 ml of sample Cannot be detected in 100 ml of sample
Taste Acceptable Acceptable

 

The most cost-effective means of ensuring safe drinking water is through the safe water plan implementation, which effortlessly uses the water quality data in planning corrective and preventive actions. Keeping in mind the significance of water safety quality, the Government of India has announced 3% of the state allocation of NRDWP (National Rural Drinking Water Program) for monitoring and surveillance of water quality. This BIS protocol acts as a guidance system on characteristics like minimum infrastructure needed for manpower, testing procedure, sampling, instrumentation, building space, etc.

 

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