Water from sources like surface, ground and rain water are used daily for variety of purposes such as drinking, domestic, agricultural, recreational and industrial needs etc. In order to use the water for the intended purpose, one should ensure the quality. Water Quality is nothing but knowing the condition of water. Water quality can be determined by knowing physical, chemical and biological characteristics. Basing on the type of water, the parameters for checking water quality has to be determined.

Drinking water should not contain harmful concentrations of chemicals and pathogens. It must be tested regularly to ensure safe for consumption. The diseases associated with the consumption of contaminated water are due to pathogenic microorganisms viz., E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio cholerae, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium, hepatitis A virus etc.
Chemical contamination of water also causes severe health problems. Now due to advancement in the technology, testing of chemicals at picogram level is also possible. The vast catalogue for tests to perform make it overwhelming, but practically 30% of the tests can provide 70% of the quality information.
The testing of drinking water is done as per Indian Standard – IS 10500-2012 specification. This standard provides the details of acceptable limits, methods of testing etc. The parameters include Colour, Odour, pH, Taste, Turbidity, Conductivity, Total Dissolved solids, Total Hardness, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Sulphates, Alkalinity, Nitrates, Fluoride, Free residual chlorine, Iron, copper, Magnesium, Manganese, oil and grease etc.

Stay tuned for our next post, which will be on details of chemical testing!


Dr. Akkiraju Lakshmi Jayasri

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