Onus of testing tap water quality is on supplying departments: Bureau of Indian Standards

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards body, said that the onus of testing the quality of tap water lies with Jal Shakti ministry, state governments and respective departments supplying water to households.

“BIS will not test the water unless these bodies request us to do so. We have drafted the quality norms for tap water and have shared it with these bodies. Now the onus is on them,” said P K Tiwari, director general, BIS.

He said that the national standards body had drafted norms for piped water under Drinking water supply quality management system for water supplying authorities to adopt.

The quality norms outline the requirements for a water supplier or a water utility on how they should establish, operate, maintain and improve their piped drinking water supply service.

“it aims at making piped water supply more uniform, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas of the country where the system is being run by different state governments.

BIS already has implemented quality norms for bottled water, which are available in market under different brand names.

“BIS certified water on various parameters like odour, taste, ph value, hardness and presence of bacteria. There are set parameters. If the value in water violates any of these, water is not fit for consumption,” said a senior BIS official.

The union government has launched Jal Jeevan mission to provide drinking water security to every individual. It is aimed at facilitating states and union territories to create water supply infrastructure so that every rural household has functional tap connection by 2024 and water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality is made available on regular basis.

“The quality norms prescribed by BIS May come handy to ensure quality water supply,” the official said.

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