Safe drinking water norms
There should be only one set of safe drinking water standards and these should be health-based, top scientists told the government on Monday after drawing up recommendations on standards for safe drinking water, monitoring and surveillance.india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 02:09 IST
There should be only one set of safe drinking water standards and these should be health-based, top scientists told the government on Monday after drawing up recommendations on standards for safe drinking water, monitoring and surveillance. They said the implementation of water standards should be done in a phased manner similar to Euro standards for auto emissions.
"Currently there is a multiplicity of standards proposed by various agencies such as BIS, ministry of urban development etc and the varying limits of specifications can be very confusing," the scientists concluded at the end of a two-day symposium on drinking water and community health at The National Academy of Sciences. They said current microbiological standards were inadequate as they were based on bacteria without addressing other contaminants such as viruses and parasites.
The scientists also emphasized the need to establish water purifier standards so that people are assured of output water quality.
Water purifiers should have an unambiguous indicator that tells consumers when the claimed germ-kill function is over. The government was also asked to develop relevant water purifier standards to treat chemical contaminants such as arsenic, fluoride and pesticides.
Other recommendations include introduction of a water supply system that functions under continuous pressure (24/7 system) to avoid faecal contamination because of intermittent supply; installation of point-of-use devices in school to monitor water quality; and encourage point-of-use purification at home through boiling and chlorination.
Other key participants were Dr R. A. Mashelkar, director general of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Manju Sharma, former secretary, Department of Science and technology, and DR Ranjit Roychaudhury, chairman, sub-commission on Microeconomics and Health.
First Published: Feb 14, 2006 02:09 IST