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Water Quality –

Criteria &
Standards
Introduction
 Quest for pure water
Formulation of specific
standards
To judge the quality of

water
To minimise health

hazards
Guidelines for drinking
water quality (WHO)
 Relates to the following
aspects:
Acceptability

Microbiological

Chemical

Radiological
Acceptability

Physical parameters

Inorganic
constituents
Physical Parameters

Characteristi Upper Reason for
cs levels Upper levels

Colour 15 TCU Coloured organic
matter, metals,
industrial wastes
Taste & odour -
Temperature -
Turbidity 5 NTU Inadequate treatment.
Interferes with
disinfection
Inorganic constituents
Constituents Upper Suggests /
levels Consequences
Chlorides 250mg/L Water contamination

Ammonia 1.5mg/L Possible bacterial,
sewage, animal waste
pollution
PH >8.5 Decreases the efficiency
of disinfection
Hydrogen sulphide 0.05mg/L Oxygen depletion

Iron 0.3mg/L Stains laundry, plumbing
fixtures
Total Dissolved 1000mg/ unpalatable
Solids (TDS)
L
Microbiological Aspects
 Bacteriological indicators
 Coliform organisms – probable
presence of intestinal pathogens.
 Faecal streptococci – evidence of

recent faecal pollution of water.
 Cl. Perfringens – their presence in the

absence of coliforms suggests past
contamination.
Microbiological Aspects
 Virological aspects –
0.5mg/L of free residual
chlorine & Ozone effective
viral disinfectants

 Biologicalaspects –
Protozoa, Helminths, Free
living organisms
Chemical Aspects
 Cumulative toxic properties
 Inorganic
 Potentially hazardous to human health
 Those detected frequently
 Those detected in relatively high
concentrations
 E.g. Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Fluoride etc
 Organic
 Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
 Pesticides
 Chemical aspects
 Health risk assessment

Tolerable daily intake (TDI)

No observed adverse effect
level (NOAEL)

Lowest observed adverse
effect level (LOAEL)

Uncertainty factors
Radiological Aspects

Not only within safe
limits

As low as is
reasonably possible
Surveillance of Drinking
water quality
Sanitary survey
Sampling
Bacteriological surveillance
Biological examination
Chemical surveillance
Surveillance of Drinking
water quality
 Sanitary Survey
 Sampling

For physical
For bacteriological examination
& chemical examination
• Capacity 200-250ml
• Bottle capacity < 2 L.
• Clean, sterile bottles
• Winchester quart bottles

 Collection of
samples

Transport &
Surveillance of Drinking
water quality ( contd)
 Bacteriological Surveillance
 Presumptive coliform test
 Colony counts

 Detection of faecal streptococci &

Cl. perfringens
 Biologicalexamination
 Chemical surveillance
Presumptive coliform
tests
1. Multiple tube methods
 Estimating the most probable no. (MPN) of
colliform organisms in 100 ml of water
 the test is carried out by inoculating measured
quantities of the sample water (0.1,1.0,10, 50 ml)
into tubes of Mc Conkey's Lactose Bile
salt broth with Bromocresol purple as indicator
 the tubes are incubated for 48 hrs
 from the number of tubes showing acid and
gas an estimate of MPN of coliform
organisms in 100 ml of the sample water
can be obtained from the statistical tables
 this result is known as presumptive coliform
count (presumption - each tube showing
fermentation- coliform organisms)
 sometimes it may be due to other
organisms or combination of organisms
Confirmatory tests
 it is not required in case of unchlorinated water,
but required in chlorinated water
 done by subculturing each presumptive positive
tube in 2 tubes of brilliant green bile broth, one
of which is incubated at 37 deg C for upto 48 hrs
for confirmation of coliform organisms
 other tube is incubated at44 Deg C and
inspected after 6 and 24 hrs to decide whether or
not E. coli is present
 E. coli is almost the only coliform organism
which is capable of producing gas from
lactose at 44 deg C
 Further confirmation of the presence of
E. coli if desired can be obtained by
testing for Indole production at 44 deg C
2. Membrane Filtration
technique
 in some countries used as a standard
procedure to test for coliform organisms
 A measured volume is filtered through a
membrane specially made of cellulose
ester
 All the bacteria present in water are retained on
the surface of the membrane and by
inoculating the membrane face upwards on a
suitable media and at appropriate temperature,
it is possible to count the colonies and obtain
the results within 20 hrs as compared to72-96
hrs required for the usual multiple tube
technique
Colony count
 colony counts on nutrient Agar at 37 deg C and
22 deg C are frequently used in the
bacteriological examination of water
 Colony counts provide an estimate of the general
bacterial purity of water
 A single count is of little value, but count from the
same source at frequent intervals is of
considerable value- a sudden increase will give
an earliest indication of contamination
Recommended plate
counts
Water at the Plate count Plate count after 3
point of after 2 days atdays at 22 deg C
consumption 37 deg C

Disinfected 0 20

not 10 100
disinfected
 Recent studies indicate that a bacterial
plate count on yeast extract agar after
incubation at 22 deg C for 7 days might
serve as a general purpose indicator of
microbial quality because in the absence
of chlorine residual the no. of bacteria can
grow enormously.
Hardness of Water
 Soap destroying power of water
 Caused by dissolved compounds of
calcium and magnesium
 Expressed in terms of mEq./L (< 1=
soft & > 6= very hard water)
 Drinking water should be moderately
hard
 Disadvantages:
 Consumes more soap , Destroys fabrics
 Unsuitable in certain industries, Scaling of
utensils / boilers
 Shortens life of pipes & fixtures
 Advantage - ? Protection from cardio-
vascular diseases
WATER POLLUTION
Two major classifications

 Point source  Non point source
Point Sources

 Single large source
 Can localize it to one spot
- Industrial Plants
- Sewage pipes
Point Source - Example
 LUST - Leaky
Underground Storage
Tanks

 22% of the 1.2 million
UST are LUSTy

 Look at water pollution
from gasoline...
Point
source
examples
Non-point Sources

 Diffuse source or many smaller point
sources
 Automobiles
 Fertilizer on fields
Non point
source
examples
Non-point source
pollutants - nutrients
Prevention of water
pollution???
Thank you