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Questions about Problems of drinking water in India and Indian Water Purifiers

We have a list of the frequently asked questions about problems of drinking water in India and about Indian water filter purifiers. Clicking on any of the FAQ in the list below will take you down to the answer to that question which is written further down on this page.

List of Questions about Safe Drinking water in India

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List of Questions about Water Impurities and Water Standards

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List of Questions about problems of Chlorine in water

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List of Questions about Indian Water filters Purifiers

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What is safe drinking water?

Safe drinking water could be defined as water that can be used as drinking water for humans without causing them any harm, either short term or long term. A lot of research has gone into finding the contaminant impurities in water that are harmful to humans. This has led to National Governments and Worldwide organisations like WHO, the World Health Organisation, to set standards about the Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCL of what drinking water can contain. Our page on Drinking Water Standards explains this in detail.

What are the problems caused by unsafe drinking water?

There are many health problems which can be associated with drinking unclean water. These can range from mild stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea to severe illnesses like Typhoid and Cholera which can eventually lead to death if not treated immediately. These types of illnesses caused by drinking water starts almost immediately after consuming unclean or unsafe drinking water and are caused by germs in water like bacteria, viruses, etc. Please visit our page on micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses, parasites and other germs for more details. Then there is the more dangerous slow acting problems of drinking water contaminated with heavy metal impurities and dissolved chemicals like Arsenic, Nitrates, Chromium-6, Lead, Mercury, etc. More from our page on Heavy metals and how they spoil your health.

What are the problems of drinking water in India?

Drinking water in India has improved considerably during the last 10 years. All the Cities of India have Municipal supplied 24x7 piped water supplies available. The people of India are now very conscious of the safety of their drinking water. Bottled Mineral water sales have boomed and it is available in every nook and corner of India. Water Purifiers are selling like hot cakes in India. If a survey is taken internationally, there is no doubt that India will be right on top of the list of nations producing and selling the maximum number of water purifiers in the world. So in the old days India may not have had the best drinking water supply system in the world, but now the drinking water situation in India is almost at par with any advanced nation.

How can I be sure that my drinking water is safe?

Bottled Mineral Water is the safest option when travelling. Just have to make sure that the seal on the bottled mineral water is intact. But for home use a good water filter purifier is the best option, especially if you have government supplied piped water. With Well water, it is imperative that the water is tested in a reliable laboratory and a water purification system based on the water analysis be installed. More from our about the different types of water purifiers and how they work and vist our page on Indian Water Purifier Brands and Manufacturers. If well water is of concern then please visit our page on how to make sure waell water is safe to drink.

What is the best way to make my water supply safe?

One of the best ways to make your water supply safe is by having a water filter purifier fitted in your kitchen tap from where all your drinking and cooking water needs are taken. The safest and most effective water purifier in the market today is the Reverse Osmosis type of water purifier

Is it necessary to test water supply to our house?

It is always a good idea to have your house water tested in a good laboratory. The health of everyone in the house can be adversely affected by so many contaminants, some of which has no taste or smell and has no effect on you in the short term. Heavy metals like Arsenic is a slow poison and will take years of drinking Arsenic contaminated water to start showing any signs of health problems. By that time it may be too late to get cured of the Arsenic poisoning effects.

Problems with bacterial contamination of drinking water will be evident immediately, because you will have stomach problems or become sick and it can be treated easily with modern day antibiotics. So problems with germs in water are not such a huge problem like heavy metals in water. Poisoning with Arsenic or heavy metals will have no health problems immediately, they only will start showing signs of health problems after some time of consuming the poisoned water and it may be too late at that stage.

Is there an easy way to test my water?

There are several water test kits you can get from online shopping sites like Amazon. This is a good starting point to quickly check how good or how bad your water is. Test kits are available for almost all water purity parameters like TDS, heavy metals, Arsenic, Lead, coliform bacteria, chlorine level, pH, hardness, etc. These home water test kits are not that expensive and will give fairly accurate results. If there are any indications that your water may not be safe then a test in a water testing laboratory should be done. The home water test kits may not be very accurate in detecting low levels of toxic chemicals like heavy metals which are deadly poisonous and being slow to act by the time you feel the health problems due to heavy metal poisoning, it is already at an advanced stage and very dangerous, even life threatening. See our dedicated page on heavy metals in water and health problems due to heavy metal poisoning

Is it necessary to boil water before drinking?

Sometimes there are outbreaks of communicable diseases like gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, jaundice, Typhoid, cholera, etc. in your vicinity. This is the time you should be extra careful about your drinking water. Even though you have the best of water purifiers, it will be a good idea to boil all your drinking water before use. In normal times boiling of water is not necessary.

Is well water safe for drinking after boiling?

Boiling water is sure to get rid of bacteria and all germs in the well water. But sometimes well water contains dissolved solids that do not have any smell or taste. These dissolved chemicals in well water without taste or smell can sometimes be very dangerous. For example, the heavy metal Arsenic in well water has no taste nor any smell, but it can be very bad for your health and cause early death. So it is essential that well water used for drinking is tested.

If well water is used for drinking, then surely you must have your well water tested once a year at the minimum, because ground water can become contaminated at any time. Once you know what is in the well water, then how to clean well water becomes straight forward. You will know what type of water purification system you will have to install for your well water to get the best drinking water.

Is bottled water safer than tap water?

When travelling bottled mineral water is the safest option, but in your homes it is best not to use bottled water but rely on a suitable water purifier. Many tests all over the world has proven that bottled mineral water is no safer than tap water especially home drinking water which has been purified by a good water purifier.

Is drinking tap water safe?

This is the first question that arises in the minds of those people who have the luxury of clean tap water distributed by the public utility companies. Drinking tap water is safe in most of the advanced countries, but even there, on rare occasions, contaminated water could come through the tap. Municipal water supply through taps are considered safe but it is better not to drink water straight from the tap. It is better to be safe than sorry, since we are not 100% sure of how good the water is. The municipal water supply which left the Municipal pumping facilities very clean may have passed through some cracked or leaking pipes, from which the water could have been contaminated. So at a minimum, a water purifier with a sediment filter of 5 microns or smaller and an activated carbon filter should be fitted at the tap from where the drinking water and water for cooking is taken. A UV water purifier would also be recommended to kill any virus and bacteria that gets through. A better solution will be to fit a UF water purifier which can work without electricity and will filter out all dirt, bacteria and viruses. If it is suspected that there could be dissolved salts in the tap water, then a RO water purifier is a must.

What is Delhi Belly?

Delhi Belly could refer to a Hindi Movie, but nowadays it means more to a term that foreign tourists to India coined to refer to the initial stomach upsets and loose motion they get when they eat food in India. The cause of Delhi Belly is most likely caused by the spicy food in India which these tourists are not accustomed to, though it could also be due to the drinking water in India. Since the tourists are ultra-careful about their water, the association of Indian drinking water with Delhi Belly could be unfair. Most probably it is an allergic reaction to the Indian spices which the tourists are experiencing for the first time. Fortunately Delhi Belly symptoms disappear after the first bout which lasts just one or two days. More on Delhi Belly

Is there any standards for water quality in India?

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Yes India has been one of the first countries to have strict water standards. In the old days the water standards was set by the Indian Standards Institution with the short form of 'ISI'. Now instead of 'ISI' it is 'BIS' which stands for Bureau of Indian Standards. The BIS:10500 is the Indian Water Standards and we have a copy of the main parameters of BIS:10500 in our page on Indian Water Standards

Why Nitrate salts a problem in drinking water?

Nitrates in water are a problem especially for infant babies below 6 months of age. The Nitrates in water causes a sickness in young infants called 'Blue Baby Syndrome' or 'Methemoglobinemia' the scientific term. The Nitrates in the water causes the baby's blood stream not to absorb enough oxygen and hence causes the baby to turn bluish due to lack of oxygen. This is a life threatening situation for the babies. For older children and adults there are no reported health effects so far, but it is better to avoid being exposed to water with high Nitrates. Nitrates in well water should be tested regularly, especially in wells near farm lands and dairy farms, because fertiliser and animal manure containing high Nitrates can leach into your wells. This is can be increased after a heavy rain. It should be noted that ordinary water filters and boiling water will not get rid of the dissolved Nitrates in water. Only an RO water purifier can remove the highly soluble Nitrates from water.

What is heavy metals in drinking water?

Heavy metals in drinking water cause severe health damage including cancer, stunted growth, nerve damage, and possibly an early death. Children are the ones who suffer most from heavy metal pollution of water. So it is very important that if well water is used as the drinking water source, it is tested for heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. Just to be absolutely sure of drinking pure water all the time, get yourself at least a small RO water purifier in the kitchen for drinking water purposes. .... See our dedicated page on heavy metals in water and health problems due to heavy metal poisoning

How arsenic gets into water?

Arsenic is a mineral that is widely distributed on the earth’s crust in rocks and soil. In areas where such types of rocks and soil exist, you have to be very careful about the well water from those regions. There may not be Arsenic in the well water one day, but just after a heavy rain Arsenic could leach into the well after the rain water percolates through the Soil of the area and gets into the well. So in such areas it is wise to invest in an RO water purifier, which is by far the best method of water purification to get rid of Arsenic.

How can water cause Arsenic poisoning?

Arsenic is a heavy metal and if salts of arsenic are present in water even in very small minute quantity it will cause a slow death if the water with Arsenic is consumed for a long time. The problem is that The Arsenic which is consumed in the water is not excreted or removed from our body by our kidneys or any other organ. The Arsenic stays in our body and continues to become more and more or 'Bio-accumulate' as more water is consumed over many days, till it starts to show severe health problems. See our dedicated page on heavy metals in water and health problems due to heavy metal poisoning

Why are trace elements like copper, iron and zinc in water a problem?

Too much metallic salts in drinking water are a problem because they are either poisonous or they cause the water to be discolored and to have a bad metallic tasting water. Metals like Copper, Iron and Zinc are trace elements that our body requires but it is better that such elements are got from wholesome food. In water they discolor water and the water will taste awful.

What is Coliform bacteria in water?

Coliform bacteria are one of the most common bacteria which is found almost everywhere. Coliforms are a type or family of bacteria that includes many varieties, such as Escherichia Coli or commonly known as E. Coli. Most of the E.Coli or Coliform bacteria are harmless to human beings, and it is very rare for E.Coli bacteria to cause sickness, especially since most people have immunity to their local variety of E.Coli.

Since Coliform family of bacteria are so common and since they will be the first ones to contaminate water, 'Total Coliforms' is the standard method to measure microbial contamination in water. If Coliforms are found in large numbers in the water, then it is a sign that the water is biologically contaminated. High Total Coliforms indicates presence of other bacteria and water must be disinfected. Thus Coliforms is an indicator for the presence of other bacteria and thus of the water being contaminated.

Why does tap water sometimes look milky or cloudy?

Most of the time water looks milky or cloudy due to dissolved air in the tap water. The pressure of the water is reduced when water fills in a glass from a tap. Dissolved air which is in the water, releases as very small bubbles in the glass and you get that cloudy milky water in the glass which quickly starts to float to the surface of the glass and disappears in a few minutes.

How to get rid of Chlorine in water

The best way to get rid of chlorine in water is by filtering the chlorine from water with an Activated Carbon filter. Activated carbon shower filter heads are widely available. Other types of shower heads available to avoid the problems of chlorine in bathing water are KDF shower filters and Vitamin C shower filters.

Chlorine in water and the by-products of chlorine in water can all be easily neutralized by adding washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) which is used in laundry washing to soften hard water. Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate and it will neutralize Chlorine, by combining with and forming Sodium Chloride which is harmless common table salt . Add just half a teaspoon of washing Soda to a bucket of about 10 liters of water to get water which is Chlorine free. The Chlorine in water will react with the weak salt of Sodium Carbonate to form Sodium Chloride or table salt or sea salt which is harmless. Make sure the washing soda is added right from the start of filling the bucket so that enough time is given for the Chlorine to be neutralized.

Can Chlorine cause hair loss and baldness?

Chlorine in water is not good for hair. The Effects of chlorine water on hair includes hair damage, hair loss and premature greying of hair. Chlorine is a bleaching agent and also a de-oiling agent. So when our hair and skin comes in contact with chlorine water, it removes the natural oils which are there to protect our skin and hair causing dry skin and hair. Thus regular bathing in chlorinated water can lead to problems like dandruff and dried out stiff hair. Being a bleaching agent, chlorine also removes the color of hair by neutralising the melanin pigments in hair which gives hair their colour. Thus bathing in Chlorine water regularly could lead to premature greying of hair and may be become bald due to hair loss with chlorine water.

Why is chlorine added to drinking water?

Chlorine is the most economical way of disinfecting water. After chlorination was started to be used widely instances of communicable diseases like cholera, typhoid, etc. almost disappeared. These epidemics were quite common before the advent of disinfection of public water supply with Chlorine, and it is credited with saving millions of lives in the world.

Is chlorine in water not good or safe?

Chlorine by itself is not dangerous, but it is the by-products of Chlorine that is the cause of health problems. These byproducts of Chlorine are explained just below.

What are disinfection byproducts of Chlorine?

The by-products of Chlorine when disinfecting water are Chloroform, Trimethohalanes (TMHs), Haloacetic Acids (HAA). Of these by-products of chlorine Disinfection, Trihalomethanes or 'THMs' are considered the most dangerous. THMs have been proven in the laboratory to be the cause of rectal, bladder and pancreatic cancers. In an article published in 1993 in the American Journal of Public Health it says "it is estimated that 10,700 rectal and bladder cancers might be caused each year by disinfection byproducts like the trihalomethanes". A report on a study by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1993 says that disinfection byproducts could be "associated with birth defects, including spine and nerve disorders". EPA standard sets the MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) for TTHM (Total Trihalomethanes) at 0.10 mg/l. Activated Carbon water filter purifiers as well as Reverse Osmosis water purifiers gets rid of Trihalomethanes or THMs.

Which is the best type of water filter purifier?

The safest and most effective water purifier in the market today is the Reverse Osmosis type of water purifier, but it may not be necessary for your type of water. The best water filter purifier for your need depends of the type of water you are getting. If it is good water meeting all the Water Standards set by the Government, then just a simple water purifier with a sediment filter of 5 microns or smaller and an activated carbon filter should do. A UV water purifier would also be recommended to kill any virus and bacteria if by chance there are any in the water.

Which is the best water purifier in India?

There are so many good water purifier manufacturers in India that it will not be possible to pick one of them as having the best water purifier. Water purifier technologies are limited to just a few - filtration by physically blocking any solid particles including viruses and germs, UV or ultraviolet radiation to kill germs in water and Membrane water purification or which RO is the most efficient in that it can remove dissolved salts from the water. So our answer to which is the best water purifier in India would be to say an RO water purifier from any of the reputed manufacturers in India.

Which is the best water purifier for well water

Best water purifier for well water is a membrane purification system like Reverse Osmosis RO water purification system, especially if you are living close to areas where ther are problems with mineral rocks containing Arsenic and such heavy metal ore containing rocks. Just a single acidic rain, which is quite common these days, could cause the quality of your well water to change. This could be caused, for example, from acidic emissions of a factory miles away, and carried by the wind to your area while it is raining in your locality. The acid fumes mix with the rain water and acid rain falls, which drains down to your well water. Acid rains combines with minerals in rocks and soil to form salts and these mineral salts dissolve and gets into the ground water and eventually to your well water. If some of these mineral salts are of toxic heavy metal like Arsenic, Chromium-6, or any number of the other toxic heavy metals as explained in detail on our page on Heavy metal contamination of drinking water, then you are in trouble. So it is always a good practice to use water purifiers like an RO water purifier or at least a Nanofiltration water purification system for well waters to be absolutely sure that you will never drink contaminated water.

Does RO water purifier waste water?

When an RO water purifiers has a reject waste water of about half the quantity of the pure water it produces, that is for every 1 liter of pure water there will be about half a liter of reject waste water. That is if the daily average of pure water usage is 10 liters per day about 5 liters of water will be wasted. If you really want to save and reuse this 5 liters of water, which is about the same quantity of water which is flushed down every time you flush the bathroom, then it is easy to collect this water and reuse it for cleaning the floor, watering plants or any other such uses. The reject water is necessary in an RO water purifier because all the contaminant impure dissolved salts removed from the purified RO water is transferred to the reject water to drained away.

Does RO water purifiers remove all the essential minerals in water?

First of it is impossible to get enough essential minerals required by your body from the daily drinking water you consume. Drinking water is always the best when it has the least amount of salts in it. Bottled mineral water companies always pass the water through an RO to remove almost all the salts from the water and then add a tiny bit to maintain the pH of the bottled water. It is an irony that bottled water is called mineral water, because there are hardly any minerals in it. The TDS of bottled waters, if you check the label, is always under 50ppm TDS, that is it will contain total salts under 50 milligrams per litre. To get one gram of minerals, you are talking about drinking at least 20 numbers 1 litre bottles of bottled mineral water.

Is RO water too pure like distilled water and so not healthy?

This is not true. The RO purified water is not like distilled water, RO water always has some minerals in it. The RO water purifiers in the market reduce the salt content of the original water by about 95%. So if the water initially had a salt content of 300 ppm which is 300mg. per liter, the purified water will have about 15 mg per liter. It would be ideal if there is a cartridge with say slow dissolving Calcium salt remineraliser through which the purified RO water flows. Such remineraliser cartridges are included with some water purifiers. The Calcium salts will neutralise the RO product water and give great tasting water. These cartridges are sometimes marketed as taste enhancers. The remineraliser taste enhancing cartridges is the best option for rehardening RO water.

How to buy Water Purifiers in India

The best way to buy Water Purifiers in India is to first look at all models of Water Purifiers available online at the leading online Retailers in India. For example on the online webpage of All Water Purifiers available in India on Amazon.in, you will find the full range of Indian Water Purifiers complete with their best discounted price and full specifications. This is great information, and you can decide on which model of water purifier to buy. With the model of water purifier you want to buy finalised, you can go to local shops to try and find the model of water purifier you have chosen and see if you can get at similar price of that at Amazon.in. In most cases the price from Amazon will be cheaper, because they buy in bulk from the manufacturers direct and they sell huge volumes because they are the world's largest and most trusted online retailer. If you buy from Amazon, they will arrange to have the water purifier installed in your house, usually free of charge.

Warranty and other facilities offered through Amazon are usually better than what you can get from local agents of water purifiers.

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