Water Quality Assessment and Management

Access to safe drinking water is the basic human right. Pakistan Vision 2025 and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) 2030 impose obligations on Pakistan towards achieving its water and sanitation goals. Drinking water is also placed on priority No. 1 in the approved National Water Policy 2018.

One of the major components of water quality is the monitoring of quality of water for multiple purposes in relation to human and environmental health such as drinking, irrigation, ecological impacts etc. PCRWR’s Water Quality Setup plays a critical role to ensure the supply of safe, reliable water and wastewater assessment services to the people and communities.

Dedicated to safeguarding public health and the environment, we help our customers to monitor water quality and prevent the entry and transmission of contaminants into drinking water systems or their discharge into the environment in wastewater.

Our specific water industry focus drives our comprehensive range of APHA accredited sampling, accredited testing, and research and consultative services associated with the chemistry, microbiology, biology and ecology of waters, wastewater, sediment and sludge.

Offering so much more than testing services, we also help our customers to solve water quality issues and rapidly respond to major water quality incidents. We also provide expert advice on disinfection and water treatment systems and water treatment plant process optimization.

Water Quality Research Themes
Our Objectives

a. Research and Development
b. Policy inputs and advocacy
c. Innovative technology development, adaptation and proliferation
d. Facilitation in terms of assistance in water quality measurement
e. Socialization of best practices and innovations
f. Collaboration and networking towards SDG 6
g. Awareness and sensitization

Network of Water Quality Research and Testing Laboratories

PCRWR has 24 laboratories under its various offices for the implementation of various research programmes of PCRWR across the three main hydrological units of the country. PCRWR water quality laboratories have analytical capabilities for wide range of test parameters including microbiological, inorganic and organic chemical contaminants for drinking, irrigation, industrial purposes and is providing testing and advisory services to general public, academia, industry and related stakeholders.

A. Analytical Capabilities of PCRWR Network of Water Quality Laboratories

All regional and districts labs are providing technical facilitation, water testing services and advisory services to local service providers and water sector stakeholders including general public, industries, academia, NGOs etc.
Incase of unavailability of testing capability in district labs, samples can be sent to regional labs or National Water Quality Lab Islamabad.

Sr. No Water Quality Category Parameter (s)
1. Physical & Aesthetic Parameters Colour, Conductivity, Odour, pH, Suspended Solids, Taste, TDS and Turbidity
2. Major Chemical Constituents (Inorganic) Alkalinity, Ammonia, Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Chloride, Hardness, Magnesium, Nitrate (N), Nitrite (as NO2), Phosphate, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphate, Silica.
3. Trace and Ultra-Trace Elements (Inorganic) Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Bicarbonate, Bismuth, Boron, Bromine, Cadmium, Carbon, Cerium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Fluoride, Free Chlorine, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Hafnium, Hardness, Holmium, Indium, Iodide, Iridium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lead, Lithium, Lutetium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Nickel, Niobium, Osmium, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Praseodymium, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Strontium, Sulphur, Tantalum, Tellurium, Terbium, Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Total Chlorine, Tungsten, Uranium, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium.
4. Pesticides/Persistent Organic Polluants (Organic) Aldrin,  Chlordane,  DDT, Dieldrin,  Endrin,  Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex,  Polychlorinated Biphenyls,  Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins, Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans, Toxaphene, Alpha,  Beta, Gamma and Delta Hexachlorohexane, trans-cis-Dichlorodiphenyltiryethane, Dichlorodiphenyltriethene, Dichlorodiphenyltriethylene, Endrin, Mirex and some selected polychlorinated biphenyls.
5. Wastewater Parameters Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Dissolved Oxygen, Oil and Grease
6. Microbiological Parameters Total Coliform, Fecal Coliforms, E-Coli, Total Plate Count, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Yeasts and Moulds
7. Other Parameters Ammonia, Free Carbon dioxide
B. Analytical Capabilities of Water Quality Laboratories at Lahore, Bahawalpur, Karachi, Tandojam, Quetta & Peshawar
Sr. No Water Quality Category Parameter (s)
1. Physical & Aesthetic Parameters Colour, Conductivity, Odour, pH, Suspended Solids, Taste, TDS and Turbidity
2. Major Chemical Constituents (Inorganic) Alkalinity, Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Chloride, Hardness, Magnesium, Nitrate (N), Nitrite (as NO2), Phosphate, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphate
3. Trace and Ultra-Trace Elements (Inorganic) Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, , Boron, Cadmium, Copper, Chromium, Cobalt, Iodide, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Tin, Zinc
4. Wastewater Parameters Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Dissolved Oxygen
C. Analytical Capabilities of Water Quality Laboratories at Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Multan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Mianwali, Badin, Sukkur, Benazirabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Mansehra, Loralai, Ziarat, Muzzafargarh, and Gilgit
Sr. No Water Quality Category Parameter (s)
1. Physical & Aesthetic Parameters Colour, Conductivity, Odour, pH, Suspended Solids, Taste, TDS and Turbidity
2. Major Chemical Constituents (Inorganic) Alkalinity, Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Chloride, Hardness, Magnesium, Nitrate (N), Nitrite (as NO2), Phosphate, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphate
3. Trace and Ultra-Trace Elements (Inorganic) Iron, Total and Free Chlorine
4. Wastewater Parameters Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Dissolved Oxygen
5. Microbiological Parameters Total Coliform, Fecal Coliforms, E-Coli
ISO-17025:2017 Certificate of Accreditation

National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) is maintaining the ISO-17025 accreditation status since 2007 and currently it is holding this status with PNAC up to January 2023.
Regional and district laboratories send their samples to NWQL, whenever ISO-17025 certified testing is required.

Laboratory Information management System (LIMS)

ISO-17025 Accredited National Water Quality Laboratory of PCRWR is providing its testing services through its Laboratory Information Management System comprising full automation of work flow (samples receiving, payment, testing, results recording, quality control and report generation, forms and format related to QA/QC.
Manual interference in test data flow is minimized after automation of testing process.
PCRWR intends to expand the existing LIMS for remaining 23 Labs of PCRWR in near future.

NWQL LABORATORIES
Chemical lab I
Analysis of Physical & Aesthetic Parameters

Color, Conductivity, Odor, pH, Suspended Solids, Taste, TDS and Turbidity

Chemical lab II
Analysis of Major Chemical Constituents (Inorganic)

Alkalinity, Ammonia, Nitrate (N), Nitrite (as NO2), Phosphate, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphate, Silica.

Chemical lab III
Analysis of  Major Chemical Constituents (Inorganic)

Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Chloride, Hardness, Magnesium,

Waste Water Lab
Analysis of  Wastewater Parameters

Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Dissolved Oxygen, Oil and Grease

Atomic Absorption Spectrophometer Lab
Analysis of  Trace and Ultra-Trace Elements (Inorganic)

Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Bicarbonate, Bismuth, Boron, Bromine, Cadmium, Carbon, Cerium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Fluoride, Free Chlorine, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Hafnium, Hardness, Holmium, Indium, Iodide, Iridium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lead, Lithium, Lutetium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Nickel, Niobium, Osmium, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Praseodymium, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Strontium, Sulphur, Tantalum, Tellurium, Terbium, Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Total Chlorine, Tungsten, Uranium, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium.

Microbiological Lab
Analysis of  Microbiological Parameters

Total Coliform, Fecal Coliforms, E-Coli, Total Plate Count, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Yeasts and Moulds

Organic Lab
Analysis of Pesticides/Persistent Organic Pollutants (Organic)

Aldrin,  Chlordane,  DDT, Dieldrin,  Endrin,  Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex,  Polychlorinated Biphenyls,  Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins, Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans, Toxaphene, Alpha,  Beta, Gamma and Delta Hexachlorohexane, trans-cis-Dichlorodipheny ltiryethane, Dichlorodipheny ltriethene, Dichlorodiphenyltriethylene, Endrin, Mirex and some selected polychlorinated biphenyls.

National Water Quality Monitoring Program

The National Water Quality Monitoring Program (NWQMP) implemented by the PCRWR from 2001 to 2010 generated the first ever annual water quality profile of the country covering 24 cities. This program was continued as a regular activity with monitoring frequency of five years. Following this, with addition of two more cities, it was extended to total 26 cities of Pakistan in 2015-16. This monitoring phase revealed that only 31% of the monitored water sources were safe for drinking purpose. The current water quality monitoring of 2020 is the national program implemented in 29 cities of four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The population and area based selection of main cities for this program is aimed to undertake impact monitoring through valid and representative sampling strategy in following 29 cities.

Detail of Monitoring Station and Cities
Zone Monitoring Station Monitoring Cities
Federal Capital Territory Area NWQL, Islamabad Rawalpindi and Islamabad
Punjab Regional Office, Lahore Lahore, Sheikhupura and Kasur
Regional Office, Bahawalpur Bahawalpur
District Laboratory Sargodha Sargodha
District Laboratory Sialkot Sialkot and Gujarat
District Laboratory Gujranwala Gujranwala
District Laboratory Faisalabad Faisalabad
District Laboratory Multan Multan
Sindh Drainage Research Center, Tandojam Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, TandoAllahyar, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sukkur
Regional Office, Karachi Karachi
District Laboratory Badin Badin
KP WRRC, Peshawar Peshawar, Mardan and Mangora
District Laboratory Abbottabad Abbottabad
Balochistan WRRC, Quetta Quetta, Loralai and Ziarat
AJK District Laboratory Muzaffarabad Muzaffarabad
Gilgit-Baltistan District Laboratory Gilgit Gilgit
Overall Water Quality Status of Pakistan

The water quality data when compared with the National Standards for Drinking Water Quality show that out of total 435 sources, 168 (39%) sources were safe, whereas 267 (61%) sources were unsafe for drinking.

Monitoring of more than 4000 water sources in rural areas of 24 districts was also undertaken to identify issues in rural areas.

Status of drinking water quality in rural areas of Pakistan

The national level urban and rural water quality monitoring programmes have provided input data for Pakistan’s Economic survey (annually), UN’s joint monitoring programme (JMP), annual statistics published by the Pakistan’s Bureau of statistics as well as provided inputs for the National water policy, draft national drinking water policy and national environmental policy. Findings and recommendations of urban and rural water quality profiles were shared with all the stakeholders including provincial governments to draw their attention towards water challenges in urban and rural areas.

Assessment Survey of Water Supply Schemes

Testing of about 20,000 water samples obtained at pre-use, use and post- use stages of about 10,000 water supply schemes and provided root causes of supply of unsafe water through these schemes.
Findings of this assessment also depicted the inadequate technical capacity of technical manpower of water supply agencies. To bridge this gap, PCRWR water quality laboratories have imparted the technical trainings to more than 3000 professionals on safe drinking water.

Water quality assessment under National Nutritional Survey (2018-19) in collaboration with Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO and Agha Khan University.
PCRWR has completed the water quality assessment component of this project by testing 30,000 water samples for chemical and bacteriological parameters. The study data was analyzed to evaluate impacts of unsafe water on the health of children and mothers, especially in causing child stunting.

Surface Water Quality
Monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Asia Coastal Hydrosphere

PCRWR as partner organization in an international project titled “Monitoring and Governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Asia” sponsored by the United Nations University has monitored the set of different restricted chemical (in accordance with the Stockholm Convention) in Pakistan’s hydrosphere.  The study has provided inputs for the development of inventory and National database about POPs profiling in Pakistan. Based on this, National Implementation Plan (NIP) on management of POPs is developed by the Pakistan’s National Ministry of Climate Change.

Environmental assessment of Manchar Lake

Manchar Lake is one of the living lakes in the Asia where more than 500 families reside within the lake on boat-made houses. They derive their livelihood from the lake. However, over the time, the lake has subjected to a number of issues such as reducing inflows, wastewater disposal into it deteriorating water quality and increased eutrophication resulting into reduction in fish catch.
PCRWR in collaboration with the US-Pakistan Center of Advance Studies in Water, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshooro conducted a study to monitor the health of the Manchar lake and how it was affecting the ecosystem. Based on findings of the study, the Irrigation Department, Sindh has allocated an environmental flow (about 275 cusecs) to keep the lake healthy.

Water Quality Monitoring of Eastern Rivers

In Pakistan more than 90% the drinking water comes from groundwater which is being recharged by the extensive irrigation network of the Indus basin. The monitoring of the surface water bodies particularly, the eastern rivers of Ravi and Sutlej shows presence of all kind of containments such as microbiological, physico-chemical, heavy metal and even Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). These contaminants have severe impacts on human health and aquatic life.

Water Quality Profile of Surface Water Bodies in Pakistan

PCRWR has taken the initiative to monitor the quality of surface water bodies in Pakistan to identify the sources of water pollution and seasonal attributes to provide inputs for sustainable water resources management and to help achieving the SDGs 6 (target 6.3.2).
The study area included rivers, reservoirs, lakes and barrages in upper and lower Indus river system and in area outside the Indus basin. Altogether, 65 water samples were collected from strategic locations and tested for physico-chemical, wastewater, heavy metals, Organo Chlorine Pesticides (OCPs) and microbiological parameters. The test data was evaluated for drinking, irrigation and environmental quality. The composite influence of different quality parameters on the overall quality of water was quantified as water quality indices (WQI).

Groundwater Quality

While some groundwater contaminants are naturally occurring, unfortunately, the majority of groundwater contamination is the result of human activity.

  • Groundwater Contamination
  • Pharmaceuticals Personal Care Products
  • Overuse and Depletion
  • Improperly Managed On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Nitrates
  • Emerging Issues

Coordinated management has the potential to address some tough and persistent water quality and quantity challenges. Pollutants, particularly nitrate and salt, also harm groundwater supply. Nitrate is widespread in many rural areas. Its major source is nitrogen fertilizer and manure. PCRWR time to time assess the groundwater quality in potentially contaminated areas of country impacted by geological occurrences of different contaminants, fertilizers, mining, industrial activities like bottled water industries etc. Examples are as below:

Arsenic monitoring

PCRWR is pioneer organization to initiate arsenic investigation studies (1999-2015) in the country. Considering the adverse effects of inorganic arsenic on human health, the largest national survey of Pakistan (2005-2010) has assessed about 34000 water sources in 61 districts of Pakistan including 34 districts of Punjab and 27 districts of Sindh. Results showed 15% of the assessed water sources to be unsafe due to excessive arsenic concentration in Punjab and Sindh when compared with WHO Guideline Values of arsenic in drinking water (i.e. 10 ppb). PCRWR has also organized capacity building and awareness raising events to impart the training and knowledge to professionals on arsenic monitoring and mitigation.
Comparative Assessment of Changa Pani and Traditional Water Supply Schemes (Bhalwal, District Sargodha, Punjab)

Microbial contamination

PCRWR has assessed the effectiveness of CPP with respect to economic viability of metered water, water supply efficiency and consumer’s satisfaction level, water quality status, and water losses. The methodology included both the quantitative and qualitative assessments using structured questionnaire surveys and water quality testing to identify the key success factors and needs for improvements.
Microbial contamination in Changa Pani Project, Tehsil Municipal Administration’s groundwater supply systems and private bore holes

Water Quality Assessment of Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan (District Jhelum)

Pind Dadan Khan tehsil of district Jhelum is a classic example of deteriorated water quality impacted by natural and anthropogenic reasons. Being at the foothills of the Salt range, most of its groundwater is saline. The drinking water to the local community is being provided through installation of tubewells at the bank of River Jhelum and small springs originating from the Salt range. There is acute shortage of drinking water in the area. PCRWR has assessed the quality of the ground water being provide by the local water supply authorities and to propose a viable plan to overcome the water quantity and quality issues.

Bottled Water Quality

As per directions of the Ministry of Science and Technology, PCRWR is undertaking quarterly monitored bottled water of different brands since 2005 and sharing the results with the stakeholders including PSQCA, Provincial Governments and Food Authorities, public for taking legal action and awareness. Quarterly monitoring report of each quarter is available on website of PCRWR (http://pcrwr.gov.pk/bottled-water/).

Smart Water Quality Monitoring (SWQM)

Treatment plants are designed and operated to treat contaminants known to occur in source water, comply with drinking water standards, and meet customer expectations. Unanticipated changes in quality or the presence of unusual contaminants in source water can adversely impact the ability of a plant to meet these objectives. SWQM can improve a utility’s ability to detect variations in source water quality.
SWQM is a cost-effective and efficient system designed to monitor drinking water quality, which makes use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
PCRWR Head Office Islamabad is providing free of cost high quality treated water to the public and an average up to 5000 gallons of water per day is provide. PCRWR Water quality lab monitors the microbial quality on weekly basis, while its basic chemical quality and consumption is monitored using SWQM system.

Performance Evaluation of Water Filtration plants

The Filtration Plants Performance Evaluation is an integral part of PCRWR water quality monitoring programs. From time to time, PCRWR has monitored the quality of water filtration plants installed by MCI or WASAs from time to time to ensure the health and safety of general public. The performance evaluation reports indicating water quality status of water filtration plants of Islamabad/Rawalpindi and highlighting the needs for improvement have been shared with implementing agencies and reminded them to initiate the required corrective measures.
Water quality monitoring status of water filtration plants of Islamabad (2019)

Wastewater quality and treatment

The water quality in Pakistan is facing severe challenges due to untreated disposal of industrial and domestic waste. The wastewater mixing in surface water and seepage into the groundwater is deteriorating the water quality in various areas of the country. This is negatively affecting the use of water for drinking, household needs, recreation, aquaculture, transportation and industry. To assess such effects, the PCRWR assess the impacts of domestic and industrial effluents to identify the wastewater treatment needs analysis. Examples of work as below:

Testing Services Offered

Our well-equipped Water Quality Laboratories (WQLs) provide testing services for detection & source localization and quantification of chemical and microbial contaminants by experienced professionals for drinking, irrigation, industrial purposes etc.

  • Water Quality for Potable water, Ground water and Irrigation water
  • Water Quality for Construction water and Cooling tower water
  • Chemical and Elemental Analysis of Water samples
  • Water Quality for Effluent from various industries 
  • Method Development for wastewater treatment
  • Consultation for Water treatment Consultation for Effluent treatment
  • Training Facility on water/wastewater quality
Smart Drinking Water RO (SDW-RO)

‘‘Smart Drinking Water RO (SDW-RO)’’ is designed for a salted underground water community of 700-1000 consumers. Every hour it produces 500 L sweet water from brackish water (TDS 3000-3500 mg/l). Real-time raw/product water quality display and flow measurement are its unique features.
If real-time raw-water TDS display shows permissible limits, simple filtration mode may be opted, which enhances treatment capacity to 2000 L/H.
The treatment process is made sustainable by providing auto back-wash system and least involvement of human interaction in its daily operation. Real-time.
Cost Price = 450,000/- Exclusive taxes

How to Collect Water Samples ?

How to Order Water Tests ?

What is Testing Fee Rates ?

Technology Development and Commercialization

Technology Development and Commercialization

PCRWR scientists through its Research and Development activities have developed cost-effective solutions for water testing and treatments. PCRWR is commercializing the sale of these products and technologies at affordable cost.

FAQs

What is water quality?

The term water quality is used to describe the condition of the water, including its chemical, physical and biological characteristics.

Why is water quality important to people?

Contaminated, Untreated or poorly treated water can pose a health risk for human

What is microbial contamination?

Microbial contamination refers to the presence of microbes (germs) such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa in the water.

Where does microbial contamination come from?

Microbial contamination can come from storm water runoff, faeces from domesticated and wild animals, leaking sewerage pipes, boating wastes, malfunctioning septic tanks, sewage treatment plant overflows and illegal sewer connections.

When should I test my water?

  1. If someone have frequent diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and vomiting
  2. Water is foully or bitter in taste
  3. If your water is turbid or coloured

Why water is tested?

Water is tested to check the quality of water. There are several problems that can endanger the quality of drinking water. There could be a microbial or chemical contamination.

  • Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium)
  • Local land use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, animal feeding operations, bio-solids application)
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Sewer overflows
  • Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (for example, nearby septic systems)

Drinking water can have coliform bacteria in it.

Coliform bacteria are a group of microorganisms (germs) that are normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals, and in surface water bodies. When these organisms are detected in drinking water this suggests contamination from a subsurface source such as farm run-off. The presence of these bacteria indicates that disease-causing microorganisms, known as pathogens, may enter the drinking water supply in the same way if one does not take preventive action. As per WHO guidelines drinking water should be free from coliform.

In case of well water, following common conditions or nearby activities that well owners should be aware of and the substance(s) that you should consider testing for to ensure your well is safe.

Conditions or nearby activities: Test for:
Recurring gastro-intestinal illness Coliform bacteria
Household plumbing or service lines that contain lead pH, lead, copper
Corrosion of pipes, plumbing Corrosion, pH, lead
Nearby areas of intensive agriculture Nitrate, nitrite, pesticides, coliform bacteria
Coal or other mining operations nearby Metals, pH, corrosion
Gas drilling operations nearby Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium
Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station or dry-cleaning operation nearby Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals
Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks Volatile organic compounds
Objectionable taste or smell Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals
Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry Iron, copper, manganese
Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium
Clay residues, soaps don’t lather Hardness
Rapid wear of water treatment equipment pH, corrosion
Water appears cloudy, frothy or colored Color, detergents

Where do I go to get testing done on the water from my private water well?

Pakistan Council of research has a network of Water quality laboratories throughout the country. National Water Quality Laboratory and our regional and districts laboratories for analysis. PCRWR can provide information on proper sampling procedures, including where the sample should be taken, how long the well should be pumped prior to sampling, how long the sample can be stored, and the length of time allowed for delivery to the laboratory. A fee may be charged.

What kind of testing is done to ensure my drinking water is safe?

  • Bacterial Contamination

(Total Coliform, Faecal Coliform and E.coli)

  • Routine Chemical Parameters

(EC, pH, Turbidity, calcium, Hardness, Bicarbonate, sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Chlorides, TDS, Arsenic and Fluoride)

Why my water has bad taste and what should I do?

Higher concentration of any microbes or chemical constituents like sodium, potassium, Arsenic and sulphates could be the reason of bad taste.

Why my water has bad odour and what should I do?

Bad odour can be a result of wastewater contamination and high amount of sulphates

What if I have diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and vomiting?

In case of frequent diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and vomiting get your drinking water tested at first

How to Take Samples?

Following the American Public Health Association Protocols (APHA) for water sampling, testing and quality control, water samples are collected from each water source. Water samples for Physico-chemical analysis were collected in polystyrene bottles of one-litre volume. Whereas, 250 ml of sample for microbial analysis is collected in pre-sterilized sampling bottles.

How the water samples from tube wells collected?

Allowing water flow for at least 10 minutes to get representative sample: Depth of groundwater level also noted.

How much time is required to transport sample from site to lab?

According to American Public Health Association (APHA), 2017 Maximum sample holding time for microbiological and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) samples is 6 hours while you can hold chemical samples for Maximum 24 hours whereas samples for dissolved oxygen should be analysed immediately or within 0.25hrs.

When can I drop off water samples at your laboratory?

Samples are accepted Monday to Friday from 9:0 am to 5: pm, with the exception of microbiological samples, which must be received before 4pm Thursday.

How much do i have to pay for water testing?

The cost of your water testing is based on the parameters selected for analyses. More information can be found in the “Water Quality Rate List,”

How long does the testing take?

Testing duration depend upon the parameter to be analysed can takes up to 10 working days, depending on the requirements. Customer service representative will let you know when to expect results when you deliver the samples.

Does the water quality report indicate there is something wrong with the water, or that it safe or unsafe for drinking?

The test reports tell consumers what contaminants have been detected in their drinking water and how these detection levels compare to PSQCA drinking water standards. The result which are acceding the guideline values are highlighted in the test report. The reports clearly identify any data indicating violations of health-based standards. The report also indicates that either the drinking water is safe or unsafe for the tested parameters.

What is next once testing is complete?

If your drinking water is within permissible limits, Congratulations have Fun!

If your drinking water is exceeding limits for any parameter then seek expert opinion either by PCRWR staff or any expert about specific issue. Some problems can be handled quickly. For example, high bacteria concentrations can sometimes be controlled by adding disinfection such as: chlorine, ozone, ultra-violet light.

What to do if my water is unsafe (microbiology tests)?

If your drinking water is exceeding limits for any parameter then We recommend that you do not use or consume the water until it has been treated. There are many options for filtration systems to remove these contaminants.

What to do if my water is unsafe (chemical tests)?

If your drinking water is exceeding limits for any parameter then have expert opinion by PCRWR staff about specific issue.

How to safely store water at home?

  • Water should be stored  in thoroughly sanitized food-grade plastic or glass containers:
  • After containers have been filled with clean and contamination free water, mark them with the words “Drinking Water”.

What measures i can take to convert water from unsafe to safe state?

The quality of your drinking water and for other domestic uses is crucial. Unfortunately, following steps can be adopted to improve water quality of your drinking water.

  1. Boiling water is the most common way to destroy potential pathogens. Water boiled continuously for 3 to 4 minutes can be stored in a suitable container at room temperature.
  2. Chemical treatments like chlorination and iodine tablets are also popular ways to purify water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes after chlorination. A slight chlorine odor should be detectable after the treatment. If not, treat the water again and let it stand for 15 more minutes.
  3. Distillation and filtration are newer procedures compared with boiling. In these cases, water is treated physically rather than chemically.
  4. Activated carbon filtration systems combined with reverse osmosis (RO) are effective in removing total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, asbestos, lead, and other heavy metals.
  5. Ultraviolet water purification is specifically used to kill waterborne bacteria.

Are field test kits available for measuring arsenic and bacteriological contamination in water?

Yes field testing kits for microbiological and arsenic testing kits are available which can be purchased from PCRWR

How my water at home becomes unsafe?

Water contamination is a common problem to all over the world.

Causes of Microbial Contamination

Mixing of water supply with broken and damage pipelines of sewerage, municipal/domestic wastes (homes, hospitals), pipe breaks/leakage, cross connections, leakage from underground and overhead storage tanks and septic tanks, Operation and maintenance issues of filtration plants (replacement of cartridges, quality of UV Lamp).

There may be geological or anthropogenic (man-made).

  1. Groundwater moving through sedimentary rocks and soils may pick up a wide range of compounds, such as magnesium, calcium, and chloride, arsenate, fluoride, nitrate, and iron; thus, the effect of these natural contaminations depends on their types and concentrations.
  2. Anthropogenic (man-made) contaminants are by-products of industry, and agriculture, including heavy metals like mercury, copper, chromium, lead, and hazardous chemicals, dyes and compounds like insecticides and fertilizers. Improper storing or disposing of household chemicals such as paints, synthetic detergents, solvents, oils, medicines, disinfectants, pool chemicals, pesticides, batteries, gasoline and diesel fuel can lead to ground water contamination

What type of household filters is used?

Common types of water filter units for homes

  1. Activated Carbon Filters generally remove lead, PCBs, certain parasites, chlorine by-products, pesticides and herbicides, Asbestos, and cysts. They also help to get rid of particular gasoline, dry cleaning additives, and solvents, some levels of bacteria as well as traces of pharmaceuticals in the water”
  2. Household Reverse Osmosis water filters use a semi-permeable membrane that filters all kind of toxic substances and waterborne contamination. In fact, it is one of the only water filtration systems that remove most of the contaminants, including fluoride, perchlorate, sulphates, industrial chemicals, chlorine by-products, chlorides, and heavy metals amongst others. However, they are a bit expensive to install and to maintain. This type of water filter also wastes a lot more water- in every 1 gallon filtered, 3 to 9 gallons are used.
  3. Ultraviolet Disinfection and water purification is specifically used to kill waterborne bacteria advanced ultraviolet water filters can kill viruses and protozoan cysts in the water by exposing them to UV rays.

What are maintenance requirements of household filters?

Household filter maintenance depends on the type of water being filtered and type of filter used.

Is the water of community filtration units safe to drink?

If community filtration unit is regularly monitored for microbial and chemical water quality and found within permissible limits then it is safe for drinking.