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JEE Main Last 10 Years Question Papers with Solutions PDF 2024 to 2014

Drinking Water Standards - Practice Questions & MCQ

Edited By admin | Updated on Sep 18, 2023 18:35 AM | #JEE Main

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  • 19 Questions around this concept.

Solve by difficulty

Match list I with list II:

List I (species) List II (Maximum allowed
concentration in ppm in drinking
A. F^- I. < 50\: ppm
B. SO^{2-}_{4} II. < 5\; ppm
C. NO^{^{-}}_{3} III.< 2\; ppm
D. Zn IV. < 500\; ppm


Concepts Covered - 0

Chemical Pollutant and International Standards for Drinking Water

As we know that water is an excellent solvent, water-soluble inorganic chemicals that include heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, nickel etc constitute an important class of pollutants. All these metals are dangerous to humans because our body cannot excrete them. Over time, it crosses the tolerance limit. These metals then can damage kidneys, central nervous system, liver etc. Acids (like sulphuric acid) from mine drainage and salts from many different sources including raw salt used to melt snow and ice in the colder climates (sodium and calcium chloride) are water-soluble chemical pollutants.
Organic chemicals are another group of substances that are found in polluted water. Petroleum products pollute many sources of water e.g., major oil spills in oceans. Other organic substances with serious impacts are the pesticides that drift down from sprays or runoff from lands. Various industrial chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls, (PCBs) which are used as cleansing solvents, detergents and fertilizers add to the list of water pollutants. PCBs are suspected to be carcinogenic. Nowadays most of the detergents available are biodegradable. However, their use can create other problems. The bacteria are responsible for degrading biodegradable detergent feed on it and grow rapidly. While growing, they may use up all the oxygen dissolved in water. The lack of oxygen kills all other forms of aquatic life such as fish and plants. Fertilizers contain phosphates as additives. The addition of phosphates in water enhances algae growth. Such profuse growth of algae covers the water surface and reduces the oxygen concentration in water. This leads to anaerobic conditions, commonly with the accumulation of obnoxious decay and animal death. Thus, bloom-infested water inhibits the growth of other living organisms in the water body. This process in which nutrient-enriched water bodies support a dense plant population, which kills animal life by depriving it of oxygen and results in subsequent loss of biodiversity is known as Eutrophication.

Wastewater treatment techniques should be .applied before the polluted water enters a river, lake or pool. Available wastewater treatment processes can be physical, chemical or biological. Physical processes comprise screening, sedimentation, floatation and filtration. Commonly used chemical processes are precipitation, coagulation and disinfection while biological processes are biological filtration and the activated sludge process. In particular cases, the processes such as carbon adsorption, oxidation and reduction, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, electrolysis, etc., are also used.


International Standards for Drinking Water 

The International Standards for drinking water are given below and they must be followed.

Fluoride: For drinking purposes, water should be tested for fluoride ion concentration. Its deficiency in drinking water is harmful to man and causes diseases such as tooth decay etc. Soluble fluoride is often added to drinking water to bring its concentration upto 1 ppm. However, Fion concentration above 2 ppm causes brown mottling of teeth. At the same time, excess fluoride (over 10 ppm) causes a harmful effect to bones and teeth.

Lead: Drinking water gets contaminated with lead when lead pipes are used for the transportation of water. The prescribed upper limit concentration of lead in drinking water is about 50 ppb. Lead can damage kidneys, liver, reproductive system etc.

Sulphate: Excessive sulphate (>500 ppm) in drinking water causes the laxative effect, otherwise at moderate levels it is harmless.

Nitrate: The maximum limit of nitrate in drinking water is 50 ppm. Excess nitrate in drinking water can cause diseases such as methemoglobinemia (‘blue baby’ syndrome).

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