BIS’ daft standard for drinking water supply 

#GS2 #Governance 

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has prepared a draft standard for the supply system of piped drinking water and has invited comments from water utilities. 

  • Labelled ‘Drinking water supply quality management system — requirements for piped drinking water supply service’, the draft has been prepared by the BIS’ Public Drinking Water Supply Services Sectional Committee.  
  • It outlines the process of water supply, from raw water sources to household taps, and has been developed keeping in view the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission for providing safe and adequate drinking water to all rural households by 2024 through tap connections. 
  • The standard holds importance as it is expected to make the process of piped water supply more uniform, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas of the country where the system runs on various government orders and circulars. 
  • At present the standard is not expected to be made mandatory, BIS officials said. After the draft is notified, states or water utilities planning to implement the standard can approach BIS for a license. 

What does the draft say? 

  • The draft outlines the requirements for a water supplier or a water utility on how they should establish, operate, maintain and improve their piped drinking water supply service. 

What is the water supply process? 

  • The supply system as outlined in the draft should begin with the identification of a raw water source. Water should then be pumped into the treatment plant and treated to achieve the acceptable drinking standards. 
  • After the water is released from the plant, there should be reservoirs in the distribution system for storage of this water, and disinfection facilities to get rid of contamination at any stage of distribution. 

What’s there in the draft in addition to the water supply process? 

  • There are guidelines on water audit, which is a calculation of the amount of water put into distribution against the amount that is consumed. The draft states that a water audit should be conducted on a quarterly basis. 
  • “Effort should be made by the water agency to bring down the water loss up to 15% of the total water supplied in the system,” the document reads. The water utilities are also required to conduct surveys among consumers and obtain feedback on their service as per the draft. 
  • Guidelines on internal audit, management review, documenting performance indicators for improvement, and timely action against non-conformity issues also find mention. 
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