Drinking Water Testing for Virological requirements as per IS 10500:2012

Drinking Water Testing for Virological requirements (MS2 phage) as per ISO 10500:2012
Drinking Water Testing for Virological requirements (MS2 phage) as per ISO 10500:2012

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) originally published the Indian standard for drinking water IS 10500 (Drinking Water-Specification) in the year 1983. Since then the standard has undergone three major revisions with the last one being carried out in the year 2012.

In this revision, a number of additional requirements for tests like ammonia, chloramines, barium, molybdenum, silver, sulfide, nickel, Polychlorinated biphenyls and trihalomethanes were incorporated into the standard.

The revision in 2012 also modified the requirements for color, turbidity, total hardness, free residual chlorine, iron, magnesium, mineral oil, boron, cadmium, total arsenic, lead, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides as well as bacteriological requirements.

The standard also clearly lays down the requirements in terms of the acceptable limit and the permissible limit for each of the test parameters mentioned. All samples are required to comply with the acceptable limit and permissible limits are only applicable if an alternate source of drinking water is not available.

One of the most significant changes made to the standard in the year 2012 was the inclusion of virological requirements. The standard now clearly states that all samples taken from the distribution system including consumer premises should be free from viruses.

The standard also highlights that viruses are generally resistant to disinfectants and get detected by the presence of particulate inorganic matter in the water. Because the difference between the resistance of coliform organisms and of viruses to disinfection by oxidants increases with the increasing concentration of reducing components like organic matter it is not possible to assume that absence of available coliform organisms will ensure that water is free from active viruses.

Because of these issues with poor correctional relation between the absence of coliform and inactivation of viruses the standard calls for testing for the presence of MS2 phage as an indicator of viral contamination in drinking water.

The standard says that MS2 phage should be absent in 1 L of water when tested in accordance with the US EPA Method 1602 and if MS2 phage is detected further virological examination should be carried out using polymerase chain reaction method.

Because of the serious health hazard posed by the presence of viruses in drinking water the standard further goes on to state that if viruses are detected the course should be determined and further immediate investigations must be carried out.

Our water testing laboratory has established and standardized the US EPA Method 1602 for the detection of MS2 phage and is also accredited by the National accreditation board for testing and calibration laboratories (NABL) for conducting this test in water.

Please feel free to contact us using the contact form on the right or by calling us now on and our team will be happy to provide you a quotation and proposal for carrying out this testing your water samples. You can call us now on +91-8588851888.

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