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| Last Updated:: 10/12/2014

Water Quality Standards


A. STANDARDS FOR COAL MINES (Stipulated by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Vide Notification No. GSR 742(E), Dt: 25.09.2000)




(a)   Standards

  • pH
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
  • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Oil & Grease (O & G)
  • -- 5.5 to 9.0
  • -- 250 mg/l
  • -- 100 mg/l
    -- 200 mg/l (Land for irrigation)
  • -- 10 mg/l

Note : - decibel (dB)


(b)   Frequency

Monitoring of these parameters shall be done at a frequency of once in a fortnight.

All the 33 Parameters as given in Part-A of General Standards for discharge of Environmental Pollutants, GSR 801 (E) EPA 1993, prescribed by CPCB shall be monitored once in a year.





Part - A : Effluents


These standards shall be applicable for industries, operations or processes other than those industries, operations or process for which standards have been specified in Schedule of the Environment Protection Rules, 1989.



The state boards shall fallow the following guidelines in enforcing the standards specified under Schedule IV.

  1. The wastewater and gases are to be treated with the best available technology (BAT) in order to achieve the prescribed standards.
  2. The industries need to be encouraged for recycling and reuse of waste materials as far as practicable in order to minimize the discharge of wastes into the environment.
  3. The industries are to be encouraged for recovery of biogas, energy and reusable materials.
  4. While permitting the discharge of effluents and emissions into the environment, State Boards have to taken into account the assimilative capacities of the receiving bodies, especially water bodies so that quality of the intended use of the receiving waters is not affected. Where such quality is likely to be affected, discharges should not be allowed into water bodies.
  5. The central and state boards shall put emphasis on the implementation of clean technologies by the industries in order to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the generation of environmental pollutants.
  6. All efforts should be made to remove color and unpleasant odour as far as practicable.
  7. The standards mentioned in this Schedule shall also apply to all other effluents discharged such as mining, and mineral processing activities and sewage.
  8. The limit given for the total concentration of mercury in the final effluent of caustic soda industry, is for the combined effluent from (a) cell house; (b) brine plant; (c) chlorine handling; (d) hydrogen handling; and (e) hydrochloric acid plant.
  9. All effluents discharged including from the industries such as cotton textile, composite woolen mills, synthetic rubber, small pulp & paper, natural rubber, petrochemicals, tanneries, paint, dyes, slaughter houses, food & fruit processing and dairy industries into surface waters shall conform to the BOD limit specified above, namely, 30 mg/l. For discharge of an effluent having a BOD more than 30 mg/l, the standards shall conform to those given above for other receiving bodies, namely, sewers, coastal waters and land for irrigation.
  10. Bio-assay shall be made compulsory for all the industries, where toxic and nonbiodegradable chemicals are involved.
  11. In case of fertilizer industry, the limits in respect of chromium and fluoride shall be complied with at the outlet of chromium and fluoride removal units respectively.
  12. In case of pesticides.
    1. The limits should be complied with at the end of the treatment plant before dilution.
    2. Bio-assay test should be carried out with the available species of fish in the receiving water, the COD limits to be specified in the consent conditions should be correlated with the BOD limits.
    3. In case metabolites and isomers of the pesticides in the given list are found in significant concentrations, standards should be prescribed for these also in the same concentration as the individual pesticides.
    4. Industries are required to analyze pesticides in wastewater by advanced analytical methods such as GLC/HPLC.
  13. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration in a treated effluent, if observed to be persistently greater than 250 mg/l before disposal to any receiving body (public sewer, land for irrigation, inland surface water and marine coastal areas), such industrial units are required to identify chemicals causing the same. In case these are found to be toxic as defined in the Schedule-I of the Hazardous Rules, 1989, the state boards in such cases shall direct the industries to install tertiary treatment stipulating time limit.
  14. Standards specified in Part A of Schedule VI for discharge of effluents into the public sewer shall be applicable only if such sewer leads to a secondary treatment including biological treatment system otherwise the discharge into sewers shall be treated as discharge into inland surface waters.

[GSR 801 (E), EPA, 1986, dated Dec. 31, 1993]









Tolerance Limits For Inland Surface Waters, Class C (Clause 3.3)


  • # Methods of sampling and test (physical and chemical) for water used in industry.
  • * If MPN count is noticed to be more than 5000 MPN then regular tests shall be carried out. The criteria shall be satisfied if during a period of time not more than 5 percent of the samples show more than 20000 MPN and not more than 20 percent of the samples show more than 5000 MPN. Further the faucal coliforms should not be more than 40 percent of the total coliforms.
  • ** Methods of sampling and microbiological examination of water (first revision)
  • $ Methods of sampling and test for industrial effluents, Part I
  • ## Methods of sampling and test for industrial effluents, Part II
  • @ Methods of sampling and test for industrial effluents, Part III




    (Water used for organised outdoor bathing)



1. Fecal Coliform MPN/100 ml 500 (desirable)
2500 (Maximum permissible)
To ensure low sewage contamination. Fecal coliform and fecal streptococci are considered as they reflect the bacterial pathogenicity.
2.Fecal Streptococci MPN/100 ml 100 (desirable)
500 (Maximum Permissible)
The desirable and permissible limits are suggested to allow for fluctuation in environmental conditions such as seasonal change, changes in flow conditions etc.
3. pH Between 6.5-8.5 The range provides protection to the skin and delicate organs like eyes, nose, ears etc. which are directly exposed during outdoor bathing.
4.Dissolved Oxygen: 5 mg/L or more The minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 5 mg/l ensures reasonable freedom from oxygen consuming organic pollution immediately upstream which is necessary for preventing production of anaerobic gases (obnoxious gases) from sediment.
5.Biochemical Oxygen demand 3 day, 270C 3 mg/L or less The Biochemical Oxygen Demand of 3 mg/l or less of the water ensures reasonable freedom from oxygen demanding pollutants and prevent production of obnoxious gases".
[Source: Serial No. 93 as per MoEF notification, 25th September, 2000.]