Important Chemical Characteristics of Drinking Water

Chemical Characteristics of Drinking Water

Important Chemical Characteristics of Drinking Water

Chemical Characteristics

  • H2O is the chemical formula for water.

  • Water's capacity to "stick" to itself and other surfaces is due to its unusual form, which has both hydrogen atoms on the same side of the oxygen atom.

  • The hydrogen atoms provide a positive electrical charge, whereas the oxygen atom produces a negative electrical charge.

Total Dissolved Solids (<500)

  • Total solids can be found by evaporating a sample of water and weighing the dry residue left.

  • Suspended solids can be found by filtering a water sample through Whatman filter paper No.44

  • The maximum number of solids that can be present in water is usually regulated at 500 parts per million (ppm).

pH (6.5 to 8.5)

  • It is measure by hydrogen ion concentration in water.

  • It is measure by Potentiometer and Colorimetric method

Alkalinity & Acidity

  • Alkalinity is caused by bicarbonates of Ca & Mg and carbonates, hydroxides of Ca, Mg, Na, K.

  • Alkalinity effect - Incrustation and sediment deposit in pipelines and difficult in chlorination.

  • Acidity is caused by Mineral Acids, Free Co2, Sulphates of Fe & Aluminum.

  • Acidity effect - Tuberculation & Corrosion of pipelines.

  • Alkalinity and Acidity are estimated by Titrimetric.

  • Total Alkalinity < 200 mg/l as CaCo3

Hardness (<200 ppm)

  • It is measured by the EDTA test( Versante method)

  • Temporary hardness caused by Bicarbonates and carbonates of Ca & Mg

  • Permanent hardness caused by sulfate, chloride, and nitrate of ca & Mg.

  • 1 French degree hardness = 10 ppm

  • 1 British degree hardness = 14.25 ppm

  • 1 American degree hardness = 17.15 ppm

Content of Chloride

  • The chloride concentration of treated water intended for public consumption shall not exceed 250 parts per million.

  • By titrating the water with a standard silver nitrate solution and using potassium chromate as an indicator, the chloride level of the water may be determined.


  • The presence of nitrogen in water can be caused by any of the following factors.

    • Free ammonia

    • Organic or Albuminous Matter

    • Nitrites

    • Nitrates

Toxic Chemical Substance (Drinking water Standards)

  • Barium: - < 1 mg/l

  • Lead: - < 0.1 mg/l

  • Boron: - < 0.01 mg/l

  • Cadmium: - < 0.01 mg/l

  • Arsenic: - < 0.05 mg/l

  • Chromium: - < 0.05 mg/l

  • Cyanide: - < 0.05 mg/l

  • Phenols: - < 0.001 mg/l

  • Mercury: - < 0.001 mg/l


Kumar Bhanushali


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