MoEF released Draft Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2015

The purpose of the draft was to specify primary water quality criteria for bathing waters in water bodies.

Created On: Dec 3, 2015 14:50 ISTModified On: Dec 3, 2015 16:01 IST

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 30 November 2015 released Draft Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2015.

They are intended to amend the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and issued in exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The purpose of the draft was to specify Primary Water Quality criteria for bathing waters in water bodies. They are as follows



Total Coliform (MPN/100ml)


Contribution of total coliform is mainly through soil origin and may not be harmful while bathing.

Fecal Coliform (MPN/100ml)


They are the indicators of bacterial pathogenicity through human origin and their presence renders the river water to many water borne diseases like urinary tract infection, cholera, typhoid, etc, thus unsuitable for drinking purposes while drinking.

Fecal Streptococci (MPN/100ml)


Their normal habitat is the intestine of humans and animals. Their presence renders the river water to many water borne diseases like Impetigo, meningitis, sinusitis, etc.

PH value


The range provides protection to skin and delicate organs like eyes, nose, ears, etc which are directly exposed during outdoor bathing

Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l)

5 or more

The maximum 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 from sediments.

Bio-Chemical Oxygen Demand 3days, 27 degree C

3 or more

It ensures reasonable freedom from oxygen demanding pollutants.

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) mg/l

<10 mg/l

Such levels of COD ensure no contamination from industrial source after treatment.

Colour (Hazen)


Specially caused by chemical compound like creosols, phenols, naphtha, etc causing visible coloration of water which is undesirable for drinking and bathing purposes.


No noticeable offensive odour

It affects acceptability of drinking water, fainting of fish and other aquatic organisms and aesthetics of bathing water.

Floating Matter

Nothing obnoxious or detrimental for use purpose

Floating material is important because it accumulates on the surface, is often highly visible, is subject to wind-induced transport, may contain pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses associated with individual particles, and can significantly concentrate metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons such as pesticides and PCBs.

Floating Materials, Oil, grease and scum (including Petroleum Products) mg/l


Sludge deposits, solid refuse floating solids, oil grease and scum

None except for such small amount that may result from discharge of approximately treated sewage and or industrial waste effluents

Suspended solids mg/l

<10 from sewage or industrial waster origin

Water high in suspended solids may be esthetically unsatisfactory for such purposes as bathing.


Turbidity NTU (Nephalo Turbidity Unit)

30 measured at 0.9 depth

It is caused by suspended and colloidal matter such as clay; silt finely divided organic and inorganic matter, and plankton and other microscopic organisms.


Aquatic life of Benthic Macro-invertebrates

Their presence in bathing water with having high saprobic and diversity score ensures suitability of water quality standards for protection of aquatic life in bathing waters.

Saprobic Score Range


Diversity Score Range


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