20-Litre Pack­aged Drink­ing Wa­ter

Bis­leri, Kin­ley and Pure Drop not safe enough

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Whether in one-litre bot­tles or 20-litre bub­ble-topped cans, pack­aged drink­ing wa­ter has be­come a com­mon sight—and a much-in-de­mand prod­uct. With­out get­ting into the de­bate and irony of wa­ter as a com­mer­cial prod­uct, we at Con­sumer Voice de­cided that it was high time con­sumers knew about the safety and ac­cept­abil­ity pa­ram­e­ters rel­e­vant to this ‘pre­cious com­mod­ity' (an oxy­moron, if you will). Fol­low­ing up on our re­port on one-litre pack­aged drink­ing wa­ter (cov­er­ing 12 brands, pub­lished in the May is­sue), we present here our find­ings on five brands of the 20-litre vari­ant. The ques­tions and pa­ram­e­ters re­main the same, hing­ing on whether the wa­ter we pro­cure at a price is drink­able enough. It cer­tainly is not as sim­ple as check­ing if the wa­ter looks clean and clear. Harm­ful, mi­cro­scopic or­gan­isms are not vis­i­ble to the naked eye. If they were, we would not be con­sum­ing the brands that we did, de­spite their not ful­fill­ing ba­sic safety con­di­tions (as our tests show). The fol­low­ing re­port will turn out to be an eye-opener in more ways than one, be­cause it will throw up names that are not rec­om­mended for con­sump­tion—mind you, some of these have been house­hold names for a while now. Read on to find out if your pack­aged wa­ter brand is one of them. A Con­sumer Voice Re­port

Like the one-litre vari­ants, 20-litre pack­aged drink­ing wa­ter is also cov­ered un­der manda­tory ISI mark­ing scheme. For the tests, car­ried out at an NABL-ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory, we re­ferred to IS: 14543: 2004 with the lat­est amend­ments. Test pa­ram­e­ters were mainly based on In­dian Stan­dard in or­der to judge the over­all qual­ity of the drink­ing wa­ter be­ing sold, as also on the re­quire­ments of FSS Reg­u­la­tions, 2011, which cover the prod­uct re­quire­ments.

For the tests, we chose four reg­u­lar/top-sell­ing brands and one lo­cal brand (Delhi-based) of 20-litre pack­aged drink­ing wa­ter. These were eval­u­ated on qual­ity, ac­cept­abil­ity and sen­sory pa­ram­e­ters. The key pa­ram­e­ters in­cluded pres­ence of un­de­sir­able sub­stances and mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal or­gan­isms, pes­ti­cide residues, toxic/heavy met­als, to­tal dis­solved solids (TDS), pH level, ra­dioac­tiv­ity, tur­bid­ity and colour.

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