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Ensuring the Safety of Packaged Drinking Water

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has formulated new standards for Packaged Drinking Water (other than packaged natural mineral water) IS 14543: 2016. Arbro has been recognised by BIS for the scope of testing packaged drinking water, besides other products.

Under the BIS Laboratory Recognition Scheme 2018, BIS has renewed the recognition for Arbro Testing Lab for a period of three years from 15 January 2020 to 14 January 2023.

Mandatory packaged drinking water testing

In recent years awareness about food safety and water quality has increased and accordingly the standards for packaged drinking water have been updated by BIS. All packaged water manufacturers must be in compliance with the latest standards. BIS has specified mandatory testing of packaged drinking water and the entire production must conform to the Indian Standards if it carries the ISI mark. As a BIS recognised laboratory, Arbro conducts testing and analysis according to Indian Standards

Packaged Drinking Water testing for Control Units

The quantity of packaged drinking water treated/processed from the same processing line and filled/packed in one day, makes up one Control Unit. BIS standards state that the entire Control Unit will be held for 48 hours, before despatch, so as to confirm that the Control Unit conforms to all requirements and if any non-conformity is reported with regard to microbiological requirements then the entire Control Unit will not be dispatched.

The Control Unit will either be rejected or re-processed and complete investigation of the reasons for contamination and non-conformity to microbiological requirements will be investigated. The packaged drinking water can only be dispatched after five consecutive testing reports show satisfactory results. Manufacturer need to keep complete records of such instances for review by BIS.

Requirements for Testing Source Water

The source water used in the production of Packaged Drinking Water may be initially tested for

  • Colour, Odour, Taste, Turbidity, pH, Total Dissolved Solids,
  • Microbiological and Chemical requirements including Toxic Elements and Pesticides Residues and Radioactive Residues.

Subsequently, the quality needs to be assessed regularly, once in three months. The source water will be tested again for such parameters that are not in the conformance of IS 14543.

  • In case non-conformity is observed for radioactive residues, the source of raw water shall be abandoned and packaged water shall be recalled immediately.
  • If the source of the water is changed or there is an addition of new raw water BIS must be intimated and the raw water collected from the new source will need testing for IS 14543 specifications and the report submitted to BIS for approval before production and marking with ISI certification.
  • In case there is remineralization as part of water treatment process the ingredients must conform to food grade/pharma grade quality.
  • The means adopted for disinfection of the water must be declared.

Liabilities of Non-conformity of Packaged Drinking Water

In case of complaints, the manufacturer of packaged drinking water is liable for the damage.  If proved that the ISI marked packaged drinking water is not in the conformation of standards and if there has been no misuse, then the licensed manufacturer has to provide the product free of cost to the complainant. Moreover, if the product does not conform to the Indian Standards the manufacturer is not permitted to use the ISI marking. Marking can be resumed only after permission from BIS. Arbro testing lab can provide packaged drinking water manufacturers trustworthy testing and analysis and regular monitoring of source of water, in-process testing, and finished product.

Microbiological Requirement for Packaged Drinking Water

Escherichia coli — One Each control unit

Coliform Bacteria –One Each control unit

Faecal Streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus — One Once in month+

Sulphite Reducing Anaerobes — One Each control unit

Pseudomonas aeruginosa — One Each control unit

Aerobic Microbial Count — One Each control unit

Yeast & Mould — One Each control unit

Salmonella and Shigella — respectively One, Once in month+

Vibrio cholera and V. parahaemolyticus – One, Once in month+

The requirements indicated with + shall be tested in a BIS approved laboratory

Other Mandatory Packaged Drinking Water Testing Reports 

  • Monthly Testing Report for Mineral oil, Zinc, Anionic Surface-Active Agents, Phenolic Compounds, Antimony, Borates
  • Six monthly report for
  1. Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Cyanide, Lead, Chromium, Nickel, Fluoride, Selenium, Sodium, PCB, PAH, Bromates
  2. Silver (as applicable)
  3. Pesticide Residues
  • Two Yearly testing report for Radio Active Residues (Alpha and Beta Emitters)

Arbro provides testing and analysis of packaged drinking water for all BIS required parameters. Do contact us if you wish to avail of our services at +9111- 45754575 or +91 8588851888, email us at [email protected] or use the online contact form and we will get back to you with a proposal

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Once you fill out this form, you will:

1. Get an email or phone from our team to understand your exact requirement.
2. After that, a quotation catering to your requirement will be sent to your mail.
3. Once you approve the quotation, you can send us the sample for testing and we would provide you with the test report.