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Water Test Report of Borewell - Action Required? - Nandambakkam, Chennai.

Our's is a complex of 50 houses and we have borewell water supply which we plan to use for domestic purposes including drinking and cooking.  We find that the utensils develop scales over time.  The complex is just under a year old.   We tested the ground water at the government lab and found the following parameters.  THe report also mentions that the water is very hard in quality and bacteriologically of very poor quality ( we dont understand what this term means);

Total colonies per agar at 37 deg C - 170

MPN of Coliform bacteria per 100 ml - 1100

nature of coliform - Citrobacter Freundi II

Turbidity - 7

Total solids - 2000

Carbonate hardness as caco3 - 364

Non carbonate hardness as Caco3 - 56

Total hardness as Caco3 - 420

Chloride as in chlorine - 420

Please advise regarding further course of action required at the earliest!



1. Action Required

Dear Srestha,

As per the report given by you your water is not fit for human consumption in both tests i.e. Chemical and Bacteriological. The water with such high count of Coliforms(Disease Spreading Organisms) will result in spread of water borne diseases. Kindly collect the sample for bacteriological examination in a sterlised bottle as sometimes the water of our source is good bacteriologically but due to wrong sampling procedures errors in the results are obtained.

Further, if the same results are obtained than you should go for disinfection of your water supply system with Chlorine and for improving quality of water you should go for R.O.treatment of water.

Kindly feel free to contact me on my mobile for further clarification please.


Amit Kr. Singh,
Govt. of Haryana,
Public Health Engg. Department,
Water Testing Lab,Karnal-132001(haryana)

2. Mr. Amit Thank you very much

Mr. Amit

Thank you very much sir for your valuable inputs.  I will inform our association and go by your advise.


3. Treatment for your bore well water.

Dear Mr.Sreshta,

After looking at the test results of your bore well water, the treatment I would recommend for the water are:

1.Bacteriological content of your water as per the test report is very high and therefore warrants the remark made in the test report.I would recommend that the bore well water be filtered and chlorinated while it is being pumped to the overhead tanks to eliminate the bacteria.Is there a cental,large storage tank to which it is pumped from where it flows to individual houses or is it pumped to individual houses to their respective overhead storage tanks? If you clarify,I can suggest what needs to be done to make the water bacteriologically safe.Each house should also have a purification device at the point of use which can eliminate bacteria.

2.The water is hard(total hardness 420 ppm),but it is still within the limit as per BIS-10500 which is the Indian Standard for water used for human consumption.The water can be softened,but softening results in a sizeable volume of highly saline waste water which can not be disposed off without expensive treatment.I do not recommend installing a softener as it requires trained operators and these are very difficult to get as well as expensive(an operator can cost as much as Rs.8500/- or more per month.)

3.Does your housing complex have a rain water harvesting system in place? If not I suggest you set about getting one installed.You can approach the Rain Centre in Chennai for help in this regard.Harvested rain water is a valuable resource that can be used to recharge ground water and improve the quality of you bore well water.I strongly recommend you do this.

If you need any clarifications on my recommendations, please feel free to call me and seek them.



Water Management Consultant



4. sreshta bore well water hardness

Dear Mr. Ranganathan

Thank you for your inputs. We have a single huge sump.  We have a filteration system at present.  Water from the borewell gets into a portion of the sump.  From this portion it goes to the filtration system and gets into another sump.  From the second sump, water is pumped to the different over head tanks and from there the water goes into the houses.

Rain water system - Yes we do have rain water system.  A vendor suggested a softening unit, but then he says we have to add salt of about 200 kgs per day and this is a logistics nightmare for us.  Hence, we are looking at options other than this.  If you have any suggestion please do let me know you may even directly write to me at thiagarajansridharAT(symbol)gmaildotcom


5. Water Test Report

Dear Mr.Sreshta,

As it has been pointed out by S.S.Ranganathan you water is in need of per treatment


Starting with Microbiological treatment:  all you  need to do is chlorinate the water before use, either put a regular dose of chlorine in the bore well, or in the storage tank , a couple of hours before you want to use the water.

But before that you must try to locate where this contamination is coming into the bore well, try to  identify & eliminate the source if you want a long term sustainable solution.

Just to be on the safe side, all drinking water should be boiled before use. 

Secondly it has a lot of suspended matter, giving rise to high turbidity and also the presence of solids.. a sand filter could take care of this to a certain extent.


The hardness is on the upper side, but other than the aesthetic issues  which here are important does not pose any health problems.

For softening  this water you could  go in for a brine ( salt ) activated water softening system, or  for a RO membrane based  system. And this usually is heavy on operation &  maintenance costs. Moreover it is not advisable for people with blood pressure and heart problems to be drinking water from brine activated softening systems. 

What could help a bit- especially during the rainy days and for some time after that, is to install a rooftop rainwater harvesting system. This might be slightly heavy on the initial installation, but  for maintenance is does not require much, and it will surely help in reducing the TDS values in the bore water.

More over Roof top rainwater harvesting in today's time is more of a social obligation rather than a short term solution.

All this will surely require inputs from some qualified personnel.

I sincere advice to you would be to get in touch with some of the local agencies who are in to this business and talk to them about the pro-and cons of the material they provide and the kind of after sales service that is being offered by them .

Hope  this helps you in understanding your problems a bit better so that you can find a solution for it.



Dr. Anil Lalwani

6. Mr.Anil and Mr.

Mr.Anil and Mr. Ranganathan

Thanks to both of you for your valuable inputs, i will take this up with our association and do the needful


7. Dear Mr. Sreshta What is the

Dear Mr. Sreshta

What is the reason for the bacterial contamination? If this is traced and eliminated, one critical factor for safe usage of the water is eliminated. If the chemical parameters are within acceptable limits and no treatment as such is required. RWH will make a lot of difference.

To get at the root of your bacteriological  contamination, let me know the following:

1. What is the depth of your borewell? Does it penetrate rock? Is the entire casing pipe plain or does it have a slotted section?

2. How is the sewage and other used water disposed off? By a common septic tank? If so, how close is it to the borewell?

3.  How is the treated water from the septic tank disposed off? By lorries or by spreading in the surrounding area?

4.  Are the areas surrounding the borewell inhabited? if so, are they residential or some other activity is done there?

5.  Are all the houses only residential or some other non-activity is carried in any of them?

You may not have answers for all of them, but please give as much information as possible for further response.

I live in T. Nagar, Chennai and my phone no is +91 - 44 - 2834 3506; email:

Indukanth Ragade

8. Water hardness is 862, is it potable?

Water on testing for hardness is 862, from the borewell - Is is potable?

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