RO Water Purifier Ban – Should You Be Worried?

RO Water Purifier Ban – Should You Be Worried?

After the Indian Supreme Court upheld the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) ban on RO water purifiers in areas where the total dissolved solids (TDS) measure in water is less than 500 mg/liter, the environment ministry (MoEF) on Monday issued a draft notification seeking all stake holder’s views before banning the RO purifiers. 
This notification is not the last word and the Ministry will await comments from the public and RO manufacturers for 30 days, after which it may incorporate the suggestions before it becomes a law.


What is the Case?

The problem with RO water purifiers is that during the purification process of water, around 70 to 80% of water is wasted. With increased popularity and indiscriminate use of RO systems, it was leading to a huge wastage of water. 
Further, the de-mineralization of water is not required if the input water has TDS less than 500 mg/litre. But the common people were unaware of this fact and were installing RO water purifiers without testing TDS in input water at their home. 
To fix this problem, NGT asked Centre in May 2019 to ban RO water purifiers in areas where piped water supply has TDS count lower than 500mg/litre. This was challenged in the Supreme Court of India by Water Quality Association of India, which represents companies that make RO systems. The Supreme Court however declined to intervene and asked Water Quality Association to approach the government.
The government has now issued a notification seeking all stake holder’s views on this issue.

Is There Anything Else You Should Know?
Other than wasting too much water, RO system, especially those that come without a TDS controller, often deprive drinking water of essential salts which are naturally present in purest water found in nature and provide us with wide variety of essential and trace minerals.
For example, if you install a RO water purifier in a area where the TDS level in water is say 400 mg/ltr, then after the RO purification process, the TDS in purified water will drop to 40 or 50 mg/liter. This is too low TDS and such water might be acidic in PH, taste bad, and may be bad for health in the long term.
It is therefore a good idea to ban RO water purifier in areas where total dissolved solids (TDS) in the supplied water are below 500 mg per litre. For water purification at home, customers can choose from several other best water purifiers like the UV and UF water purifiers.

Is it the End of RO Water Purifiers?

Not at all. RO water purifiers would still be needed in places where the source of water is sea water, or bore well /ground water, or where the water supply is high in TDS or chemical contaminants due to industrial pollution or pesticide use.

What Does it Mean for You?

While the final law is not framed yet, it is expected that the users will not be prosecuted for installing RO systems. However, if someone complaints of a violation to the pollution control board, or the environmental ministry, then they might confiscate the RO machine or levy a fine, or something similar. 
The new law is expected to be tougher for the violating manufacturers of the RO purifiers. They would surely be required to ensure that there is no more than 40 to 50% wastage of water in the purification process. This in turn would mean that the new RO water purifiers would be costlier as some new technology would be needed to achieve the new standards.