RO purifier ban: Water Quality Association meets Environment Ministry

This move was taken after the Supreme Court had refused to offer a stay on a National Green Tribunal ban on RO purifiers in certain areas

November 22, 2019 / 07:35 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

The Water Quality India Association met officials of the Ministry of Environment to discuss the issue of the reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water is less than 500 miligrams per litre.

"We have spoken to the ministry officials and explained to them that RO purifiers are the only way of purifying water for medicines and to use in procedures like dialysis of kidneys," said an official.

This move was taken after the Supreme Court had refused to offer a stay on a National Green Tribunal ban on RO purifiers in certain areas. However, SC has given the industry 10 days to meet MoEF to seek clarity on this matter.

The Water Quality India Association is an industry body of RO purifier manufacturers.

The case


in May, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked MoEF to frame rules for the use of RO filters and also banned the use of RO purifiers in locations where TDS was low.

According to NGT, RO purifiers lead to the wastage of almost 70-80 percent water during the purification process. It asked the RO manufacturers to ensure that they are able to recover about 75 percent of the water.

TDS refer to the salt, minerals and other solids present in water. RO purification is used to purify the water.

In early November, NGT found that its order was still not being implemented. Following this, the Water Quality India Association moved the SC to seek a stay on the RO ban. However, the apex court refused to give a stay.

NGT has given time till December 31 to MoEF to frame relevant rules.

What next?

The Water Quality India Association will present a formal written explanation of their stand on the matter.

A source said that RO manufacturers had already ensured that at least 60 percent of the water was recovered. However, he added that the demand for 75 percent water recovery would be tough to adhere to.

"We will submit this information. We are hoping that the MoEF will not go for a summary ban for RO filters," an official added.

If RO purifiers are banned, industries like pharmaceuticals and hospitals which use this technology to clean the water of solids, metals and pesticides will encounter a hurdle.

At present, RO industry consists of Rs 1,000 crore household market and about Rs 1,500 crore of commercial businesses.
M Saraswathy
first published: Nov 22, 2019 07:35 pm

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