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Specifications for water (IS: 456)

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi
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(i) Water: water used for mixing and curing shall be clean and free from injurious amounts of oil, acids, alkalis, salts, sugar, organic materials, or other substances that may be deleterious to concrete or steel. Potable water is generally considered satisfactory for mixing concrete. As a guide, the following concentrations represent the maximum permissible values:

(a) To neutralize 100 ml sample of water, using phenolphthalein as an indicator, it should not require more than 5 ml of 0.02 normal NaOH. The details of test are given in &.1 of IS: 3025 (Past 22).

(b) To neutralize 100 ml sample of water, using mixed indicator, it should not require more than 25 ml of 0.02 normal H2SO4. The details of test shall be as given in 8 of IS: 3025 (Past 23).

(c) Permissible limits for solids when tested in accordance with IS:3025 shall be as given in

Permissible limit for solids

S.No Test as per Permissible limit max
(i) Organic IS 3025 (Part 18) 2000 mg/l
(ii) Inorganic IS 3025 (Part 13) 3000 mg/l
(iii) Sulphate (as SO4) IS 3025 (Part 24) 4000 mg/l
(iv) Chlorides (as C1) IS 3025 (Part 32) 2000 mg/l for concrete not containing embedded steel and 500 mg/1 for reinforced concrete work.
(v) Suspended matter IS 3025 (Part 17) 2000 mg/l

(i) In case of doubt regarding development of strength, the suitability of water for making concrete shall be ascertained by the compressive strength and initial setting time tests specified in (iv) and (v) below

(ii) The sample of water taken for testing shall represent the water proposed to be used for concreting, due account being paid to seasonal variation. The sample shall not receive any treatment before testing other than that envisaged in the regular supply of water proposed for use in concrete. The sample shall be stored in a clear container previously rinsed out with similar water.

(iv) Average 28 days compressive strength of at least three 15 cm concrete cubes prepared with water proposed to be used shall not be less than 90 per cent of the average of strength of three similar concrete cubes prepared with distilled water. The cubes shall be prepared, cured and tested in accordance with the requirements of IS: 516

(V) The initial setting time of test block made with the appropriate cement and the water proposed to be used shall not be less than 30 minutes and shall not differ by+ 30 minutes from the initial setting time of control test block prepared with the same cement and distilled water. The test blacks shall be prepared and tested in accordance with the requirements of IS: 4031 (part 5.)

(vi) The pH value of water shall be not less than 6.

Sea water.

Mixing or curing of concrete with sea water is not recommended because of presence of harmful salts in sea water. Under unavoidable circumstances, sea water may be used for mixing or curing in plain concrete with no embedded steel after having given due consideration to possible disadvantages and precautions including use of appropriate cement system. Water found satisfactory for mixing is also suitable for curing concrete. However, water used for curing should not produce any objectionable stain or unsightly deposit on the concrete surface. The presence of tannic acid or iron compounds is objectionable.

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