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In many specifications, quality of water is covered by a clause saying that mixing water should be fit for drinking. What is its significance? Will drinking water always be suitable as mixing water?

The amount of dissolved solids in drinking water is almost always less than 1000 ppm. For a water/cement ratio of 0.5, this corresponds to quantity of solids being about 0.05% of the weight of cement. This quantity is too insignificant to cause any trouble.

However, where drinking water contains a high concentration of sodium or potassium & aggregate-alkali reaction is apprehended , such water should not be used.

It should be noted that water not fit for drinking may often also be satisfactorily used for making of concrete. Water with pH of 6 to 8 which does not taste saline or brackish is suitable for use. Dark color or bad smells do not necessarily mean that deleterious substances are present.