Daily Archives: July 16, 2015

Uranium in Kosovo’s Drinking Water

Fatlume Berisha, Walter Goessler. Uranium in Kosovo’s drinking water. Chemosphere Volume 93, Issue 9, November 2013, Pages 2165–2170

The results of this paper are an initiation to capture the drinking water and/or groundwater elemental situation in the youngest European country, Kosovo. We aim to present a clear picture of the natural uranium concentration in drinking water and/or groundwater as it is distributed to the population of Kosovo. Nine hundred and fifty-one (951) drinking water samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The results are the first countrywide interpretation of the uranium concentration in drinking water and/or groundwater, directly following the Kosovo war of 1999. More than 98% of the samples had uranium concentrations above 0.01 μg L−1, which was also our limit of quantification. Concentrations up to 166 μg L−1 were found with a mean of 5 μg L−1 and median 1.6 μg L−1 were found. Two point six percent (2.6%) of the analyzed samples exceeded the World Health Organization maximum acceptable concentration of 30 μg L−1, and 44.2% of the samples exceeded the 2 μg L−1 German maximum acceptable concentrations recommended for infant food preparations.

Implementing Drinking Water Ordinance Amendments; Frankfurt

Westphal T, Voigt K, Heudorf U. [Amendments to the Drinking Water Ordinance: Legionellae in Hot Water Systems – Data from the Public Health Authority Frankfurt am Main, Germany]. Gesundheitswesen. 2015 Jul 8. [Article in German]

Background: The first and second amendment to the Drinking Water Ordinance came in to force in the years 2011 and 2012 causing additional tasks and responsibilities for operators of commercial large-scale systems, usually hot water systems in large residential buildings, and for the local health authorities. This article describes the experiences of the health authority in Frankfurt/Main with these new regulations. Some of the revisions in the first amendment of the ordinance (TrinkwV 2001 (2011)) were omitted in the second revision (TrinkwV 2001 (2012)) such as the obligation to notify for large-scale systems. Furthermore, the intervals between the obligatory inspections were extended from 1 to 3 years and merely exceedances of the legal limits were to be notified in contrast to the previous obligation to notify all values.

Results: On the basis of the TrinkwV 2001 (2011) a large additional staff requirement had been estimated (13/21 positions). After the TrinkwV 2001 (2012) the tasks can be accomplished by less than 2 employees. While the notification obligation was still in force, the health authority received 4 461 notifications of large-scale systems, since then a further 477 have been notified. Of a total of 1 335 initial analyses, 794 (60%) exceeded the technical action value and in 113 properties with values exceeding 10 000/100 ml a usage restriction was necessary. Conclusions: Due to the suspension of the notification obligation to report any result of the analyses performed the assessment of the reports on large-scale systems has become difficult. An appropriate assessment of the implementation of the regulation is not possible, since the total number of large-scale systems is not known and a failure to report may result from a measured value below the technical action value as well as from a not inspected system. The large number of usage restrictions is an indication for the necessity to inspect and if required to treat and restore the system.