Updating Philippine National Drinking Water Standards

Lomboy M, Riego de Dios J, Magtibay B, Quizon R, Molina V, Fadrilan-Camacho V, See J, Enoveso A, Barbosa L, Agravante A. Updating national standards for drinking-water: a Philippine experience. Journal of water and health. 2017 Apr;15(2):288-295. doi: 10.2166/wh.2016.177.

The latest version of the Philippine National Standards for Drinking-Water (PNSDW) was issued in 2007 by the Department of Health (DOH). Due to several issues and concerns, the DOH decided to make an update which is relevant and necessary to meet the needs of the stakeholders. As an output, the water quality parameters are now categorized into mandatory, primary, and secondary. The ten mandatory parameters are core parameters which all water service providers nationwide are obligated to test. These include thermotolerant coliforms or Escherichia coli, arsenic, cadmium, lead, nitrate, color, turbidity, pH, total dissolved solids, and disinfectant residual. The 55 primary parameters are site-specific and can be adopted as enforceable parameters when developing new water sources or when the existing source is at high risk of contamination. The 11 secondary parameters include operational parameters and those that affect the esthetic quality of drinking-water. In addition, the updated PNSDW include new sections: (1) reporting and interpretation of results and corrective actions; (2) emergency drinking-water parameters; (3) proposed Sustainable Development Goal parameters; and (4) standards for other drinking-water sources. The lessons learned and insights gained from the updating of standards are likewise incorporated in this paper.

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