Tag Archives: drinking water standards

Water Safety Plans as a Tool for Arctic Communities

Lane K, Stoddart AK, Gagnon GA. Water safety plans as a tool for drinking water regulatory frameworks in Arctic communities. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2017 Jul 14. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9618-9.

Arctic communities often face drinking water supply challenges that are unique to their location. Consequently, conventional drinking water regulatory strategies often do not meet the needs of these communities. A literature review of Arctic jurisdictions was conducted to evaluate the current water management approaches and how these techniques could be applied to the territory of Nunavut in Canada. The countries included are all members of the Arctic Council and other Canadian jurisdictions considered important to the understanding of water management for Northern Canadian communities. The communities in Nunavut face many challenges in delivering safe water to customers due to remoteness, small community size and therefore staffing constraints, lack of guidelines and monitoring procedures specific to Nunavut, and water treatment and distribution systems that are vastly different than those used in southern communities. Water safety plans were explored as an alternative to water quality regulations as recent case studies have demonstrated the utility of this risk management tool, especially in the context of small communities. Iceland and Alberta both currently have regulated water safety plans (WSPs) and were examined to understand shortcomings and benefits if WSPs were to be applied as a possible strategy in Nunavut. Finally, this study discusses specific considerations that are necessary should a WSP approach be applied in Nunavut.

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.

Revision of Germany Drinking Water Regulations

Hauswirth S. [Revision of the drinking water regulations]. [Article in German] Gesundheitswesen. 2011 Nov;73(11):715-21. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1291261.

The revision the Drinking Water Regulations will come into effect on 01.11.2011. Surveillance authorities and owners of drinking water supply systems had hoped for simplifications and reductions because of the new arrangements. According to the official statement for the revision the legislature intended to create more clarity, consider new scientific findings, to change regulations that have not been proved to close regulatory gaps, to deregulate and to increase the high quality standards. A detailed examination of the regulation text, however, raises doubts. The new classification of water supply systems requires different modalities of registration, water analyses and official observation, which will complicate the work of the authorities. In particular, the implementation of requirements of registration and examination for the owners of commercial and publicly-operated large hot-water systems in accordance with DVGW Worksheet W 551 requires more effort. According to the estimated 30 000 cases of legionellosis in Germany the need for a check of such systems for Legionella, however, is not called into question. Furthermore, the development of sampling plans and the monitoring of mobile water supply systems requires more work for the health authorities.

Click here for paper (fee).


Guideline Values for Uranium in Drinking Water

Ansoborlo E, Lebaron-Jacobs L, Prat O. Uranium in drinking-water: A unique case of guideline value increases and discrepancies between chemical and radiochemical guidelines. Environment International 2015 Jan 13;77C:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.12.011.

BACKGROUND: Uranium represents a unique case for an element naturally present in the environment, as its chemical guideline value in drinking water significantly increased from 2μg/L in 1998 up to 15μg/L in 2004 and then to 30μg/L in 2011, to date corresponding to a multiplication factor of 15 within a period of just 13 years. 

OBJECTIVES: In this commentary we summarize the evolution of uranium guideline values in drinking-water based on both radiological and chemical aspects, emphasizing the benefit of human studies and their contribution to recent recommendations. We also propose a simpler and better consistency between radiological and chemical values.

DISCUSSION: The current chemical guideline value of 30μg/L is still designated as provisional because of scientific uncertainties regarding uranium toxicity. During the same period, the radiological guideline for 238U increased from 4Bq/L to 10Bq/L while that for 234U decreased from 4Bq/L to 1Bq/L. These discrepancies are discussed here, and a value of 1Bq/L for all uranium isotopes is proposed to be more consistent with the current chemical value of 30μg/L.

CONCLUSION: Continuous progress in the domains of toxicology and speciation should enable a better interpretation of the biological effects of uranium in correlation with epidemiological human studies. This will certainly aid future proposals for uranium guideline values.

The paper is here (fee).

Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water

Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water 2007

European Union Drinking Water Regulations 2014

European Union Drinking Water Regulations 2014

Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

Drinking Water Quality Standards of Malaysia

Click here for a table of Drinking Water Standards