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Gac Sanit. 2016 Nov;30 Suppl 1:63-68. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.04.012.

[Drinking water quality and safety].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Servicio de Calidad e Intervención Ambiental, Dirección de Protección de la Salud, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, España. Electronic address: agomez@aspb.cat.
2
Servicio de Salud Ambiental, Subdirección de Protección de la Salud, Secretaría de Salud Pública, Departamento de Salud, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, España.
3
Servicio de Calidad e Intervención Ambiental, Dirección de Protección de la Salud, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, España.
4
Coordinación de Salud Pública, Secretaría de Salud Pública, Departamento de Salud, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, España.

Abstract

The purpose of drinking water legislation is to guarantee the quality and safety of water intended for human consumption. In the European Union, Directive 98/83/EC updated the essential and binding quality criteria and standards, incorporated into Spanish national legislation by Royal Decree 140/2003. This article reviews the main characteristics of the aforementioned drinking water legislation and its impact on the improvement of water quality against empirical data from Catalonia. Analytical data reported in the Spanish national information system (SINAC) indicate that water quality in Catalonia has improved in recent years (from 88% of analytical reports in 2004 finding drinking water to be suitable for human consumption, compared to 95% in 2014). The improvement is fundamentally attributed to parameters concerning the organoleptic characteristics of water and parameters related to the monitoring of the drinking water treatment process. Two management experiences concerning compliance with quality standards for trihalomethanes and lead in Barcelona's water supply are also discussed. Finally, this paper presents some challenges that, in the opinion of the authors, still need to be incorporated into drinking water legislation. It is necessary to update Annex I of Directive 98/83/EC to integrate current scientific knowledge, as well as to improve consumer access to water quality data. Furthermore, a need to define common criteria for some non-resolved topics, such as products and materials in contact with drinking water and domestic conditioning equipment, has also been identified.

KEYWORDS:

Agua de consumo; Directiva 98/83/CE; Directive 98/83/EC; Drinking water; EU legislation; Lead; Normativa europea; Parametric values; Plomo; Trihalometanos; Trihalomethanes; Valores paramétricos

PMID:
27837797
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.04.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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