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TitleWater safety plans : methodologies for risk assessment and risk management in drinking-water systems
Author(s)Vieira, J. M. Pereira
KeywordsDrinking-water quality
Multiple barriers
Risk management
Source water protection|
Issue date2007
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
JournalIahs Publication
Abstract(s)Providing good and safe drinking-water is world-wide considered to be a fundamental political issue for public health protection, and must be the primary objective of water supply systems. Drinking-water quality control has currently been based on detection of pathogens and toxic concentrations of chemicals by means of monitoring programs and compliance with national or international guidelines and standards, relying mainly on indicator bacteria and chemicals maximum concentration levels. However, this methodology is often slow, complex and costly. Even for sophisticated and well-operated systems these monitoring schemes have proved to be inefficient in preventing waterborne diseases like, for instance, Giardia or Cryptosporidium outbreaks. From this evidence we can conclude that end-product testing is a reactive rather than preventive way to demonstrate confidence in good and safe drinking-water. This justifies the need for the formulation of a new approach in drinking-water quality control based on understanding of system vulnerability for contamination and on preventive means and actions necessary to guarantee the safety of the water supplied to the consumer. Water safety plan is a concept for risk assessment and risk management throughout the water cycle from the catchments to the point of consumption. This approach includes the identification of the hazards and introduction of control points that serve to minimize these potential hazards, providing for more effective control of drinking-water quality. This paper presents an overview of the first two years experience in developing and implementing a water safety plan in a Portuguese multimunicipal water company. Since key personnel had contributed to the assessment of hazards and evaluation of corrective actions for control points, a greater understanding of water quality control and improvements on technical operation and performance have been registered, demonstrating good value for the methodology.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEC-HID - Comunicações a Conferências Internacionais

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