Evaluation Of Water Quality In Public Drinking Fountains
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M. H. Rebelo, A. S. Cardoso & S. A. Feliciano
This work is a prospective study in the Sintra Municipality. The objective was to identify and to characterize health risk for the population due to the consumption of drinking water from public fountains. To achieve this objective, water quality was evaluated and the physiochemical and bacteriological stability was monitored throughout the hydrologic year. For this study 42 public drinking fountains were selected whose water was subjected to bacteriological and physiochemical analysis from February 2006 to April 2007. The analytical protocol and the assessment of the obtained results were based on the quality requirements for drinking water, defined in Portuguese Law 243/2001 of September 5. The bacteriological analyses were made with monthly periodicity; the physiochemical characterization analyses were made every two months; the metals were analyzed every six months and the pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were analyzed once during the period of the study. The obtained results emphasize the poor quality of the water, observed in almost all the springs studied due, particularly, to bacteriological alterations. For this reason, water consumption from the studied public fountains in the Sintra Municipality seems to present a high risk for the population’s health, due to the potential contamination with pathogenic microorganisms. The risk of chronic intoxication, though of smaller importance due to the irregular consumption of these waters, should not be excluded since some springs presented a high content of nitrate, nickel, lead and manganese. The obtained results provide the necessary information for health risk management by the Health Authorities, through implementation of corrective measures for protection of water quality, and/or alerting the population to the health risk due to the consumption of unsafe water. Keyword: water quality, drinking water fountains, risk assessment, water spring quality, contamination of spring waters.
water quality, drinking water fountains, risk assessment, water spring quality, contamination of spring waters.