Water is essential to all life forms, and a quality amount is required to keep us alive—the implication associated with consuming contaminated water led to the development of water safety guidelines.
The purpose of having tap water guidelines is to ensure that the public water supply is free of contaminants and is safe for consumption, and conversely protects public health.
Understanding Tap Water Safety Guidelines
Safe drinking water, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, is water that does not present any significant risk to health when consumed over time, like from childhood to adulthood.
The definition ensures that infants and older people vulnerable to water-borne diseases are protected.
WHO guidelines promote the safety of public health by promoting the development of relevant local standards and health-based regulations. It also supports the development and implementation of preventative risk management through regulations of harmful water constituents.
These guidelines are based on scientific findings and provide various supporting information, including microbial, chemical, and radiological aspects, and clearly define what makes quality water.
Multiple barriers are required to secure microbial contamination of drinking water. The primary purpose of the barrier is to prevent the entry of pathogens into water sources and reduce reliance on treating the harmful impact of pathogens.
Disinfection is essential for safe drinking water, and it always involves using chlorine. Disinfection is necessary for surface and groundwater that may have been exposed to fecal contaminants.
The use of chemical disinfectant usually leaves behind a by-product. The by-products have a lower health risk compared to the microbial contaminants. Disinfection should not be compromised in an attempt to control the disinfectant by-products.
Many chemicals may be found in drinking water, but just a few of them are capable of causing severe health issues. Water contains chemicals that help to prevent diseases. An example of such is fluoride which alleviates the risk of dental caries.
The guidelines did not specify the value of each chemical constituent; instead, it provides a degree that does not cause any significant health risk even after a lifetime of consumption.
Public drinking water is generally screened for natural radionuclides because it is important to consider their health risks. Natural radionuclides are not individually screened, but gross alpha and gross beta radiation activities are considered.
However, this aspect does not cover water contamination that occurs during the emergency, which leads to the release of radioactive substances into the environment.
Taste, Odour, and Appearance
Water should be free of taste and odors that most end consumers find objectionable.
The assessment of water quality depends significantly on the biological sense of the consumer, which may not be correct at times.
Consumers will prefer water that is aesthetically acceptable even when it is unfit for consumption over water that is aesthetically unacceptable though it is safe.
Therefore, water provided for public consumption should not only be safe for consumption but should also be acceptable in taste, color, and smell.
To further protect your household from water-borne disease, you should install a water filter Sydney to remove all contaminants, especially if your tap water is from a private well.