Organisms in water
Groundwater organisms within the water at drinking-water supply systems and the networks systems is, and has always been, a prime concern for drinking water providers.
The introduction of active surface water animals, such as the hog-louse (Asellus aquaticus) is a problem for quality assurance, and must be controlled and guarded against.
However, most organisms and all real groundwater animals are harmless and typical of drinking-water systems. Healthy groundwater is a habitat, and their presence demonstrates positive qualities of the water.
A long term solution would be to establish a monitoring system which animals are present and their populations. This data would provide an important and direct comparison to the water in various stages of the purifying processes, system plants and final water quality, in real time.
“The control and protection of active surface water animals lies within the remit of Waterworks, and is a conscious responsibility of water utilities”.
(DVGW – W271, 1997).
The occurrence of microbial contamination in waterworks is common, and is usually an indication of infiltration of groundwater by surface water at pumping wells. This poses a problem for effective quality assurance management, as the contamination cannot always be detected using conventional methods.
Groundwater fauna can provide important information about the origin of water, assisting with the identification of hazards to drinking water quality. Though this, of course, applies to waterworks in general, it is particularly useful for riverbank filtration plants (RBF) and storage facilities, due to the close proximity of surface water.
A further problem with water purification systems is that life forms, such as worms and crustaceans, can often be found throughout the drinking-water supply system; indeed right up to the domestic water-tap.
This is not only aesthetically unsavoury, but may also raise hygienic concerns, if surface water-dwelling species occur in very high densities.
This phenomenon raises some intriguing questions: from where do these creatures come, how do they penetrate the filtration systems, and how can they survive there?
By offering our practical experience, professional advice and wide array of services to water utility companies, we aim to provide solutions to the problems encountered in protection of ground- and drinking- water, and those relating to aspects of quality assurance at waterworks.
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