Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Standards Biology Essay

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body established in July 1993 under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. Its sponsor in Government is the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

EPA is the only department responsible to ensure safety standards of potable water for human consumption.

Drinking water is wholesome it is a standards to ensuring that water quality is acceptable to consumers and as well defined in law by standards, for a wide range of substances, organisms and properties of water in regulation .Standards are to be protective for public health.

Water should have standards whether for drinking or household needs and it is useful for the industries and agriculture. These standards are to prevent pollutions, which contaminates by human activity.

1.1Responsibilities

The Sanitary Authorities in Ireland are responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of public water supplies.

The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for:

The collation and verification of monitoring results from all drinking water supplies covered by the European Communities (Drinking water) Regulations, 2000 and the preparation of a annual report on the overall quality of drinking water in Ireland.

The authorisation of departures from the parametric values in respect of all drinking water supplies.

Checking the analytical quality control systems that are in place in laboratories and carrying out analysis of drinking water.

The EPA is the only Authority entitled to make the annual reports, and monitoring the safety standards of drinking water quality.

Regular samples of water supplies is carried out and analysed for a range of constituents called as "Parameters of water quality". The testing covers chemical, bacteriological and physical aspects and the results form the bases, which the overall quality of the water can be assessed

Reference: EPA 2001 and 2005, www.dwi.uk

2. Water in Ireland

In Ireland, the majority of drinking water originates from surface (i.e. Rivers and lakes), this is particularly for public water supplies, group water schemes and private supplies tend to be more reliant on ground water or spring water.

Figure Water available in Ireland

Adequate and safe water is important for human health, failure to ensure the safely of drinking water will result as infectious diseases

Drinking water is a basic human right and it is vital resource for human existence.

On these days, the water delivered for the consumption in Ireland is divided in three groups as Group water schemes, Public water supply and Small private supplies.

These groups have to obey the regulation and carry out the monitoring requirements, which is under EPA regulation.

3. Monitoring Requirements.

The water intended for human consumption must be free from chemical substances and organisms, which might be a hazard to health, free from danger and should be absence of colour and of any degradable taste or smell.

The EPA has set up some tests which is carried out to prevent the contaminate water consumption; it is subjected to biological and chemical contamination this is the importance to monitoring water standards.

On the table below can be visualized the parameters monitored in four different analysis.

Table : Schedule of parameters to be monitored

Minimum Monitoring/

Analysis C1(1)

Current Monitoring/ Analysis C2(1)

Periodic Monitoring/ Analysis C3(1)

Occasional

Monitoring(3)/

Analysis C4(1)

Odour

Taste

Conductivity(2)

Total Coliforms or

Total Counts at 220

And 37oC

Faecal Coliforms

Odour

Taste

Temperature

Conductivity(2)

Ph

Nitrates

Nitrites

Ammonia

Total Coliforms

Total Coliforms at 22oand 37oC

Faecal Coliforms

Current monitoring (C2) analysis plus other parameters determined by the sanitary authority "having regarded to all factors which may affect the quality of drinking water supplied to users and which may allow the ionic balance of the constituents to be assessed".

The sanitary authority to determine the parameters according to circumstances, taking account of all factors which might have an adverse effect on the quality of drinking water supplied to consumers

1. Designations are those contained in the regulations.

2. "Or other physic-chemical parameter".

3. Monitoring in special situations or in case of accidents.

Reference: EPA 2001 and Journal of Environmental health (June, 2010)

The potable drinking water has to obey certain regulations, which is grouped in three different categories, microbial, chemical and indicator parameters.

Corrective actions must be taken in the event of failure to meet these parameters.

3.1 Microbiological Parameter

The most important indicator of drinking water supply in Ireland are the microbiological parameters in particular Escherichia coli (E.coli) it is present in very high numbers in human or animal faeces and is rarely found in the absence of faecal pollution. As such, its presence in drinking water is a good indicator either that the source of water has become contaminated or that the treatment process at the water treatment plant in not operating adequately. Similar to E. coli, enterococci bacteria are present in a large numbers of water environments polluted by wastes from human and animals, they are present in lower levels than E. coli but they survive longer than E. coli.

The following table will shown the overall rates of compliance with the microbiological parameters analysed.

Table : Total Number of Waster Supply Zones (WSZs) Monitored Samples A analyzed for the Microbiological Parameters.

Parameter

No.of

WSZs

Monitored

N0. OF WSZs with exceedances

% of WSZs complying

N0. Of Samples Analyzed

N0. Of Samples Exceeding

% of Samples Complying

Biological Parameters

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

2,262

344

84.8%

13,913

559

96.0%

Enterococci

966

56

94.2%

2,480

60

97.6%

Reference: EPA 2005.

On the chart above 559 samples in 344 supplies failed to meet the standard for E. coli it shown that the water was contaminated.

3.2 Chemical Parameter

The chemical parameters covered by the regulation are listed on the following table, it shown that the level of monitoring of the chemical parameters increased by 16% in 2005 compared to 2004. Many local authorities did not carry out any monitoring for some of the parameters included in their group. 2004 was the first year that the drinking water regulations were in force this could explain why the sanitary authorities reported difficulties in adjusting the new monitoring requirements.

Table : Total Number of Water Supply Zones (WSZs) Monitored and Samples Analysed for the Chemical Parameters.

Parameter

N0. Of WSZs Monitored

N0. Of WSZs with Exceedances

% of WSZs Complying

N0.of Samples Analysed

N0. Of Samples Exceeding

% of Samples Complying

Chemical Parameters

Antimony

821

17

97.9%

1,390

17

98.8%

Arsenic

839

3

99.6%

1,541

4

99.7%

Benzene

830

0

100%

1,389

0

100%

Benzo(a) pyrene

836

0

100%

1,327

0

100%

Boron

815

0

100%

1,384

0

100%

Bromate

794

15

98.1%

1,245

17

98.6%

Cadmium

853

0

100%

1,548

0

100%

Chromium

850

0

100%

1,536

0

100%

Copper

993

4

99.6%

1,872

4

99.8%

Cyanide

751

0

100%

1,179

0

100%

1,2-dichloroethane

805

0

100%

1,310

0

100%

Fluoride

949

85

91.0%

3,890

160

95.9%

Lead

966

17

98.2%

1,807

22

98.8%

Mercury

805

1

99.9%

1,347

1

99.9%

Nikel

896

10

98.9%

1,597

10

99.5%

Nitrate

1,681

29

98.3%

5,712

31

99.4%

Nitrate (at tap)

1,525

5

99.7%

6,392

6

99.9%

Nitrate(at WTW)

330

9

97.3%

881

9

99.0%

Pesticides- Total

795

2

99.7%

1,275

2

99.8%

PAH

834

1

99.9%

1,321

1

99.9%

Selenium

817

0

100%

1,385

0

100%

Tetrachloroethene/Trichloroethene

742

0

100%

1,371

0

100%

THMs

980

45

95.4%

2,012

60

97.0%

Reference: EPA report 2005

The chart above of the 26 chemical parameters included, nine is in excess of 99% and reported to the authority chemical parameters in excess can be danger and sometimes harmfully for health.

3.3 Indicator Parameter

It is a diverse group of parameter to provide legally standards of quality of drinking water. The results of indicator parameter given should be less important than comparing the Microbiological or chemical monitoring with their respective parametric values. On the table below is shown in detail the indicators used to test the water samples on the indicator parameter.

Table : Total Number of Water Supply Zones (WSZs) Monitored and Samples Analysed for the Indicator Parameters.

Parameter

N0. Of WSZs Monitored

N0. of WSZs with Exceedances

% of WSZs Complying

N0. Of Samples Analysed

N0. Of Samples Exceeding

% of Samples Complying

Indicator parameters

Aluminium

1,305

191

85.4%

7,614

419

94.5%

Ammonium

2,214

49

97.8%

13,149

54

99.6%

Chloride

936

2

99.8%

1,688

5

99.7%

Clostridium perfringes

1,444

181

87.5%

9,477

267

97.2%

Colour*

2,215

312

85.9%

13,277

711

94.6%

Conductivity

2,223

0

100%

14,255

0

100%

Hydrogen ion Concentration

2,217

377

83.0%

13,392

724

94.6%

Iron

1,830

345

81.2%

6,997

662

90.5%

Manganese

1,470

175

88.1%

4,448

234

94.7%

Odour*

2,048

69

96.6%

12,451

197

98.4%

Oxidisability

51

13

74.5%

58

13

77.6%

Sulphate

873

1

99.9%

1,399

1

99.9%

Sodium

890

2

99.8%

1,516

2

99.9%

Taste*

1,136

24

97.9%

8,869

109

98.8%

Colony count 220C

855

139

83.7%

1,836

166

91.0%

Coliform bacteria

2,264

806

64.4%

13,924

1,648

88.2%

Total organic carbon (TOC)

735

0

100%

1,269

0

100%

Turbidity (ate the tap)*

2,085

127

93.9%

12,518

177

98.6%

Turbidity (at water treatment works)

241

84

65.1%

1,666

271

83.7%

Radioactivity

Tritium

15

0

100%

5510

0

100%

Total indicative dose

19

0

100%

0

100%

Reference: EPA report for 2005

*For several of the indicator parameters there are no specific standards in the regulations. There for comparison purpose, the sanitary authority concerns arbitrary levels and the quality of water should investigate further.

4. Conclusion:

The Epa in the only authority which supply annual report of drinking water standard and is the only authority entitle to investigate the parameters which not meet the properly Analysis.

The monitoring quality of water supplied is periodic and up to date to which the public have an access.

Group water schemes should meet the regulation established by the Environmental protection agency.

The water quality is one of the most important sources for human life and now it is analysed frequently to prevent humans decease by drinking polluted water.

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