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Drinking Water Standards

Human health, in both developing and developed countries throughout the world, depends on the quality of available drinking water and whether it meets responsible health standards. There are potential risky contaminants found in drinking water including infectious agents, toxic chemicals and radiological hazards, so preventive management is necessary, requiring precisely accurate measurements on the path from water resource to consumer.




When it comes to regulating what is considered acceptable drinking water, there are recommended international standards, but different countries have different levels of strictness, and even within countries, regulatory effectiveness concerning testing and treatment can vary greatly. A government’s Ministry or Department of Health, or a special agency like the EPA, sets the national standards. But even with strict measures in place, it is practically impossible to test water for all of the many possibly harmful organisms that might be present, at any given time.


In terms of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against consuming water containing more than 500mg/liter, otherwise known as 500 parts per million (ppm) of TDS, although many health specialists believe that ideal drinking water should be under 50 ppm or lower. The average tap water in America contains approximately 350 ppm of TDS although it is not uncommon for municipal or local water supplies to exceed this. If TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L, however, it is generally considered harmful to human health and should not be consumed.


In order to make drinking water safe, developed countries use chemicals to treat and disinfect the water, although these additives should not present any possible health risk.


Some of the things that health authorities check for and regulate in making sure that water is safe include:


·    pH

·    Presence of dissolved oxygen

·    Color

·    Hardness

·    Presence of bacterial growth

·    Conductivity (TDS)

·    Algae, algal toxins and metabolites



Author: Joel Gershon

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Did You Know?

Water is our planet's most precious resource.

  • The average American uses about 50 gallons (190 liters) of water daily.
  • Flushing a toilet uses 2 to 7 gallons (7.5 to 26.5 liters) of water.
  • A five-minute shower uses 25 to 50 gallons (95 to 190 liters) of water.
  • Leaving the water on while brushing your teeth wastes 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water each time!
  • At least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages.
  • Water is the original health drink.  It contains no fat, no calories and no cholesterol.