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Countermeasures following a radiological contamination of drinking water and drinking water sources

Maatregelen na een radiologische besmetting van drinkwater en drinkwaterbronnen


The possible radiological contamination of drinking water must be considered following a radiological event. Drinking water companies in the Netherlands are lawfully obliged to supply an acceptable amount of 'clean' emergency drinking water. One option is to utilize their emergency water reserves in order to minimize radiation exposure resulting from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. A second option would be to change the abstraction point of the raw water used to produce drinking water. These were the conclusions drawn by the RIVM following its investigation of possible recovery actions for handling such a situation. This first inventory of recovery actions aimed at managing radioactive contaminants in drinking water in the Netherlands was carried out by order of the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. There is an ongoing need for clean drinking water, and a rapid and effective recovery action is required following a radiological contamination incident. The two recovery actions proposed in the inventory are taken from a European Handbook and subsequently adapted to the Netherlands for implementation at the national level. The investigation also determined contamination levels in terms of their respective health risks and the countermeasures that should be taken. In addition, the report contains decision trees to determine the specific actions to be taken and annexes with worked-out scenarios. The emphasis of the report is on the management of radiological contaminants in drinking water that is delivered to the public as tapwater.

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