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The quality of drinking water in the Netherlands in 2010

De kwaliteit van het drinkwater in Nederland in 2010


Drinking water in the Netherlands in 2010 was of a good quality. Non-compliance to the standard for good quality drinking water occurred at 16 percent of the treatment plants, none of which represented a threat to public health. These are the main conclusions of the annual report 'The quality of drinking water in the Netherlands in 2010' compiled by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) by order of the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands (VROM). The most important results of the measurement programmes carried out by water supply companies are reproduced in this report. The report concludes that regulations governing the quality of the drinking water were well-observed.

The Inspectorate for VROM is responsible for enforcing the Drinking Water Act, which includes ensuring that the standards set by this Act for the presence of micro-organisms and chemicals are maintained. The Inspectorate is required to report the results of its control activities to both the responsible Minister and the Dutch Parliament. RIVM manages the data and produces the annual report.

The number of drinking water treatment plants with one or more non-compliances (33 = 16%), which fluctuates from year to year, was in 2010 at the same level compared with 2009. A large number of the non-compliances were incidental, involving substances/parameters related to production processes, such as turbidity, iron and manganese. There were no serious implications for public health.
There was an incidental non-compliance for only one pesticide at one treatment plant. Indicators for pathogens were not found at drinking water treatment plants. In the networks the indicators were found more frequently. Always the indicators were absent after resampling. The presence of Legionella bacteria in drinking water is tested when the water leaves the treatment plant and in the distribution network. No non-compliance at the treatment plant were found, while in samples taken randomly throughout distribution Legionella bacteria was detected at 28 sites. Contamination can result from standard maintenance/construction activities on the distribution network. In 91 of such cases the inhabitants of nearby houses were advised to boil their drinking water before using it.

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