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Water Quality check for new and existing urban water initiatives

De 'waterkwaliteitscheck' voor nieuwe en bestaande stedelijk waterconcepten : Het belang van aandacht voor de microbiologische kwaliteit van water in de stad (Dutch only, English synopsis)


Nowadays, concepts aiming at sustainable use of water and mitigating the effects of climate change are set up in many cities. Consequently, people may be exposed to urban water more often, and in a different way. Aside from the benefits, contact with this kind of water can cause health problems such as gastrointestinal, skin and respiratory complaints. RIVM therefore calls for more attention for water quality during the design, planning and realization of such initiatives. Possible health risks can often be reduced by applying simple modifications. To support this, the water quality check for urban water was developed.

By using the water quality check, it is possible to carefully map the potential health risks related to sustainable water initiatives. Based on this, it can subsequently be determined which modifications may reduce the observed health risks. The water quality check can also be used to screen existing initiatives, and to unravel the cause of health problems or disease outbreaks that have occurred.

Examples of initiatives for sustainable water use in cities are the reuse of waste water and the recovery of raw materials from waste water. There are also initiatives for the collection of storm water that cannot be discharged through the sewer, such as reopened canals in old town centres, plazas and water meadows (wadis). For this research, urban water initiatives and trends have been identified. For many of these, a health risk exists when people are exposed to the water. This was determined based on water quality data, the likelihood that people are exposed to this water, and previously occurred cases of illness related to similar initiatives.

To reference / cite this report use: DOI 10.21945/RIVM-2017-0012

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