News and activities
'Ensure access to water and sanitation for all' (UN). RIVM develops and provides access to knowledge about water quality and health, such as the quality of drinking water and bathing waters, as well as protecting sources of potable water. This combination of knowledge makes RIVM a unique resource in the Netherlands and in Europe. We disseminate our knowledge far and wide, thus contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Many challenges exist in monitoring (drinking) water quality, particularly in resource-limited settings. Currently available microbial water tests often have a number of limitations within this context and require specific expertise. Tests are often cumbersome and while new technologies are emerging that promise to be cheaper, more user-friendly and faster, their efficacy and suitability for water quality testing needs to be reviewed.
RIVM has developed an interactive user-friendly computational tool, QMRAspot, to analyse and conduct Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) for drinking water produced from surface water. In order to demonstrate the production of safe drinking water, Dutch drinking water companies must conduct a QMRA every four years for the so-called index pathogens enterovirus, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. The health-based target is set at a risk of infection of less one per ten thousand people per year (95-percentile). QMRAspot enables the user to collect raw data in the proper format and to automate the process of QMRA.
The SIF tool developed by RIVM (based on WHO GDWQ, 2nd ed.) provides a way tot perform sanitary inspections on a tablet or smart phone. Filled-out forms can be saved (as pdf’s) and printed for administrative purposes. A sanitary inspection is an on-site inspection of a water supply to identify actual and potential sources of fecal contamination or microbial risks. The physical structure and operation of the system and external environmental factors (such as latrine location) are evaluated. This information can be used to select appropriate remedial action to improve or protect the water supply in a qualitative and cost-effective manner.
The Interuniversity Cooperation Centre Water & Health (ICC Water & Health, TU-Wien Hydrology & Microbiology) and RIVM jointly developed an interactive user-friendly computational tool, QMRAcatch, for source-targeted simulation of microbial concentrations in rivers and river/floodplain systems, including Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA).