In Part 1, we looked at bacteria and viruses in water, common water treatment techniques to manage bacteria in water and common waterborne pathogens. In Part 2, we consider how pipe material, pipe age, the physical integrity of the water distribution system, the number and type of water storage systems, and water chemistry and flow may influence drinking water quality. We also look at water safety and disinfection strategies designed to protect water distribution systems and human health.
Drinking water quality is something we take for granted in the UK but it is still the preoccupation of Water Safety Group team members, microbiologists, site facility managers and water hygiene technicians. We now understand the greatest risk to human health is from waterborne pathogens, viruses and infections existing largely between water entering our buildings and the building water distribution system in it, as well as the last few metres before point of delivery. So how are microbes and pathogens in our water distribution systems best managed?
Despite vast improvements in water safety, drinking water is still occasionally contaminated with pathogens and waterborne illness continue to occur. Advances in microbiology are providing new ways for us to study and understand what microbes live and thrive naturally in our water distribution systems and how we can maintain clean, safe water in buildings and especially in the last few metres – at point of delivery.