The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has launched a study for continuously improving the quality of drinking water in the country to match the guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Kahramaa is collecting around 10,000 water samples annually from different parts of its water supply system. The samples are subject to around 50 laboratory tests that cover different bacteriological, physical and chemical water supply parameters.
The initial results of the studies, conducted by Kahramaa’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Department in association with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), were excellent with monthly compliance percentages of bacteriological characteristics, indicated by the absence of coliforms, ranging between 99.99 percent and 100 percent, a report released by Kahramaa has said.
As for the physical water quality characteristics including odour, colour, taste, temperature and turbidity, 95 percent of the annual samples tested were compliant with Kahramaa’s requirements. The few non-compliant cases, in general, were the result of turbidity due to the presence of suspended particles that usually affect water’s appearance but have no health impact, the preliminary study report said.
As for the chemical characteristics, the samples showed 98 percent compliance with WHO guidelines and Kahramaa’s requirements on metals, salts, organic pollutants and organic and inorganic disinfectant by-products. Kahramaa’s target is to achieve 100 percent compliance with WHO guidelines.
Besides the water quality monitoring programmes, Kahramaa is also verifying water quality through routine sanitary inspections of its water facilities from the source to the customer network connection point. These inspections are meant to prevent any health hazard due to poor water quality.
“In 2008, 62 water verification samples were collected where the results were 100 percent complaint with local regulations and WHO guidelines. Kahramaa shares the responsibility of water quality monitoring with other public and private entities in the country, including the Supreme Council of Health, Ministry of Environment and the private water production companies. The water quality results and reports issued from these parties for the year 2008 indicated 100 percent compliance with local standards and WHO guidelines”, the report said.
In addition to the water quality tests, Kahramaa is also engaged in conducting a study for the evaluation of potential risks to drinking water quality. The study includes hazard analysis, risk evaluation and classification for different locations — from the desalination point to the taps.
Kahramaa has implemented many projects for the improvement of water quality, including a round-the-clock water pumping programme, the installation of a system for continuous water quality monitoring in all main reservoirs, the replacement and extension of water mains and distribution networks, updating of water tankers specifications, a consultation study for the rehabilitation of tanker filling stations, and a study of the efficiency of disinfection and the impact of different disinfectants on water quality characteristics.
Kahramaa is expected to publish the final report by the year-end.
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