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Importance of Water Quality inside Peru by laboratories certified in the NTP ISO/IEC 17025:2006

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
1. Water, sanitation and health
Author(s): Jorge O. Echevarria
Jorge O. Echevarria

Keyword(s): water quality, drinkable water, certified laboratories



Quality of drinkable water is important for health, well being and development of society. In order to guarantee this quality, we require an assessment by physical-chemical and microbiological parameters that would provide us the assurance that the water that reaches our homes is within the parameters established by the DS -031-2010-SA-DIGESA-PERU.

However, it is not enough doing analysis of water quality in a laboratory, but these have to be performed by a certified laboratory in the regulation NTP ISO/IEC 17025:2006 before the “Instituto Nacional de Calidad” (National Institute of Quality - INACAL). Here is the great problem cities inside the country have, where no certified laboratories are available or are very few. In Peru, there are 62 certified laboratories, and 85% are concentrated in the capital, and the difference in provinces. The importance on performing the analysis in certified laboratories gives us the confidence of the results issued.

This investigation was performed by the staff of the Health Engineering Laboratory from the Hydraulic, Hydrology and Health Engineering Institute from the Universidad de Piura, certified by the INACAL on July 25th 2016, after a two years process that included a diagnosis, implementation, start up and audits, becoming the first certified laboratory of the Piura Region.

The objective of this investigation is to determine if water quality in the distribution network of the sanitation company from Piura metes the standards of a certified regulation for human consumption usage.

The methodology used was taking samples at different areas (north, south, east and west) from three districts of the Province of Piura-Peru, and in each of them with three sampling points.

Analysis in physical-chemical and microbiological parameters were performed in the distribution network of those districts. The parameters investigated as the acceptance criteria were: pH, Electrical Conductivity, Total Dissolved Solids, Residual Chlorine, Total Coliforms, Thermo-Tolerant Coliforms, E. Coli and Heterotrophic Bacteria.

After analyzing the samples by the sampling, physical-chemical and microbiological personnel of the laboratory, it was determined that at the South Area of Piura, the water meets all the parameters except the free residual chlorine, which is under the minimum required. At the East and North Area, the water has high values of electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids surpassing the maximum values of 1500 mg/L and 1000 mg/L respectively. At the West Area, the water meets all the parameters investigated. With this study, we conclude that the water for human consumption for Piura does not meet the minimum required parameters by the General Management Office for Health.

Currently, some districts from Piura are supplied by aquifers, which contain many dissolved salts, and other areas are supplied by the Curumuy dam with surface waters, hence the governmental policies to improve water quality should be directed to change the source of water supply for all the Piura Region, promoting health and well being of citizens and the environment.

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