Things we do in CIMA 17: Drinking water analysis

Drinking water analysis

From CIMA (Centro de Investigaciones Medioambientales del Atlántico, S.L.) (Atlantic Environmental Research Center), we want to show you what we do in and out our offices.


On this page you can find a series of small videos called "Things we do in CIMA", which will help us to explain what we do and how we do it. All this to approach the world of marine biology and oceanography.



- "Things we do in CIMA" #17: Drinking water analysis:

As you have seen in previous videos, some of our services are closely linked to wastewater in general. But we also deal with the drinking water you consume at home, public fountains, hotels, etc.

Periodically we take drinking water samples to analyze in our laboratory. All data obtained from analysis are collected, stored and interpreted. Any non-compliance of any of the parameters analyzed (ie, its concentration is greater than that established) must be confirmed, so that a sample of water will be taken again within 24 hours of detection and the health authority will be notified. A non-compliance requires an investigation of the cause that originated it, and the guarantee that is applied as soon as possible the corrective and preventive measures for the protection of the health of the population supplied.


Parameters that are usually controlled in the consumer's tap are, at least: odor, taste, color, turbidity, conductivity, pH, ammonium, coliform bacteria, E. Coli, copper, chromium, nickel, iron, lead, residual free chlorine and residual combined chlorine. As we are taking samples, we measure out pH, conductivity and chlorine. On the same day samples are transported to the laboratory in sterile bottles and in refrigerated isothermal containers, to avoid their degradation. In our laboratory we analyze odor, taste, color, turbidity, microbiology, etc.

Water quality is determined by comparing the physical and chemical characteristics of a water sample with water quality guidelines or standards. In the case of drinking water, these standards are established to ensure a healthy water supply for human consumption and, thus, protect people's health. These standards are based on acceptable levels of toxicity for both people and aquatic organisms.

Drinking water quality is regulated in all EU countries by Directive 98/83/EC. And, in Spain, drinking water quality is articulated through RD 140/2003.


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