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“No cause for alarm” on fireworks chemicals and tap water – WSC

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"No cause for alarm" on fireworks chemicals and tap water -WSCThe Water Services Corporation laboratory, referring to recent reports in some media on the presence of perchlorate in local tap water, explained that there is “absolutely no cause for concern or alarm on this matter.”

It added that the tests conducted by the ISO Accredited WSC Laboratory in 2017 directly on groundwater, including in Gozo, prior to blending with Reverse Osmosis (RO), found that the levels were around “50 times less than the WHO recommended limit.” Details are shown in above graph.

The WSC said that when Ground Water is mixed with RO water (currently at 40% Ground Water and 60% RO) these quantities are further diluted.

“These negligible amounts will be further reduced through the multi-million Euro EU funded upgrades that are being implemented by the Corporation that will ensure the most ideal blend of potable water (30% Ground Water and 70% RO),” it said.

The Water Services Corporation’s Laboratory carried out several tests for perchlorate in its water sources, with only 46% of these Ground Water sources, giving trace readings, it said.

“The maximum value reported in Ground Water was that of 2.7µg/L, with an average of 1.4 µg/L, these are way below the 2017 WHO updated guidelines that suggest a level of 70 µg/L.”

The WSC went on to say that the concentration in tap water averages less than 0.7 µg/L “and will go down to below detectable limits once the EU major project is fully implemented.”

“Ad-hoc tests which are being intensified, potable water testing is governed by EU legislation that includes regimented testing on a monthly basis,” it said.

According to the WSC, the amount of sampling conducted by the Corporation is proportionate to the volume of water produced, and to ensure even better monitoring,

The entire network is monitored on a monthly basis, WSC said. The laboratory also carries out the obligatory audit monitoring. The laboratory processes over 13,000 samples and carries out just under 103,000 different tests per year.

The WSC said that all the samples collected, as part of the monitoring and compliance regimes, “are within the requirements of the directive, and thus safe for drinking.”

“Microbiology, chemical, and radioactive parameters are all within the stipulated limits, meaning potable water from the mains is up to the necessary requirements to ensure safety for consumption,” it said.

Potable water is tested locally at the laboratory within the head office of Water Services Corporation in Luqa, where a team of scientists and lab technicians, carry out daily analysis to achieve the necessary requirements, with over 40 accredited tests, in various water matrices, ranging from drinking water to wastewater.

The laboratory employs a team of 6 scientists, 10 technicians, 3 samplers and 5 support staff, and all undergo continuous training and competence checks to ensure that the strictest requirements are adhered to, the WSC concluded.

The results of the tests carried out by the laboratory are published on a monthly basis on www.wsc.com.mt

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