A free resource is available for compiled environmental guidelines and standards on the ESdat website. The resource includes standards and guidelines for the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and WHO. Standards are available for air, water and soil and feature drinking water standards.
Life depends on water. Sustenance of life, therefore, requires a nominal supply of clean water. The guidelines for drinking water quality are used as a tool for promoting the protection of public health. The aim of the drinking water standards and guidelines is to regulate contaminants into levels that they cannot be harmful to public health. In the US the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the organization tasked with setting standards of the quality of drinking water. The agency also oversees localities, states, and water suppliers who implement the set standards. In the United States, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 ensures that all public water systems adhere to the standards and regulations set by EPA (Cdc.gov, 2018).
The agency, therefore, provides a limit of every contaminant of the water supplied to people for drinking. Apart from setting the maximum levels for about 90 different contaminants which include radionuclides, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, disinfection by-products, disinfectants, and microorganisms, EPA also provides guidelines for treatment techniques of these contaminants.
The above regulations do not, however, apply to bottled water in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration is the one that ensures that bottled water is safe for drinking. Other countries have drinking water quality guidelines found on government websites or via the ESdat Environmental Standards page. http://esdat.net/Environmental_Standards.aspx
Access to safe drinking water is one of the fundamental human rights in developed countries. Safe and reliable drinking water is also a cost-effective measure of preventing diseases (Cdc.gov 2018). In general, the purpose of water quality guidelines and standards is to ensure that all people within a country have access to safe drinking water. This way, diseases caused by contaminated water are reduced. According to Hancock, (2018), 80% of diseases in developing countries are caused by contaminated water, and 30% of work productivity is lost because of these diseases.
The guidelines are there to provide directions for the maximum limit of every contaminant in water and various ways of reducing the number of contaminants to acceptable levels. This ensures that people do not suffer from diseases as a result of contamination as it has been witnessed in developing countries.
For more information on drinking water standards and environmental resources please visit the ESdat Environmental Standards page.
ESdat, Environmental Data Management Software, is developed by Earth Science Information Systems (EScIS), and used for a variety of applications including contaminated/industrial sites, groundwater investigations, general site environmental management and landfill. https://esdat.net/
EScIS provide environmental and groundwater database software, consultancy, advisory, programming, customization, implementation, and training services.
EScIS also develop and resell the ESdat suite of software. ESdat is used worldwide and is the most widely used environmental and groundwater data management and analysis package in the Asia / Pacific.