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Best Practice Guide on the Management of Metals in Small Water Supplies

Matthew Bower Colin Hayes

150 pages
IWA Publishing
The management of small water supplies presents a unique challenge globally, in countries at all stages of development. A combination of lack of resources, limited understanding of the risks and poor expertise means that individuals and communities may face serious health risks from these supplies. This is not only due to microbiological contamination, but also from contamination by metals, either due to natural or man-made contamination of the source water or through leaching from plumbing materials due to inadequate conditioning and corrosion inhibition and use of inappropriate materials. 

This Best Practice Guide aims to share best practice and experience from around the world on a practical level. It looks at general issues relating to small supplies and ways of managing these, adopting a Water Safety Plan approach to deliver sound and lasting improvements to quality. Management techniques and treatment relating to specific metals will be covered, from a theoretical and practical perspective, to deliver a publication that will act as an authoritative guide for all those faced with the problem of ensuring the quality of a small water supply. Varied case-studies will help to illustrate issues and ways in which they have been resolved.  

Table of contents

The Difficulties of Managing Water Quality in Small Water Supplies; What are Small Supplies?; The Management and Regulation of Small Water Supplies; The Vulnerability of Small Water Supplies to Contamination by Metals; Water Safety Plans for Small Water Supplies; Making WSPs Work for Small Supplies; Teamwork- The Value of a WSP Team;     A Practical Guide to Developing a WSP for a Small Supply;   Practical Guidance for Risk Assessments; Establishing the Metals Problem: Risk Assessment, Sampling and Analysis; The Range of Possible Problems; Metal Solubility and Influencing Factors; Risk Assessment of Small Water Supply Systems; Sampling and Analysis; Consumer Awareness; Sources of Metals in Small Water Supplies; Origin of Contaminants; Contamination of Surface Waters; Contamination of Ground Water; Contamination from Treatment Processes; Contamination in Distribution Pipework; Contamination from Plumbing Fittings; Water Treatment Processes Available for Use on Small Water Systems; Process Selection; Types of Treatment; Practical Considerations of Treatment for Metals in Small Water Supplies; Iron; Manganese; Conditioning of Water to Prevent Dissolution of Plumbing Materials or Post-treatment Contamination; Treatment is Only Part of the Story; Indications and Effects of Post-treatment Metal               Contamination in Small Water Supplies; Establishing the Source of the Problem; Factors Controlling the Corrosion of Metals into Small Water Supplies; The Conditioning of Water to Minimise Corrosion; Manual of Individual Metals in Small Water Supplies, Aluminium, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Tin, Tungsten, Uranium, Vanadium, Zinc; Case Studies; Arsenic removal in Small Supplies in Italy; A New Borehole Supply with Iron Removal for a Single Property in England, UK; Metals in Small Water Supplies in Areas of Water Scarcity in African Regions; Unexplained Lead Contamination of a Small Water Supply in Northern Scotland


Matt Bower, Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland, UK

Colin Hayes, Swansea University, UK