water can be produced from any natural sources like groundwater, lakes and rivers
(surface waters) or seawater.
Drinking water standards are set by the World Health organisation or by the European
Drinking water must be free of suspended solids, microorganisms and toxic chemicals.
Mineral concentration recommendation vary from country to country but most of the
minerals have a maximum concentration recommended to ensure safe, equilibrated and
pleasant water to drink.
For municipal drinking water, a special focus is carried on the corrosivity and
scaling potential of the water to maintain distribution piping in good shape. Typical
pH 8, TAC 8 and TH 8 are applied, when possible.
For bottled water, taste can vary upon calcium, magnesium, sulfate and iron content.
European Union Standards
The following parametric standards are included in the Drinking Water Directive and are expected to be enforced by appropriate legislation in every country in the European Union. Simple parametric values are reproduced here, but in many cases the original directive also provides caveats and notes about many of the values given.
- Acrylamide 0.10 μg/l
- Antimony 5.0 μg/l
- Arsenic 10 μg/l
- Benzene 1.0 μg/l
- Benzo(a)pyrene 0.010 μg/l
- Boron 1.0 mg/l
- Bromate 10 μg/l
- Cadmium 5.0 μg/l
- Chromium 50 μg/l
- Copper 2.0 mg/l
- Cyanide 50 μg/l
- 1,2-dichloroethane 3.0 μg/l
- Epichlorohydrin 0.10 μg/l
- Fluoride 1.5 mg/l
- Lead 10 μg/l
- Mercury 1.0 μg/l
- Nickel 20 μg/l
- Nitrate 50 mg/l
- Nitrite 0.50 mg/l
- Pesticides 0.10 μg/l
- Pesticides - Total 0.50 μg/l
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons 0.10 μg/l Sum of concentrations of specified compounds;
- Selenium 10 μg/l
- Tetrachloroethene and Trichloroethene 10 μg/l Sum of concentrations of specified parameters
- Trihalomethanes — Total 100 μg/l Sum of concentrations of specified compounds
- Vinyl chloride 0.50 μg/l