CRIPES members recently visited Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s state-of-the-art laboratory, Newport, to gain insight into the processes involved in analysing drinking water samples to ensure the highest possible quality for its three million customers. Using high tech equipment, capable of detecting a single drop of contaminant in the equivalent of 20 Olympic swimming pools, the laboratory analyses approximately 300,000 drinking water samples annually. Specific labs conduct microbiological and chemical tests on river, reservoir and spring samples including those for acidity, alkalinity, odour, metal contaminants, pest and herbicides.
A highlight for CRIPES members was a demonstration on testing for Cryptosporidium; a protozoan parasite that can cause cryptosporidiosis in humans. Symptoms typically include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Filtration technology using sand or diatomaceous earth filters removes 99% of Cryptosporidium from our drinking water. Minimising contamination risk involves protecting raw water sources by effectively managing the surrounding catchment area. To learn more about Welsh water and investigate water quality in your local area, visit their website here.