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Risk Assessment of Water Intakes in South-Eastern Poland in Relation to the WHO Requirements for Water Safety Plans

Published: 14 October 2021
 by  MDPI

Abstract: Since 2017, risk assessments for water intakes in Poland have provided the basis for decisions to establish indirect water protection zones. The preventive, risk-based approach and the related risk minimization measures are required under the provisions of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption. This approach is in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for water safety plans. The aim of this study was to present a methodology and to carry out a risk assessment of the threats to surface water intakes, which in Poland, should be completed by the end of 2022. Risk assessments were performed for four onshore-type surface water intakes located in south-eastern Poland. The results were presented in aggregate form, which enabled clear presentation and conclusions. It was found that the greatest risks are associated with seasonal changes in water quality (mainly high turbidity and water blooms), unregulated sewage management, the occurrence of floodwater flows and catastrophic events caused by the potential failure of wastewater treatment plants. Based on the results of the risk assessment, the need to establish new, or to adjust the existing, protection zones for the analyzed water intakes was identified.
Keywords: threat identification / risk assessment / water intake protection zones

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