It is proposed that the next revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines will include ‘health-based targets’, where the required level of potable water treatment quantitatively relates to the magnitude of source water pathogen concentrations. To quantify likely Cryptosporidium concentrations in southern Australian surface source waters, the databases for 25 metropolitan water supplies with good historical records, representing a range of catchment sizes, land use and climatic regions were mined. The distributions and uncertainty intervals for Cryptosporidium concentrations were characterized for each site. Then, treatment targets were quantified applying the framework recommended in the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality 2011. Based on total oocyst concentrations, and not factoring in genotype or physiological state information as it relates to infectivity for humans, the best estimates of the required level of treatment, expressed as log10 reduction values, ranged among the study sites from 1.4 to 6.1 log10. Challenges associated with relying on historical monitoring data for defining drinking water treatment requirements were identified. In addition, the importance of quantitative microbial risk assessment input assumptions on the quantified treatment targets was investigated, highlighting the need for selection of locally appropriate values.
- drinking water
- guidelines for drinking water quality
- health-based targets
- quantitative microbial risk assessment
- First received 5 December 2014.
- Accepted in revised form 19 January 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2015