AMBIO

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 377–390

Microbial Contamination of Groundwater at Small Community Water Supplies in Finland

Authors

    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
    • Department of Environmental HealthNational Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Päivi Karinen
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
  • Ilkka T. Miettinen
    • Department of Environmental HealthNational Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Heidi Lettojärvi
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
    • ÅF-Consult Oy
  • Annika Heikkilä
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
    • Haapaveden kaupunki
  • Reetta Maunula
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
  • Vesa Aula
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
  • Henry Kuronen
    • Research DepartmentFinnish Food Safety Authority Evira
  • Asko Vepsäläinen
    • Department of Environmental HealthNational Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Liina-Lotta Nousiainen
    • Research DepartmentFinnish Food Safety Authority Evira
  • Sinikka Pelkonen
    • Research DepartmentFinnish Food Safety Authority Evira
  • Helvi Heinonen-Tanski
    • Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Eastern Finland
Report

DOI: 10.1007/s13280-010-0102-8

Cite this article as:
Pitkänen, T., Karinen, P., Miettinen, I.T. et al. AMBIO (2011) 40: 377. doi:10.1007/s13280-010-0102-8

Abstract

The raw water quality and associations between the factors considered as threats to water safety were studied in 20 groundwater supplies in central Finland in 2002–2004. Faecal contaminations indicated by the appearance of Escherichia coli or intestinal enterococci were present in five small community water supplies, all these managed by local water cooperatives. Elevated concentrations of nutrients in raw water were linked with the presence of faecal bacteria. The presence of on-site technical hazards to water safety, such as inadequate well construction and maintenance enabling surface water to enter into the well and the insufficient depth of protective soil layers above the groundwater table, showed the vulnerability of the quality of groundwater used for drinking purposes. To minimize the risk of waterborne illnesses, the vulnerable water supplies need to be identified and appropriate prevention measures such as disinfection should be applied.

Keywords

Drinking water safetyE. coliFaecal contaminationGroundwaterSmall community water supplyWater quality

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010