Drinking Water Quality in Latvia
In general, the water resources f Latvia allow in full to ensure residents with drinking water of good quality. Drinking water is abstracted from ground water (excepting in Rīga and Ventspils), which has good and stable quality, but the outdated water supply networks significantly affect the appearance of water, making it unacceptable by consumers.
Improvement of drinking water quality is a priority of the National Environmental Protection Policy Plan. In 1998, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development accepted the Ground Water Protection Strategy. The priority objective of this strategy was complete supply of drinking water from safe ground water sources for all residents of Latvia.
In 2000, over half of the drinking water samples analyzed from centralized water supply systems in Latvia did not meet standards based on chemical parameters. The parameter most often causing the poor quality was a high iron content, as there are an insufficient number of iron removal systems in the country.
The inadequacy of water quality based on chemical parameters can be explained by the features of natural ground water sources in specific regions: high iron concentration and sulphate concentration (for example, in Jelgava, Jūrmala, and Olaine).
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