4 Quality Management
360° drinking water analysis:
Qualified water – Contaminants and continuous monitoring
Water is the basis for a healthy life. It plays a
crucial role in almost all metabolic processes, as
well as in geological and ecological elementary
processes. The human body consists of over 70 %
water, as does the Earth’s surface.
Sophisticated, reliable water purification and
supply systems are a prerequisite for human
health and the prevention of epidemics worldwide.
Every day, a large variety of chemical substances
pose a high risk of contaminating our
drinking water, potentially causing disease and
This is why rigid controls and continuous monitoring
according to strict guidelines, including
the Euro pean Directive 98/83/EC and WHO
Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, make
drinking water the best monitored food in the
This and the next issue of Shimadzu NEWS will
highlight how drinking water as a basis for life
is controlled to guarantee and qualify its quality.
Authors: Uwe Oppermann (photo), Johannes
Hesper, Markus Janssen, Shimadzu Europa GmbH,
Marketing Europe, Analytical BU, 47269 Duisburg,
Although two thirds of the Earth’s surface are covered
by water, only 2,5 % is fresh water with low
concentrations of salt. An even smaller portion is
suitable for drinking, and only then when purified
before consumption. Specific chemical and physical properties
make the difference between potable and undrinkable water.
Groundwater and surface water from lakes and rivers, so called
raw water, is the most readily available resource for drinking
water production. But there’s a long way to go before the water
reaches the glass.
For example, ground water from great depths has a higher
content of minerals and carbon dioxide than water from layers
closer to the surface, while having a smaller amount of oxygen.
To enrich ground water with oxygen, air is blown through the
water while at the same time CO2 escapes from it. Iron and manganese
ions are flocculated using pH-sensitive processes. The
emerging flakes and other suspended particles affecting color
Figure 1: ICPMS-2030