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The quality and composition of drinking water in Szeged

Szegedi Vízmû Zrt. produces the drinking water of Szeged and Algyő from wells situated 180-560 metres deep, and these wells are based on 10000-year-old protected water layers. The good quality drinking water of Szeged is produced from different layers of this water base. The quality of the drinking water meets the requirements of both Hungarian and EU regulations regarding drinking water quality.
 

The quality requirements for drinking water are prescribed by a Hungarian Government Decree, thus the preservation of the drinking water quality is a key task for Szegedi Vízmű. The physical and chemical parameters are tested against remarkably strict regulations in our accredited laboratory, which holds a quality assurance certificate. Bacteriological analyses are carried out by the Department of Water Microbiology of the Institution of Clinical Microbiology of Szent-Györgyi Abert Clinical Center at the University of Szeged. Water samples are taken from the drinking water system at 28 consumption points around the town, at the water towers and the waterworks sites. Testing is performed fortnightly carried out by our experts, which means more than one thousand samples taken in one year, i.e. over ten thousand examinations annually.

In addition, the ÁNTSZ (Hungarian National Health and Medical Officer Service) takes random samples and tests the quality of the drinking water. The water in Szeged is bacteriologically suitable, it does not contain elements harmful to human health, and is excellent in terms of chemical composition and healthcare.

The characteristic features of the water in Szeged:
Temperature: 22-25°C on average
Hardness: 108 CaO mg/l (medium hardness) *
Sodium content: 38,1 mg/l (suitable for drinking and plant watering)

The nitrite and nitrate content is rather low, so it is not harmful to human health. The amount of arsenic is below the average of the samples taken in the south-eastern region, therefore it is not harmful to human health even without treatment. The ammonium content is a typical characteristic of deep water layers. Other toxic metal content (chrome, cadmium, copper, nickel, mercury, selenium and lead) is not significant, and technically it equates to zero.


* the German standard for hardness (nk) is the 10th of CaO content, so 110 CaO mg/l hardness equals 11 German hardness level (nk°). The measure can be indicated in "°d" or "°dH". In the region of Szeged this value hardly changes (10-11 nk), i.e. the wells produce nearly the same quality of water.  
The average of the main characteristics of the drinking water samples retained at consumers in 2013

Characteristic Measure Limit 201/2001Kr Lowest limit Average year Maximum Minimum
turbidity NTU *   0,81 2,72 0,12
Ammonium mg/l 0,5 0,01 0,69 1,07 0,32
Nitrite mg/l 0,50 0,01 0,006 0,04 0,00
Iron mg/l 0,200 0,020 0,114 0,047 0,019
Manganese mg/l 0, 050 0,010 0,034 0,047 0,013
chemical demand of oxygen mg/l 5,00 0,20 0,96 1,46 0,60
conductivity µS/cm 2500 2 431 486 374
pH   6,5-8,5   7,64 7,99 7,17
Arsenic mg/l 0,010 0,002 0,007 0,009 0,004
All active chlorine** mg/l     0,27 0,52 0,13
Free active chlorine** mg/l     0,18 0,43 0,10
Combined active chlorine** mg/l 3,00   0,09 0,24 0,02
Nitrate mg/l 50 0,7 0,108 0,200 0,000
Chloride mg/l 250 2 2,9 4 1
Sulphate mg/l 250 2 2,30 3,00 2,00
m alkalinity mmol/l   0,1 5,70 5,90 5,50
p alkalinity mmol/l   0,1 <0,1 <0,1 <0,1
All hardness CaO mg/l 50-350 2 108 123 97
Chloroform µg/l   1 1,7 4,0 0,3
bromodichloromethane µg/l   1 0,2 0,9 0
dibromochloromethane µg/l 1   0 0 0
Bromoform µg/l   1 0 1 0
All trihalo-methane µg/l 50 1 2,0 5,1 0,3
Sodium mg/l 200 1 38,11 44,10 33,70
Potassium mg/l   1 1,25 1,30 1,20
Antimony µg/l 5,0 2,0 0,20 1,95 0,00
Aluminium µg/l 200 2 9,36 22,00 0,00
Boron mg/l 1,0 0,1 0,06 0,07 0,06
Mercury µg/l 1,0 0,4 0,2 0,66 0,01
Nickel µg/l 20 2 0,28 1,60 0,00
Selenium µg/l 10 2 0,17 1,21 0,00
Lead µg/l 10 1 0,50 5,30 0,00
Fluoride mg/l 1,5 0,07 0,06 0,06 0,04
Cyanide mg/l 0,050 0,005 0,00 0,00 0,00
Copper mg/l 2,0 0,1 0,005 0,011 0,00
Chrome µg/l 50 5 0,03 0,17 0,00
Cadmium µg/l 5,0 1,0 0,00 0,01 0,00

*there are no strange changes, own rule <2 NTU sufficient, <5 NTU acceptable (in case of surface water, recommended turbidity value 1,0 NTU for the plant leaving water)
** not accredited, instrumental measurements at the scene


In addition, we examine the bacteriological and biological parameters fortnightly in samples taken from consumption points. The results prove that the drinking water in Szeged meets the requirements of both the Hungarian Government Decree and the Health and Medical Officer Service.




 

Bacteriological values according to 676 samples taken at certain consumers


  Number of organism 22 oC Number of organism 37 oC Coliform E. coli Pseud. aeruginosa Entero-coccusok Clostr. perfr.
Measure number / 1 ml   number / 100 ml  
Limit 500 500 0 0 0 0 0
Average 2013. 2 3 0 0 0 0 0
max.2013. 217 384 0 0 2 0 0
min.2013. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Values of microscopic biological examinations according to 93 samples taken at certain consumers


  Sediment Protozoon Worms Bacteria Fungus Thread bacteria Other bacteria Alga Other organisms
Measure ml/l number/l
Limit 0,1 0 0 0 0 20000 100 1000  
Average 2013. <0,1 0,5 0 0 0 38 9 0 0
max.2013. 0 50 0 0 0 650 100 0 0
min.2013. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0