Project is supported by Ukrainian Water Society “WaterNet”

FAQ

What problems are typical for water in Ukraine?

According to the United Nations report on the status of water resources in the world, Ukraine takes 95 place out of 122 possible on the quality of the water. The data of this authoritative organization should completely dispel our illusions about quality of water we drink and use in domestic.

The reasons of extremely poor water quality served to Ukrainians are the following:

  1. Ukraine belongs to countries with law water capacity
  2. All sources of incoming water in Ukraine accord to only 3 and 4 category of quality, what is characterized as "polluted water" and "dirty water"
  3. The poor condition of equipment on centralized water treatment stations and outdated technologies
  4. Chlorination of water leads to formation of a number organochlorine compounds which have toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic effects on the human body
  5. Service life of 60-70% of the country's water supply systems has already expired and they are in emergency condition.

Water in all regions of Ukraine with few exceptions contains high concentrations of chlorine, iron and manganese, hardness salts, organic compounds and characterized by high mineralization. The reasons of poor water quality served to Ukrainians are mainly caused by using surface water as a source of water inlet, virtually uncontrolled anthropogenic pollution, excessive chlorination and secondary pollution water during transportation.

The most polluted, in terms of drinking water supply, are river basins as the Dnieper, the Seversky Donets, rivers of Azov region, some inflows of the Dniester and the Western Bug.

Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions are the most critical. In these areas water quality is classified as extremely dirty (VI class). Here people often drink technical water, deviations from the norm sometimes up to 80% what caused by anthropogenic pollution (industry, domestic waste water) also because of the deterioration of water treatment facilities.

The purest regions in terms of drinking water are the western regions of Ukraine (except Lviv): Rivne, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Volyn regions. Quite a favorable situation considered in the Sumy, Poltava and Chernihiv regions.

Бережное отношение к воде. С чего начать?

Вода – самый постоянный и абсолютно незаменимый компонент нашей повседневной жизни. Нет ни одной бытовой операции, которую можно было бы осуществить без воды.
И в быту мы, украинцы, расходуем воду, не жалея, например в 2,5 раза щедрее, чем англичане, которые, в отличие от нас, намного лучше обеспечены водой.

Применение воды в быту можно условно разделить на такие категории:

Еда и напитки:

  • питье
  • приготовление пищи и напитков
  • приготовление льда
  • консервирование
  • пища и вода для домашних питомцев
  • полив комнатных растений

Гигиена:

  • купание
  • стирка
  • мытье посуды
  • мытье продуктов для приготовления пищи

 

Технические цели:

  • уборка
  • смыв унитаза

Если Вы не хотите тратить на воду больше, чем необходимо, и окружающая середа Вам не безразлична, воспользуйтесь советами по экономному расходу воды.

  1. Почините протекающие краны. Капание из крана – это 24 литра в сутки (720 л в месяц), а течь из крана – это 144 литра в сутки
  2. Отдавайте предпочтение «рычаговым» смесителям – они быстрее смешивают воду, чем смесители с двумя кранами, а значит, меньше воды уходит «впустую» пока вы подбираете оптимальную температуру воды
  3. Выключайте воду на время, когда Вы чистите зубы
  4. Подтекающий бачок унитаза – это до 2 тысяч литров воды в день, или до 60 тысяч литров воды в месяц! Вовремя устраняйте неисправности
  5. По возможности приобретайте экономичную сантехнику: например, унитаз с двумя режимами слива. Если сливной бачок вашего унитаза не оборудован двумя режимами слива, то избежать потерь воды поможет простое средство. Наполните 2-литровую пластиковую бутылку водой и поместите в бачок подобно шведам, которые для этих целей используют кирпич. Это нехитрое «устройство» позволит сэкономить до 20 л чистой воды в день
  6. При мытье посуды не держите постоянно кран открытым – это позволяет снизить потребление воды на мытье посуды в 3-5 раз. Использование посудомоечных машин – хоть и более дорогой, но эффективный способ экономии воды и электроэнергии на мытье посуды
  7. Используйте посудомоечную и стиральную машину только при полной загрузке
  8. Не размораживайте продукты под струей воды из крана
  9. Принимая душ, вы в 5-7 раз снижаете потребление воды по сравнению с тем, когда вы принимаете ванну. Воды тратится меньше, если использовать в душе экономичный рассеиватель с меньшим диаметром отверстий
  10. Установите насадки-распылители на краны. Это поможет сократить потребление воды

How does the water quality change during floods?

According to the results of the research, flood is a traditional time of deterioration of tap water. This is due to several factors.

Firstly, the quality of intake water sharply reduce due to a seasonal river pollution groundwater. Secondly, there is melting snow have accumulated a variety of pollution. Thirdly, at the urban water purification plants increase chemical dosing so the residual concentration of some reagents can come to drinking water.

The content of active chlorine

  • deterioration odor of the water,
  • amount of toxic products of chlorination increase.

Treatment plants enhance chlorination of water in the flood period, as a result we can notice remaining content of chlorine in water sharply increases.

Oxidation of water

Amounts of natural organic matter (NOM) increase in the water.

Water color

Amounts of NOM increase in the water.

The manganese content

It is also possible exceeding norm of manganese.

What problems are typical for tap water in Ukraine?

Tap water comes to our homes from the central water supply system. The income water for centralized water supply provided mainly from surface sources (near 70%) and partly from the ground aquifers.

The reasons of existing of some compounds in tap water, which made it different from the artesian water, are methods used by treatment plants and surface intake water sources.

For example, surface source is the reason of presence in tap water of organic substances that cause yellow color and astringent taste; in addition reaction with chlorine to form organochlorine compounds which are strong carcinogens and extremely dangerous for human health. The presence of chlorine and aluminum compounds in the tap water is conditioned by methods of disinfection used in our water treatment plants.

Tap water is familiar and comfortable. We just open the tap and get water without worrying about searching sources of water and its treatment. We think these questions must be solved centrally for us.

However, according to the Ministry of Health, there are a number of problems with tap water requiring serious consideration and solutions:

  1. The most sources of incoming water in Ukraine accord to only 3 and 4 category of quality, what is characterized as "polluted water" and "dirty water"
  2. 25% volume of water from central supply does not accord to the current already obsolete drinking water standard
  3. Poor functioning of central water supply system caused by outdated equipment, lack of productivity, delayed repairs, violation technological rules of operation what aggravates the problem of secondary water pollution: there are appearance of displeasing odor, reducing transparency, increasing content of iron, copper, zinc and other heavy metals in the water, engrossing bacteria and toxic components from structural sealing materials.
  4. Using chlorine as a disinfectant agent leads to formation of a number of organochlorine compounds what have toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic effect on the human body.

What problems are typical for artesian water?

Artesian wells (from the name of French province Artois, which were first documented flowing wells in 1126 year) are sources of decentralized water supply. Artesian water is underground water under the pressure which enclosed in the aquifer rocks between waterproof layers. They occur mainly in earth sediments that have arisen on the depth more than 50 meters and form artesian basins long before humans.

Each artesian basin contains water with different chemical compounds depending on the conditions of their formation:

  • highly mineralized, frequently chloride type of water, occur in the deeper parts of the basin
  • slightly mineralized, hydrocarbonate type of water, occur in the upper layers

There are three large basins of artesian water in Ukraine: Volyn-Podolsk, the Dnieper-Donets and Prichnernomorsk pools. Generally accepted that artesian water is cleaner than water from other sources, but it is not true. It is really well protected from ambient contamination because it is located deep under the ground nevertheless its quality is far from the norm.

Artesian water is the completely opposite to the tap water in the chemical contaminants and impurities. It is characterized by:

  • large number of suspensions from the soil
  • high mineralization (high content of salts)
  • high concentrations of iron and manganese (it is often accompanied by iron)
  • high hardness
  • lack of active chlorine
  • nitrates are a consequence of irregular use of fertilizers in agriculture what are the one of the worst pollutants for the artesian boreholes, usually caused by violation of the technical conditions for its development and operation
  • microorganisms are poorly represented (but may be found more harmful microorganisms than in the municipal water)

All over the world, water from artesian wells is considered as wealth and strategic reserve of the country and stay under a strict control by the government. The lack of rigorous supervision of drilling wells has led to sharp quality deterioration in recent years in Ukraine. About 32% samples of drinking water taken from the sources of decentralized water supply do not accord to the standards of sanitary and chemical standards, and about 23% - bacteriological.

There are regions in Ukraine where groundwater contaminations have total character. This is primarily Donetsk, Luhansk and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Incidents of local pollution of artesian aquifers are quite often. Violation in the technical conditions of drilling wells leads to pollution deep layers of the borehole by less clean waters in upper layers of the aquifer. In areas of active agriculture, where pesticide load is high enough, artesian water must be first (and then periodically) checked on the content of heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides.

What problems are typical for water from wells?

Well is the oldest symbol of the Ukrainian village and were invented many centuries ago. It is a vertical borehole for obtaining groundwater with fortified walls and mechanism for lifting water to the surface; it can be a bucket on a rope or a mechanical pump.

The main destination of the well is proving people with clean water in everyday life. If you want to retain water quality, the well should be covered for protecting it from the falling into insects and small animals, rainfall, dust and dirt.

Even through correct usage water quality in the well is not perfect, for the more it is getting worse in time. There are more than 40 000 wells in Ukraine but near 40% of it cannot satisfy the requirements of basic health and safety standards.

Water from the well has the same typical problems as others water sources in Ukraine. Here is the list of it: hardness, existence compounds of iron, manganese, aluminum, nitrates, ammonium, organic substances of natural origin and many others compounds incompatible with a healthy lifestyle.

Naturalness of clean cool water from the wells cannot be replaced even by the most modern water supply. However, regular monitoring water quality and needed treatment decision are absolutely necessary acts for keeping water clean and complying to the requirements.

 

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