Ingeniería e Investigación
versão impressa ISSN 0120-5609
TORRES, Patricia et al. Applying water quality indexes (WQI) to the use of water sources for human consumption . Ing. Investig. [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.3, pp. 86-95. ISSN 0120-5609.
Naturally occurring and anthropic contamination of water sources limits the use of water for human consumption. Fast and representative tools, such as water quality indexes (WQI), allow performing an integral assessment of the resource, this being essential when making decisions about the management and control of sanitary risks through different purification processes. A comparative analysis of applying WQI-NSF, Dinius WQI, ICAUCA and UWQI indexes at five points or stations on the Cauca River located in the Salvajina-Puerto Mallarino water uptake section, gave evidence of growing river deterioration due to the different socio-economic activities carried out in the river basin. This water quality condition brings about the incorporation of additional or specific treatment operations such as activated carbon or adsorption for the destination of the resource for human consumption. The presence of pathogens and particulate material were the variables mostly affecting WQI value. It is thus recommended that the development or adaptation of an index having a similar structure to the DQWI index should be considered to make a thorough river assessment and the additional use of soil which might generate the presence of other substances causing a sanitary risk in the source, considering variation in time and space of the parameters comprising it and its comparison with current legislation.
Palavras-chave : sanitary risk; water quality index (WQI); water treatment.