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[Quality of the spring fountain water in the basic health care area of Sigüenza, Spain].

  • Rodríguez García, Rita1
  • Martínez Muñoz, Carmen
  • Hernández Vizcaino, Domiciano
  • de Lucas Veguillas, Jesús
  • Acevedo de Pedro, M Luisa
  • 1 Centro de Salud de Sigüenza Carretera de Madrid No. 3 19250 Sigüenza Guadalajara.
Published Article
Revista espanola de salud publica
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2003
PMID: 12852335


Spring fountains undergo few or no analytical checks, especially those located far away from centers of population, which poses a health risk due to the possibility of disease-causing microorganisms and undesirable substances being in the water. This study is aimed at studying the spring contamination risk factors and determining the spring fountain water fitness for drinking. A cross-sectional, descriptive study, with investigation of the frequency and spread of the contamination risk factors depending upon the developed or undeveloped location of the spring. Two analytical checks, conducted six months apart, of the physicochemical and microbiological parameters selected for assessing the fitness for drinking of the water of 38 fountains included in the study. The most frequent contamination risk factors were: for fountains located in developed areas, grazing (53.8%), weeds (53.8%) and crossing wastewater (53.8%); for those located in undeveloped areas, grazing (72%), weeds (32%) and falling debris (32%). A total of 53.8% of the fountains located in developed areas and 60% of those in undeveloped areas were found fit for drinking in the first test; 76.9% and 68% having respectively been found fit in the second test. Solely 47.4% of the total were found fit for drinking in both of the tests. Microbiological contamination was found in 44.7% of the springs, and the physicochemical contamination in 13.1%. The contamination risk factors can have a bearing on a spring when sufficient protection is lacking, and the study thereof will provide keys as to the possibility and source of the contamination. When two analytical checks were made, there was a decrease in the percentage of fountains having water fit for drinking, which reveals the risk and susceptibility of these water supplies and the need and importance of regular health department checks.

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