Eight percent of the Belgian population is exposed to health risks related to the quality of water they drink according to a recent study by the European Commission. In all EU, close to 23 million people are exposed to the risks. Le Soir writes today that some stakeholders in Wallonia question the method used in the study. “It’s not very clear,” says Cédric Prevedello, technical advisor at Aquawal, the association of utilities for drinking water in Wallonia.
In Wallonia, where the water grid is older than in Flanders, there has long been a tendency not to devote sufficient funds to properly maintain the infrastructure, according to Benoît Moulin, spokesperson for the Walloon Water Company.
“There are pipes near Mons dating back to the end of the 19th century,” he says.
In terms of compliance with European standards on the microbiological quality of drinking water, the communes of Virton (for the period 2014-2016), and Vresse-sur-Semois are singled out, with analyzes detecting a non-compliant rate of bacteria present, according to Le Soir.
Virton differs because the municipality has chosen not to “chlorinate the water permanently, to distribute it pure to consumers”, according to explanations given by Alderman Vincent Wauthoz. Chlorine in small quantities is used as disinfection of drinking water.