Water Quality and Monitoring
Quality control of household water
Turku City Environmental Health Care regularly monitors both the chemical and microbiological quality of household water. Household water is also tested based on complaints.
Also the laboratory of Turku Water Utility inspects raw water repositories, the various stages of the purification process, purified water and tap water.
Quality control of beach waters
There are seven public beaches in Turku, out of which Ekvalla, Ispoinen, Saaronniemi and Sorttamäki are EU beaches. Other beaches are Brinkhall, Kansanpuisto and Maaria. Beaches are monitored regularly during the entire swimming season which lasts from the middle of June to the end of August.
Quality requirements of beach water
Evaluation and rating of the quality of beach water is based on the test results for intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli bacteria. Also cyanobacteria are monitored in a sensory manner.
There are four quality categories for beaches: excellent, good, satisfactory, and poor. Rating is decided based on test results of four swimming seasons. The quality category of a beach can be seen on the beach in question and on the Sports Services Center web site.
Waters containing cyanobacteria
Swimming in water containing cyanobacteria is not recommended and such water should not be used as household water. Water containing cyanobacteria may cause fever and irritation of skin, throat, eyes and respiratory ducts. Also many cyanobacteria produce harmful liver, nerve and cell toxins.
Quality control of swimming pool waters
According to legislation a health inspection official must regularly monitor the water quality of outdoor swimming pools, swimming halls, spas and water parks, as well as recreational, rehabilitative and massage facilities.
There are altogether about 30 swimming halls, institutions, outdoor swimming pools, hotels or spas in the Turku City area, and the Environmental Health Care monitors water quality in all of them. Monitoring test programmes and sample collection plans have been made for swimming pool waters, and they are updated every five years at least. Sampling frequency is determined by the number of swimmers. Samples are taken either by a representative of the swimming hall who has received training for sampling, or by a municipal health inspector. The laboratory delivers all sample results to Turku Environmental Health Care.
Microbiological and physical-chemical tests are conducted on swimming pool waters as per the decree by Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Trihalomethanes are measured once a year. In addition to the tests mentioned above, also nitrate is measured from infant swimming pools.
Test results of the latest water sampling are publicly on view on the notice board of the swimming hall.