Water quality characteristics are often classified as physical, chemical, (organic and inorganic) or biological and then further classified as health related or aesthetic. To characterize water effectively, appropriate sampling and analytical procedures must be established. Water sampling programs are undertaken to obtain:
- Information on the characteristics of potential and existing water sources
- Routine operating data on overall plant performance
- Data that can be used to document the performance of a given treatment operation or process
- Data that can be used to implement proposed new programs
- Data needed for reporting regulatory compliance .
Because water quality data will ultimately serve as a basis for implementing and supporting drinking water treatment facilities and programs, the sampling techniques used must ensure that the samples obtained are representative, reproducible, defensible and useful. Before a sampling program is undertaken, a detailed sampling protocol must be developed along with a quality assurance plan (QAP). Items typically specified in the QAP with respect to the collection of samples are reported in the attached Table.
An integrated strategy to improve and protect water quality from the disposal of olive oil mills’ wastes suitable for the entire Mediterranean region is described in detail in the following link (Water sampling strategy).