2013 Conference of the International Medical Geology Association (25–29 August 2013)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


MARTÍNEZ-SACRISTÁN, Hernando, Geology, City University of New York City, 554 W. 53rd Street Room 6-I-1, New York, NY 10019 and MARTINEZ, Liza C., Universidad El Bosque, 100 Warren Street Apt. 814, Jersey City, NJ 07302, hernando.martinez@yorkmail.cuny.edu

In Colombia, several communities are at risk by drinking groundwater supply containing certain contaminants over the acceptable level established from both national sanitation authorities. It is necessary for groundwater aqueducts, industries, and farmers in general to follow all rules regarding the prevention and control of water contamination based on physical, chemical, biological or microbiological issues. However, some local authorities are too permissive if they are located in far rural areas or their budgets are not enough to transport water from a protected place. It is a high health threat to drill on certain terrains because we will increase health vulnerability for all biotic system around the area. In contrast, groundwater supply for agriculture and industries are considered at lower risk without logic reasons.

The Colombian government approved an official decree 475 of 1998, accepting some definitions against the Colombian health environment such as “Crude water, which has not been subjected to the treatment process.” “Drinkable water, which meets organoleptic, physical, chemical and microbiological, requirements under the terms specified in this Decree, which may be consumed by the human population without causing adverse health effects.”, and also, “Safe water, which without meeting some of drinkability standards defined in this decree can be consumed without risk to human health.” Later, the Colombian government recognized its biggest mistake, and then a new official decree 1575 of 2007 has been changing conditions allowing only Crude, Bottled, and Drinkable water definitions. The main social hazard is that people ignored a government decree’s chronology and could tolerate not drinkable water from their purveyor by legal unawareness. The main health risk is that some “Safe water” will be used.

The research includes information from several groundwater samples; for instance, authors will suggest both unrestricted and systematic national government’s crusade announcing from time to time, that it is necessary to mitigate health affectation via groundwater supply consumption without chemical, biological, microbiological, and physical issues. The Colombian Civil Defense will be an excellent canal for this public promotion.