Parameters of Water Quality - Interpretation and Standards, 2001, EPA
The aim of the handbook is to distil the principal facts and figures on a total of some 100 individual or group pollutants - information which is otherwise available, but in a wide variety of sources - into a single volume, in which the parameters are treated individually, in a generally uniform format. While there is a very large (and growing) body of scientific and technical literature in the field of water and wastewater analyses and their interpretation and significance, many publications, because of the thoroughness with which they deal with perhaps a very specialised aspect, do not contain in succinct "capsule" form those facts which are of most practical value.
Among the most relevant facts concerning each parameter are, of course, the limits (advisory or mandatory) which either scientific or medical opinion or legislative bodies consider applicable. Hence, there is a comprehensive presentation of all concentration levels specified either nationally or in the legislation of the EU. It is considered that the present compendium of guide and mandatory levels as set out in the relevant EU Directives, and the associated national Regulations made by the respective Ministers for the Environment (and Local Government) - and which is as comprehensive as possible at the time of writing - should prove a convenient reference source.
One major reason for the publication of the present handbook is the fact that the variety of analytical techniques and their complexity is growing, necessitating the presence of an increasingly high degree of specialisation in the laboratory. There is often an accordingly wide gap between those who perform a set of analyses and those who will be responsible for the interpretation of the results and the taking of any consequent action. It is the intention that this manual will help to bridge this gap.