عنوان مقاله [English]
In the first quarter of the year 2007, the number of rural laboratories had grown from 90 units in the year 2003 to 166 units, showing a 87.93% growth while the quality parameters in the years 2004 and 2006 increased from 90.13 to 91.43% for residual chlorine and from 84.37 to 93.07% for lack of E.coli. Considering turbidity as the most important criterion, the indicator for acceptability of turbidity in terms of health (Turbidity <1NTU) reached 72.69% while its public acceptability and standard compliance (Turbidity <5NTU) reached 95.60%. Despite these achievements, there exist many shortcomings including inadequate samplings, delays in conducting tests, and retarded reports, which make it difficult to arrive at definitive judgments of rural water microbial quality. Other inadequacies awaiting immediate remedial measures include: lack of procedural documents for the special conditions in rural areas, qualifications of the personnel on the ground, dispersion of rural areas and the vastness of the country, inadequate monitoring due to shortage of specialists and their feeling of incompetence, worn-out installations and their improper maintenance and operation, and flaws in the recording and reporting activities. The following provisions are recommended to be made in order to properly address these shortcomings: setting up a national specialized committee on rural water quality; development of chlorination units and permanent laboratories; compiling new standards and guidelines for mobile labs; efforts to exercising greater discipline in data processing, analysis, and feedback; empowerment and training of staff; translation and documentation of managerial and technical documents required, and exercising intelligent central controls and monitoring.