Drinking-water must be free of pathogens, chemicals, impurities and any other pollutant causing human health problems. Latin- America and the Caribbean region present water-quality problems due to deficiencies in operating and maintenance and service continuity, the incorrect operation of water treatment plants and distribution networks and unstable household connection. Global trends in the drinking-water sector are directed towards methodological developments for assessing and managing risk in water- supply systems as a way of protecting public health. Implementing water safety plans (WSP) is a practice which is orientated twards ensuring drinking-water quality; its structure is based on multiple-barrier principles, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and systematic management approaches, such as ISO 9001:2000. International experience has shown the be- nefits of implementing WSP as a strategy for ensuring drinking-water quality and protecting public health. Current drinking-water regulations in Colombia require implementing risk mapping and evaluating a quality-index which will enable WSP to have good prospects for their short-term implementation.
drinking water; drinking water supply system; hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP); water quality; water safety plan (WSP)