Since 1995 the discharge of polluting substances into water bodies of Ukraine has been decreasing every year. In 1998 this quantity was 3,249,300 tons, which was 18,000 tons less than in 1997.
Water consumers discharged the highest quantity of polluting substances into the Dnieper - 757,000 tons (23%), the Siversky Donets - 588,000 tons (18%), the Dniester - 78,000 tons (2.4%), the Black Sea - 61,600 tons (1.9%) and the Sea of Azov - 148,000 tons (4.6%).
As in the previous years the highest quantity of pollutants discharged into water bodies were generated by the regions as follows: Donetsk - 1,534,000 tons, Lugansk - 391,000 tons, Dniepropetrovsk - 327,000 tons, Zaporizhzhia - 213,000 tons and Kharkiv - 127,000 tons.
In 1998, 1,972,500 tons of polluting substances were discharged by industry, 1,115,800 tons by municipal services and 151,000 tons by agriculture.
The dynamics of discharge of polluting substances into water bodies by regions for 1992-1997 is given in Table 3.20.
The dynamics of discharge of polluting substances into the rivers and seas of Ukraine is shown in Table 3.21.
The volumes of the wastewater discharges into rivers are given in Table 3.22.
In 1998 the total capacity of wastewater treatment plants as compared to 1997 increased by 12 million m3 and comprised 8,284 million m3. The capacity of water treatment plants before discharge of the wastewaters into the water bodies has increased by 42 million m3 and reached 7,881 million m3 (Table 3.23).
In Donetsk Region the capacity of water treatment plants has risen by 123,000,000 m3, in Khmelnytskyi by 7,400,000 m3 , Chernigiv by 3,600,000 m3 , Chernivtsi and the city of Sevastopol by 1,200,000 m3 , in Poltava by 300,000 m3 and in Zaporizhzhya regions by 100,000 m3
The capacity of water treatment plants of other regions of Ukraine is decreasing yearly, especially in Lugansk, Mykolaiv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Cherkasy regions and in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.
In 1998, therefore, by the sanitary-chemical indices in the systems of the centralized water supply, 12.5% of the tested samples did not meet the requirements of the State Standard "Drinking Water" ("Pytna voda") and by bacteriological indices - 6.2%. For the public water pipe-lines the figures were 10.3% and 4.6% , respectively, for departmental water pipe-lines 12.6%, and for agricultural pipe-lines they were 16.1% and 9.3%, respectively. In 1998 the total quantity of water samples deviating from the standard by sanitary-chemical and bacteriological indices remained practically at the same level as 1997.
By the sanitary-chemical indices the highest percentage of deviations in the centralized water systems was observed in the regions of Dniepropetrovsk (62.2%), Donetsk (34%), Lugansk (23.7%) and Zaporizhzhia (20.6%); by bacteriological indices in the regions of Ternopil (12.1%), Mykolaiv (10.2% ), Donetsk (9.6%), Zakarpattya (9.2%) and Zaporizhzhia (9.1%).
The state of the water supply systems remains extremely unsatisfactory. Out of 3,203,585 tested samples of potable water from water supply lines, 2,328 (11.4%) did not meet the requirements of hygienic standards (out of them 63.6% by organoleptic properties, 26.2% by general mineralization, 12.8% by the content of chemical substances which exceeded the State Standard by the sanitary-toxicological indices, including 6.1% by nitrates). Out of 299,404 samples of potable water from water-supply lines, 18,462 (6.2%) had deviations from the standard by their microbiological indices, including 95.4% for the coli-index.
The state of water supply in rural areas is extremely unsatisfactory because of the chemical and bacterial pollution of the majority of local water sources. In Ukraine the population of one fifth of the villages is using services of potable water supply for centralized housing. A considerable part of the centralized systems of water supply is operating irregularly and supplying water of a quality not meeting state standards. Each ninth sample of potable water from rural water pipe-lines and each fourth sample from sources of the decentralized water supply do not meet the hygienic requirements and bacteriological indices; each sixth and third samples of potable water have deviations from the acting standard by the sanitary-chemical indices, respectively. In a number of regions water is supplied mainly by pipe-lines. The rest of the rural population is using water from wells and individual holes, the majority being in a unsatisfactory sanitary-hygienic state.
In Ukraine quality control of water from surface water bodies of the first and second category shows that they are polluted either by untreated or insufficiently treated sewage. There are 2,351 points of discharges into rivers, lakes and ponds, of which 40.2% of the domestic discharges and 40.7% of the industrial sewage do not meet sanitary-hygienic requirements due to the absence of or insufficient purification.
From the tested samples taken from water bodies of the first category, 19.9% did not meet the hygienic requirements by the sanitary-chemical indices, 22.9% by the microbiological ones, including 1.42% of samples contaminated with agents of infectious diseases.
By water bodies of the second category these indices were 20.6, 18.8 and 0.6% , respectively.
The highest rate of fecal pollution of water bodies in 1998 was registered in water bodies of the first category in Zakarpattya (53.2%), Lugansk (51.7%), Odesa (34.5%), Chernivtsi (34.1%) and Zhytomyr (31.9%) regions; in water bodies of the second category the highest rates were found in the city of Sevastopol (75.0%) and in Donetsk (43.5%), Lugansk (41.0%), and Chernivtsi (31.5%) regions.
Pollution of water bodies by different chemical compounds and significant fecal contamination are related to the discharge of systematic, accidentally untreated and insufficiently treated sewage.
The unsatisfactory water supply in Ukraine has led to outbreaks of epidemics of many infectious diseases. In 1998 four attacks of acute intestinal diseases in connection with the use of the untreated potable water of poor quality were observed. An outbreak of enteric fever was registered in Zakarpattya Region (town of Svalyava), of Flexner dysentery in Donetsk (town of Shakhtarsk) and Lugansk (village of Talove) regions, and acute intestinal diseases were recorded in Khmelnytskyi Region. Infectious diseases caused by the consumption of water of poor quality make up 59.3% of all cases of infectious diseases, including 17.6% of children.