New drinking water controls on cryptosporidium

New controls on the gastrointestinal parasite cryptosporidium in drinking water were proposed by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in May.1 They include a requirement for continuous monitoring at the most vulnerable treatment works and a new statutory limit for the organism in treated water.

Cryptosporidium is a minute protozoan pathogen which causes a severe gastrointestinal illness that can be fatal in immuno-compromised patients. The organism is resistant to chlorination, and preventing its spread in drinking water supplies requires efficient filtration at all times.

The new proposals are an attempt to plug a gap in the law which has prevented the prosecution of water companies alleged to have caused outbreaks of the disea

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