Regulations on the quality of drinking water have been amended across the UK.1,2,3
The changes which came into force on 20 April. were made after infraction proceedings brought by the European Commission in November confirmed that the UK had not correctly transposed some parts of the 1998 Drinking Water Directive.
The legislation now places a duty on water firms to ensure water supplies in public buildings are wholesome. Where a water quality failure in schools, hospitals or restaurants is due to the distribution system on the premises and poses a potential danger to public health, the water supplier can insist on the owners taking remedial action.
The regulations have also been amended to require that the level of disinfection by-products is kept as low as possible without jeopardising the disinfection process, which must be verified.
Other minor changes mean that a failure to meet water quality indicator parameters must be investigated immediately.
Previously only breaches of chemical and microbiological limits had to be looked at immediately. The secretary of state or ministers are now obliged to serve notice on water suppliers to take action, if an indicator breach poses a potential danger to health.