Worcester incident revives concern over drinking water safeguards

The most serious chemical contamination of a public water supply in Britain for ten years has raised major questions about the role of water companies in controlling potentially polluting industrial discharges to sewer and the safeguards they operate at water treatment works. The incident has also provided a forceful reminder that key recommendations in an official report on a major pollution incident on the river Dee in 1984 have not been implemented - and put the spotlight on the Drinking Water Inspectorate's arm's length approach to regulation.

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