Scotland’s water is among the best in the world, says regulator

by Scott Douglas

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Scottish Water today welcomes the report by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) which confirms that the overall quality of drinking water in Scotland has continued to improve.

Colin McLaren, the DWQR in Scotland, said: “Consumers can be confident that drinking water supplies in Scotland are amongst the best in the world.”

The DWQR reports that in 2007 Scottish Water took 160,601 tests on samples from customers’ taps of which 99.76% complied with the relevant standards. This compares to 99.66% in 2006 and 99.56% in 2005.

The 2007 report also highlights that microbiological compliance was the highest since drinking water quality regulations were introduced in 1991. This compliance level has improved further since 2006.

Richard Allan, Scottish Water’s chief scientist, said: “Today’s report confirms the long-term improvement in the quality of tap water across the country in our

continued drive to protect public health and ensure that our customers enjoy the look and taste of their drinking water.

Across the country people are seeing clearer, fresher drinking water. There is a work in progress as we tackle years of under investment in many of our water treatment processes and water mains.

“In the Greater Glasgow area 700,000 people are enjoying their new water supply from the new Milngavie Water Treatment Works which was officially opened by The Queen this summer. In Edinburgh we have planning permission and will soon start construction of a new water treatment works for Edinburgh.

“Scottish Water staff right across the country work night and day to ensure customers are kept supplied with the very best that we can deliver. We love our water.”

Richard Ackroyd, chief executive of Scottish Water, said: “Across the country our customers are seeing real improvements to the service and the water quality delivered direct to their homes. This comes at a time when Scottish Water is cheaper than seven of the water companies south of the border with the average charge for household customers in 2008/09  £20 lower than  the average charge in England and Wales.  

“Our drive is to continue to deliver real improvements to our customers while keeping charges steady.”

Geoff Aitkenhead, Asset Management Director, wants to reassure customers that in areas where our treatment process cannot cope with extreme rainfall we will introduce temporary solutions to improve the water quality and drive investment which will give a long-term solution.

Mr Aitkenhead added: “Where a burst pipe can cause discolouration in the water supply our operations teams will work to restore normal service as quickly as possible. The extreme weather can cause us issues with raw water quality. We are working with our regulator and our delivery partners to ensure that adequate treatment is put in place to ensure our customers continue to enjoy clearer, fresher drinking water.”

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