Water Quality Regulator says Scotland’s tap water quality remains high

Issued on behalf of the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland.

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) for Scotland’s latest annual report shows that Scottish Water’s compliance with the stringent standards for drinking water is high at 99.90%.

Sue Petch the Drinking Water Quality Regulator said:

“Scotland’s consumers can be reassured that the quality of drinking water supplied to their taps by Scottish Water continues to be high.

"In spite of this, further improvements are still needed. I expect Scottish Water to ensure water quality continues to get better across Scotland.”

  • The report, covering Drinking Water Quality in Scotland during 2018, states that a total of 319,124 regulatory tests were carried out on Scotland’s drinking water last year. Of those taken from samples at consumers’ taps, 99.90% met the required standards, slightly reduced on previous years. Scottish Water take and analyse samples of drinking water from across Scotland 365 days a year.
  • The report also highlights that the number of water quality incidents requiring detailed investigation by the DWQR has reduced in 2018, suggesting that Scottish Water’s efforts to improve is paying off.
  • A full copy of Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2018 is available at www.dwqr.org.uk

Contact Details:

Press enquiries are handled in the first instance by the Communications Economy, Rural Economy and Environment desk of the Scottish Government:  0131 244 2018

Notes to editors:

The DWQR is independent of Scottish Ministers and ensures that the drinking water quality duties imposed on Scottish Water are complied with. DWQR reviews water quality data from samples taken by Scottish Water and undertakes targeted audits examining all aspects of its operations. The Regulator also supervises enforcement of the Private Water Supply Regulations by local authorities (detailed in a separate report to be published in September).

Where drinking water does not meet the required standard, the Regulator has powers to investigate and ensure problems are resolved. This can involve taking enforcement action or prosecution.

The DWQR also has a role in helping to define Scottish Water’s investment programme and is committed to ensuring that drinking water supplies in Scotland are of the highest possible standard.

Drinking water quality regulation began in Scotland in 1991 and drinking water quality was monitored by the Scottish Executive and its predecessor before the role of DWQR was created in 2002, at the same time as Scottish Water. A report is published annually detailing the work of DWQR and an assessment of drinking water quality during the previous year. This is the 17th annual report.


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