Publication - Consultation paper

The Water Supplies (Water Quality)(Scotland) Regulations 2014

Published: 2 Jun 2014
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

The Drinking Water Directive sets the standards for drinking water quality. Currently the Water Supply (Water Quality)(Scotland) 2001 and The Water Quality (Scotland) Regulations 2010 regulations transpose this Directive.

The Water Supplies (Water Quality)(Scotland) Regulations 2014
2. Background

2. Background

Before introducing our proposals for Regulations we consider it useful to provide some explanation of what a public water supply is and our current legislation.

2.1 What is a public water supply?

1. Public water supplies referred to in this consultation paper are water supplies being supplied by a water authority. In Scotland this water authority is Scottish Water which was created under the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002.

2. In Scotland 97 per cent of the population receives water from the public water supply, which is provided by Scottish Water. Scottish Water is a publicly owned company, delivering drinking water to 2.4 million households throughout the country. Water must meet the same quality standards regardless of the size of the supply or its location in Scotland.

3. Water from lochs, rivers, boreholes and springs is cleaned and disinfected at water treatment works before being distributed to consumers via a network of storage points and water mains. Scotland's water resources used for public water supplies are generally of very high quality.

4. In Scotland the water supplier, Scottish Water, takes and analyses its own samples to demonstrate that the water supplied complies with regulatory requirements. This is consistent with water industry practice in the rest of the UK.

5. The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland ( DWQRS) regulates the quality of water supplied by Scottish Water. The quality standards that drinking water supplies must meet are set out in regulations and the function of DWQRS is to ensure that these regulations are complied with.

2.2 What are the Scottish Public Water Quality Regulations?

1. In Scotland the Regulations relating to the quality of drinking water supplied by Scottish Water are the Water Supply (Water Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2001. Quality Standards in these Regulations are derived from the Drinking Water Directive.

2. Another piece of legislation that has an impact on the water quality in Scotland is The Water Quality (Scotland) Regulations 2010. These came into force on 20 April 2010 and further transpose the requirements of the Drinking Water Directive, most particularly in respect of water quality failures which are attributable to the domestic distribution system in establishments and premises where water is supplied to the public. These Regulations also make a number of technical amendments to the Water Supply (Water Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2001.