UK Drinking Water Quality Testing

Water quality testing in the United Kingdom, per BS 6920.

Intertek is accredited by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) to conduct water quality testing to the requirements of BS 6920, and to carry out testing to all requirements of the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. Intertek is also designated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to carry out analysis in support of applications for approval under Regulation 31. The drinking water testing is performed at the Intertek Sunbury laboratory.

The DWI ensures that all products used ‘upstream’ in the public water distribution system meet the requirements of Regulation 31 of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000. Only materials which comply with BS 6920 can be submitted for DWI approval. These may then be subjected to additional testing as determined by the Committee on Products & Processes for use in Public Water Supply (CPP), an expert body that provides advice to the DWI.

The public water utilities must comply with the EC Directive on Water Quality, and have a legal requirement to provide ‘safe and wholesome’ water. Most incidents of water supply contamination do not result from faulty water treatment but from contact with other materials after the source of supply.

Materials may affect water quality in various ways:

  • Producing ‘off’ tastes and odours.
  • Changing the appearance of the water.
  • Producing compounds and heavy metals which may be harmful. 
  • Promoting the microbe growth, which can produce all the above effects and generate unsightly slime formation.
 
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