Water Regulations in the UK

 

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In recent years, the United Kingdom has strengthened their water regulations. Their standards follow strict requirements with the EU Drinking Water Directive. To ensure water quality, it’s mandatory for “monitoring and analysis, public reporting of data, use of treatment chemicals and materials in contact with water, and action that must be taken if a standard is exceeded” (Drinking Water Quality, water.uk). For the UK, it was put into law for Northern Ireland in 2007, Scotland in 2014, England and Wales in 2016. Their strict regulations as of 2016 have resulted in 99.83%-99.96% drinking water quality compliance among the four.

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If water companies don’t meet regulations or endanger the public, then they will be met with consequences. Thames Water is “UK’s largest water and wastewater services company”. They are responsible for water supply for people across London and Thames Valley. Also, they are responsible for the treatment of water waste (Thames Water). In March of this year, they were fined £20,361,140.06, which is 25496219.58 in US dollars. “These offences were caused by negligence and led to the death of wildlife and distress to the public.” that had dated back to 2012. They “fail[ed] to react adequately to thousands of high priority alarms used to alert them to the serious problems. This wasn’t the first time they were fined. In 2015, they were fined £250,000 or $313050 for polluting a nature reserve. This amount wasn’t much to them, but with the most recent fine, I believe that it will cause them to make sure that they’re making the right decisions when it comes to people’s safety.

References

http://www.water.org.uk/policy/drinking-water-quality/water-quality-standards

https://corporate.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/our-business/our-supply-area

http://utilityweek.co.uk/news/court-of-appeal-upholds-250000-thames-water-pollution-fine/1137802#.WPGdx4WcG3A

 

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5 thoughts on “Water Regulations in the UK

  1. Great practice to ensure good health for drinking water. This can keep people away from being contaminated through the water they drink.

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  2. This law seems effective since you can only get so far cleaning up other’s unregulated waste. I can’t help but to think of the Flint water crisis and how the water hadn’t been properly treated with anti-corrosive agent to prevent iron from entering the water systems. Since the Department of Environmental Quality didn’t use an anti-corrosive agent, that also caused lead from service lines to enter the water system as well. Although the crisis happened recently, nearby companies have notoriously dumped sewage and chemicals into the Flint River and the river has been contaminated for over a century. If a law like this can be implemented to Flint, the devastating effects of regularly ingesting poisonous water can end and the city could have the money to clean the Flint River and possibly switch their water supply to Lake Huron.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/11/health/toxic-tap-water-flint-michigan/

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  3. I think it is important that water regulations develop globally. We need water for almost everything we use to live comfortably, and our way of handling water now is in terrible hands to last us many years ahead. I recently read an article or two for another class that was pretty interesting about our water and the future. It’s called “Virtual Water” from http://www.earthmagazine.org (October 2014). Not sure if you can access it, but it’s worth a try.

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  4. Water is an absolute necessity and having quality water is a must. It’s good that the UK is passing regulations that will protect people and wildlife.

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  5. I’m so glad that the UK is implementing regulations like these ones; encouraging the assurance of clean drinking water is a necessity. What do you think it would take to implement more of these regulations in the US (and worldwide)?

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