Scotland’s water regulator issues warning over risk of E. coli in private supplies

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 27 September 2018 in News

Although around 200,000 people rely on a private supplies for their drinking water, some samples were found to receive little or no treatment

Image credit: Lino Mirgeler/DPA/PA Images

Scotland’s water regulator has expressed concern over the risk of E. coli being found in private water supplies.

After carrying out a total of 46,470 tests from regulated private water supplies, Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Regulator found that 95 per cent of samples met the required standard last year.

But the body also found that 11 per cent of samples from regulated supplies for E. coli failed standards, warning that quality has not improved over the last three years.

Around 3.6 per cent of the Scottish population receive their water from a private water supply rather than from Scottish Water, with regulation of supplies under the control of local authorities.

Although around 200,000 people rely on a private supplies for their drinking water, some samples were found to receive little or no treatment.

The body also warned that limited progress has been made, in spite of efforts by local authorities

Sue Petch the Drinking Water Quality Regulator said: “I am concerned with the poor quality of private water supplies, particularly the number that tested positive for E. coli and the health risks that its presence indicates.

“There is much that people responsible for a private water supply can do to protect water sources and ensure that there is an appropriate and robust treatment process in place together with a plan to ensure that this continues to be the case under all circumstances.

“Information for private water supply owners is available from local authorities and the Scottish Government including a grant towards the cost of improvements. I urge people to make full use of this support in order to improve their supply.”

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