Quality of tap water in Scotland remains high, new report reveals


SCOTTISH Water’s compliance with the stringent standards for drinking water remains high at 99.92%, the latest Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) for Scotland’s annual report reveals.

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 18th annual report, covering Drinking Water Quality in Scotland during 2019, states that a total of 310,605 regulatory tests were carried out on Scotland’s drinking water last year.

Scottish Water take and analyse samples of drinking water from treatment works, storage points and customers taps throughout the year.

Of those taken from samples at consumers’ taps, 99.92% met the required standards, a slight improvement on last year and consistent with previous years.

Drinking Water Quality Regulator Sue Petch commented: “I am pleased to report that compliance with the standards has been sustained at a high level.

“This verifies our trust that the drinking water supplied by Scottish Water continues to be of the highest quality.”

“We should not take water quality for granted, and challenges such as climate change, altering demand patterns and the capability of treatment assets will all have an increasing impact on water quality in the future.

“I will continue my work to ensure that Scottish Water meets these challenges by planning ahead and investing appropriately.”

A full copy of Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2019 is available on the DWQR website

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.