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02/08/18 09:00

Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Remains High

Issued on behalf of the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland.

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) for Scotland's latest annual report shows that Scottish Water's compliance with the stringent standards for drinking water remains high at 99.91%.

Scottish Water take and analyse samples of drinking water from across Scotland 365 days a year. The report on Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2017 states that a total of 305,459 regulatory tests were carried out on Scotland's drinking water last year. Of those taken from samples at consumers' taps, 99.91% met the required standards.

The report also describes significant reductions in the number of consumers expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of their drinking water supply. In 2017, Scottish Water were contacted by 9,239 customers who were concerned over quality - that's half the number reported in 2012.

Sue Petch the Drinking Water Quality Regulator said:

"I am pleased to report that the quality of the drinking water supplied by Scottish Water continues to be high.

"The quality of drinking water is something that I expect Scottish Water to continue to safeguard and improve. There is still more for Scottish Water to do to raise performance through improvement in the operation and maintenance of its assets."



A full copy of Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2017 is available at

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. An annual report is presented to Scottish Ministers detailing the assessment of drinking water quality during the previous year. This is the 16th annual report.

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 Regulator also supervises enforcement of the Private Water Supply Regulations by local authorities (detailed in a separate report to be published in September).

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.