Improvement programmes

Water companies, if required by the Inspectorate or with the agreement of the Inspectorate, can put in place programmes of remedial action to improve drinking water quality whenever these are necessary.

List of current Improvement Programmes

Programmes of work arise in four ways:

  • as a result of the process for setting price limits for a five year period (known as the price review process);
  • as a result of enforcement for contraventions of the drinking water standards for parameters in the regulations; and
  • as a result of enforcement for issues arising out of an assessment by the Inspectorate of a drinking water quality incident or technical audit;
  • following the identification of a risk to health through a risk assessment of a water supply system.

There are two main methods for ensuring that a company undertakes remedial work to improve drinking water quality:

  • If there is a significant risk to public health, then a legal Notice is issued requiring the company to complete a programme of remedial actions.
  • If there is not a significant risk to public health, for example if the issue is discolouration or taste and odour not associated with a health-related parameter, the company can submit an Undertaking to carry out the remedial work which is formally accepted by the Inspectorate.
  • More detail is provided in the Guide to Improvement Programmes.


Page reviewed: 27 June 2013
Page modified: 27 June 2013

Drinking Water Inspectorate