Actions to take for a local authority where events using temporary supplies of drinking water take place

Introduction

In 2023 inspectors carried out a review of the temporary supply arrangements provided at festivals and other temporary events. The Inspectorate reviewed the arrangements at Glastonbury festival at the main site and surrounding campsites. The Inspectorate also worked with the Water Health Partnership Wales to review lessons from the hosting of the National Eisteddfod events in Wales.

The risk assessment and monitoring ahead of and during temporary events, is an area where guidance has been requested by many local authorities in England and Wales. There are some very good publications already available covering most aspects, but this guidance is intended to help steer local authorities towards making the right decisions to safeguard supplies according to the risks they pose. (See table below)

Key factors to consider

Scale of the event: Planning for temporary events is something that can involve many stakeholders, dependent on scale. Large annual events may be in the same place every year using a dedicated private network to feed outlets. These need to be managed to secure the quality of drinking water between active and passive times over any year. Large moving festival events such as the Welsh National eisteddfod move location every year and so require careful planning for use, and for contingencies arising from possible supply interruption.

In all cases, where the sites’ supply comes from must be considered.

In the case of onwardly distributed “mains” supplies to a private network, a Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (1999) inspection will be required. This is a key part of the regulation 6 of the Private Water Supplies Regulations risk assessment. It is best to use the fittings inspectors from the licensed “main” supplier to do this. The outcome should form a part of risk assessment by the local authority, ahead of the event. The risk assessment made should determine any further potential dangers to human health to consider to determine the regulation 8 monitoring suite.

In all cases where the supply is made by a private water source these will be regulated as regulation 9 supplies. This will also apply where licensed supplies “mains” water is mixed with private sources.

Resources

Free resources

  • The Water Health Partnership for Wales has produced a very helpful publication on temporary events which is freely available on their website. Although this covers events in Wales where the Private Water Supplies Regulations (Wales) 2017 are subtly different to those in England, the basic principles for planning and risk assessment are shared. https://www.dwrcymru.com/en/water-health-partnership-wales/publications

Source typeFestival drinking water infrastructureType of sourceInspection by licensed water supplier for Water Supply Water Fittings regulations (1999)Risk Assessment conducted?Sampling to be carried outUseful reference documentation

Free documents:

Inspectorate website guidance on regulation 8 and 9 Guidance Documents – Drinking Water Inspectorate (dwi.gov.uk)

Water Health Partnership Wales – temporary event guidance 2023 Publications | Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (dwrcymru.com)

Sponsored documents:

British Standard 8551:2015.

The purple guide for event management.        
1Permanent network for seasonal use; Permanent network for annual useMains fed via a third partyRequiredMust be completed before proceeding, to allow for correct categorisation of potential risk to human health and associated mitigationRegulation 8 established by risk assessment
2Private supply to outletsN/ARegulation 9 informed by risk assessment
3Mix of Public and private supplies on siteRequiredRegulation 9 informed by risk assessment
4Temporary festival, one off eventMains water from tanker suppling on site vessel feeding private networkN/ARegulation 8 established by risk assessment
5Private Water supply feeding private networkN/ARegulation 9 informed by risk assessment
6Mix of Public and private supplies on site feeding private networkRequiredRegulation 9 informed by risk assessment
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