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.
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.
More detail is provided in the Guide to Improvement Programmes.
The Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers may notify a water undertaker that, for specific water supply zones, a radioactive parameter need not be monitored, providing those parameters (Indicative Dose, Tritium, and Radon) are below the respective parametric values.
Radioactivity notices are issued to companies where sufficient risk assessment and sample analysis demonstrates a low risk. This is allowed under regulation 6(12) of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (as amended) and 6(14) of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Wales) 2018.
Companies who meet the requirements of regulations 9(8) and 9(11) of either the English or Welsh Regulations, and who have had their risk assessment methodology approved by the inspection body (Lloyds Register) can apply to the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers for a monitoring variation under regulation 9(6)(b). A monitoring variation can either be a cessation of all compliance monitoring or a reduction of compliance monitoring for specific parameters.
Under regulation 9(6)(a) of either the English and Welsh Regulations, the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers may also initiate a monitoring variation by their own motion, to cause a company to vary the amount of compliance monitoring for specific parameters.
Improvement Programmes for NIS and for SEMD
Notices may be served under the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations. Enforcement orders can be made or undertakings accepted under the Water Industry Act 1991, to secure compliance with the Security and Emergency Measures (Water and Sewerage Undertakers and Water Supply Licensees) Direction. In accordance with our enforcement polices, these legal instruments are not published in the public domain in order to protect security.
Improvement Programmes, Radioactivity Notices and Monitoring Variations by Company:
Anglian Water Services Limited
Independent Water Networks Limited
South Staffordshire Water Plc (including Cambridge Water)
South West Water Limited (including Isles of Scilly, Bournemouth Water and Bristol Water)
Southern Water Services Limited
Sutton and East Surrey Water Plc (SES)
Thames Water Utilities Limited
United Utilities Water Limited