The Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) for Scotland’s latest annual report published on 27 July concludes that Scottish Water’s compliance with the stringent standards for drinking water in 2016 was extremely high at 99.91%.

The Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 requires DWQR to publish an annual report describing the Regulator’s activities during the preceding year. The report provides a summary of the quality of Scotland’s public water supply for 2016, as well as covering water quality events and incidents, consumer contacts to Scottish Water and DWQR activities throughout the year.

Scottish Water takes and analyses samples of drinking water from across Scotland 365 days a year. The report on Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2016 Public Water Supply states that a total of 311,560 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. This was similar to 2015, and an improvement on 2002, the year Scottish Water was formed, when only 99.28% of tests complied.

During 2016, DWQR submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal following investigations into drinking water quality incident from 2016, when over 6,000 properties in North Lanarkshire suffered restrictions on the use of their water following contamination of the supply. The investigation found deficiencies with Scottish Water’s operational processes and the case concluded earlier this year when Scottish Water pleaded guilty to the charge of supplying water unfit for human consumption.

The DWQR’s role is to ensure that drinking water supplies comply with regulatory requirements. In 2016, DWQR staff carried out 17 technical inspections and responded to 86 contacts from consumers. Of the 798 event notifications received from Scottish Water, most were classified as not significant, but 26 were declared incidents and investigated in more detail – these numbers represent a reduction on the 35 reported in 2015.