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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP414  Forward planning for future drinking water regulations NCET
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Recommendations on the revision of the EU Drinking Water Directive were published in 2009. New parameters were proposed, including the disinfection by-products total haloacetic acids (HAAs), chlorate, chlorite and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), each with a numerical standard. The parameters 'endocrine disrupters' and 'cyanobacterial toxins' were also listed with specific marker compounds, without numerical standards but with a requirement to be dealt with through a risk based approach.

How these recommendations will be incorporated into the revision of the Directive is at present uncertain. Whilst numerical standards may not be included, there would be an overriding requirement to maintain disinfection by-products as low as possible, as recently incorporated into Regulation 26 by DWI. There is also likely to be an increased emphasis on a risk based approach, with a focus on the above parameters. Member States can include other parameters considered to be important for water suppliers in local circumstances.

This project will identify potential future changes to the Directive and UK regulations and identify the likely impact on water supply operations and costs to participating water companies.

Benefits to Clients

Companies will be able to determine, for their own particular water supply systems, the potential impact of revised regulations and seek to future proof their operations.

Where this may require investment, the results of this project will provide them with supporting information to develop the appropriate justification for business plans.

Work Programme

  1. Review the findings and recommendations from the Directive revision report; seek clarification and opinion from the report authors on the likely implementation by the Commission.
  2. Consult with DWI to assess how recommendations could be implemented into the Drinking Water Quality Regulations and identify other potential drivers for regulatory change.
  3. Contact other relevant UK and international regulators (e.g. HPA) in relation to both chemical, microbiological and toxicological concerns.
  4. Provide information for each of the relevant parameters on water treatment performance and cost, and identify gaps in technology.
  5. Develop guidance on risk identification through Drinking Water Safety Plan (DWSP) approach.
  6. Review and identify monitoring technologies for parameters of concern, including availability and limitations, and how they could be used within a DWSP approach.

Project Output

  • Comprehensive review of potential future changes to the drinking water quality regulations arising from changes in the Directive or from other drivers, and the implication for water supply.
  • Workshop to present and discuss the findings of the work.

Related WRc Work

  • Occurrence and removal of NDMA, DWI, 2008-2010.
  • Management of algal toxin risk in water supply, EU TOXIC, 2001-2005.
  • Toxicity Datasheets: provision of toxicological support to the water industry, UKWIR, ongoing.

WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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