2.1 In Scotland, drinking water is supplied by either Scottish Water ("a public supply") or someone else ("a private supply"). The quality of drinking water supplied by Scottish Water is regulated by the Public Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2014 ("the 2014 Regulations"). The quality of drinking water supplied by anyone else, except water offered for sale in bottles or containers, is regulated by the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 ("the 2006 Regulations"). Together, these regulations implement the Drinking Water Directive and Council Directive 2013/51/Euratom ("the Euratom Directive") on the protection of the health of the general public with regard to radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption. The Euratom Directive was transposed into Scottish legislation in the Private and Public Water Supplies (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2015, which amended both the 2006 and 2014 Regulations.
2.2 The Amending Directive amends Annexes II and III to the Drinking Water Directive, which lay down the minimum requirements of the monitoring programmes for all water intended for human consumption and the specifications for analysis of different parameters. The specifications in the annexes require to be updated in the light of scientific and technical progress and to be consistent with other EU legislation. The Amending Directive is required to be transposed into domestic legislation by 27 October 2017.
2.3 Annex II has been amended to align to the latest updates to the World Health Organisation's water safety plan approach based on risk assessment and risk management principles laid down in the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Experience has shown that, for many (particularly physico-chemical) parameters in drinking water, the concentrations present would rarely result in any breach of limit values. Monitoring and reporting such parameters without practical relevance imply significant costs, especially where a large number of parameters need to be considered. Introducing flexible monitoring frequencies under such circumstances presents potential cost-saving opportunities that would not damage public health or other benefits. Flexible monitoring also reduces the collection of data that provide little or no information on the quality of the drinking water. The amendments to Annex II allow Member States to derogate from the monitoring programmes they have established, provided there is already three years of sufficient data and credible risk assessments are performed, which may be based on the WHO Guidelines and should take into account the monitoring carried out under Article 8 of Directive 2000/60/EC ("the Water Framework Directive").
2.4 Annex III has been amended to allow laboratories to use the most up-to-date European or equivalent international standards for the analysis of parameters and for the methods of analysis to be validated in accordance with the most recent standards.
2.5 For large private water supplies (also known as 'Type A supplies'), the opportunity is being taken to replace the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (in so far as they apply to those supplies) with a fresh set of Regulations called 'The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017'. A draft of these Regulations is enclosed with this consultation. The new draft regulations ('the regulations'):
- align more closely with the provisions of the Drinking Water Directive;
- are restructured to make them easier to follow; and
- confer additional enforcement powers on local authorities so as to give them the tools they need to ensure water supplied by means of large private water supplies meets the water quality standards.
Question 1: Do you have any comments on the way in which we propose to transpose the Amending Directive?
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House