UK WATER INDUSTRY RESEARCH

My UKWIR

Big question

How do we achieve 100% compliance with drinking water standards (at point of use) by 2050?

Drinking water quality is of key importance to public health, and the provision of safe drinking water has been recognised as one of the greatest technological and public health advances of the last century. The current system of delivering safe water to consumers in the UK is based upon significant investment in infrastructure and performs at an excellent standard at a very low cost. However, the future challenges of climate change, energy efficiency, population growth, and an aging infrastructure mean that the traditional ways of providing safe water may need to change.

If we want to achieve 100% compliance with drinking water standards (at point of use) by 2050 we need considerable research and development in this area. We have created a strategic research programme help us achieve this.

To support the development of this programme a report was commissioned to identify the prioritised research needs. Each drinking water contaminant or issue was allocated a score for knowledge and risk to drinking water quality, based on literature reviews and workshop discussions. This process enabled contaminants that had research gaps, but which contributed a low risk, to be removed as a research need at this time.

Once we understood our research needs, we produced a route map – this is a plan as to how we will answer our Big Question.

This is described below, and you can download the whole thing as a PDF below. It is important to know that the route map may change as the programme develops.

RESEARCH Outcomes







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Projects


Projects coming soon.

 

BQ - Achieving 100% compliance with drinking water standards at point of use by 2050? - Phase 2 - Understanding DBP formation: Interpretation of laboratory experiments to operational conditions

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Drinking Water


 

BQ How do we achieve 100% compliance with drinking water standards by 2050? Risk assessment of CIP data with respect to implications for drinking water sources

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Environment & Quality

To determine whether any emerging contaminants, measured through the Chemical Investigation Programme, pose a potential risk to the quality of drinking water supplies.

Problem

The Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Phase 1 &2 has monitored a large number of chemicals that may be entering the aquatic environment from our wastewater treatment processes.  This data, however, has not been looked at in terms of the potential impacts on drinking water quality.

Impact

We currently do not know the impact that these chemicals have on raw water quality for sources located downstream of a waste water treatment works.

Project

This project is an enabler for future work to meet the outcome “An appropriate balance of risk with regards to substances of concern, their public health impact, and mitigation”. It is the first project in a series that will allow the Industry to demonstrate to its customers and other stakeholders, including regulators, that it keeps the upstream risks it faces under review as data becomes available.  Subsequent projects will look in more detail on issues such as treatability i.e. determine if the disinfection process for water containing these chemicals give rise to unwanted by-products of health concern or cause taste and odour issues.


 

BQ - Achieving 100% compliance with drinking water standards at point of use by 2050? Protecting water quality in the home (domestic fixtures & fittings)

Project Status - Expressions of Interest


 

BQ How do we achieve 100% compliance with drinking water standards by 2050? Better understanding of the chemistry of the control of lead

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Drinking Water

Project

This project will address key issues in order to meet the outcome “Ownership and responsibility for water quality is clear and all part their part in its protection”. The project will improve our understanding of the complex chemistry which underlies the control of lead solubility.  Recent developments in analytical instrumentation open up a number of avenues to enhance the industry's understanding of the surface chemistry which facilitates compliance or causes failure.


Projects coming soon.

 

BQ - Achieving 100% compliance with drinking water standards at point of use by 2050? - Phase 2 - Intensifying Natural Processes

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Drinking Water



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