Public HealthPH2ADevelop procedures to collect information required to regulate drinking water quality and water and sanitation safety plans
Regulators develop transparent and clear procedures for operators to provide water safety information.
These outline operators’ obligations in terms of what information on drinking water quality they must provide to regulators and how often. Such procedures can be digitalized and connected to accredited laboratories through interactive online mechanisms.
Regulators coordinate the assessment and analysis of the collected data with ministries of health and make this publicly available.
- Essential information on water safety is made available and accessible.
- Service operators follow clear and transparent procedures.
- Consumer health is adequately protected.
In the UK, the Water Industry (Suppliers’ Information) Direction 2021 stipulates the following.
- On or before the 7th day of each month, a water supplier must report to the drinking water quality regulator the results of analysis of all compliance samples taken during the penultimate month.
- On or before the 7th day of each month, a water supplier must report to the drinking water quality regulator details of the out of service records for any of the above assets for the penultimate month.
- On or before 21 October each year, under Regulation 28, a water supplier must report to the drinking water quality regulator a full submission of risks identified under Regulation 27(1)
Provision of monthly information relating to compliance with the Regulations: (1) On or before the 7th day of each month, a water supplier must report to the drinking water quality regulator the results of analysis of any compliance sample taken during the penultimate month (for example, a report in March must be about the samples taken during the previous January) where the analysis showed that the sample exceeded: (a) the prescribed concentration or value for a parameter listed in Schedule 1 to the Regulations; or (b) the specification of an indicator parameter listed in Schedule 2 to the Regulations.
Provision of information—events, incidents, emergencies etc.: (1) A water supplier must notify the drinking water quality regulator of: (a) The occurrence of any event which, because of its effect or likely effect on the quality or sufficiency of water supplied by the supplier, gives rise, or is likely to give rise, to a significant risk to the health of persons to whom the water is supplied.
Provision of annual information on consumer contacts about drinking water quality: (1) On or before 31 January in each calendar year, a water supplier must report to the drinking water quality regulator about each contact about drinking water quality that the water supplier received from any of its consumers during the previous calendar year, as specified in Information Letter 01/2006 (or any subsequently amended or updated version of this Information Letter).
Internal capacities needed and the role of partners
Administrative capacity is required to develop procedures for receiving the information necessary to regulate drinking water quality. In addition, regulators must be technically skilled to understand the implications of non-compliance, which can help to set the frequency and contents of what needs to be reported.
Development partners could support regulators by organizing consultative workshops to help reach a consensus on agreed procedures. Ministries of health and civil society organizations can also support regulators through capacity building.