Drinking water quality
The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 set the standards for drinking water for England and Wales.
Most of the standards derive from an EC Directive on water quality, which member states must meet.
The Standards relate to:
- Microbiological quality
- The levels of chemicals such as nitrates and pesticides
- The presence of metals such as lead
- The appearance and taste of water
The Directive sets out drinking water standards in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for drinking water quality.
Lead in drinking water
There is an important change in the standard for lead in drinking water, which reduces from 50mg/l to 10mg/l in December 2013.
Lead can cause neurotoxic effects which are known to contribute to learning and behavioural problems.
This is to protect infants, young children, and pregnant women from the effects of lead in water.