Water safety is an important concern for businesses in the UK, as it represents a core part of ensuring the health and safety of employees, customers, and anyone else who spends time in your premises. There are a number of different parties responsible for water safety in the UK, including government agencies, water utility companies, property owners, and businesses themselves.
In the UK, water quality is regulated at the highest level by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), a government department who are responsible for ensuring that public water supplies meet both national and international standards.
While a relatively small department, the DWI monitors water quality, investigating any serious issues that arise, and it also provides guidance to water utility companies, local authorities, and other stakeholders on how to maintain water quality.
Businesses and most public and private organisations in the UK have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the water supply in their premises. This means that they’re responsible for the appropriate maintenance of water systems, testing for potentially dangerous contaminants, and complying with all necessary regulations in the area.
Business owners are also responsible for ensuring that there are proper structures in place to manage testing and other elements of water safety. This means providing Legionella training to the relevant parties, and ensuring that a water safety plan is in place.
Water supplier companies in the UK are responsible for distributing safe drinking water to their customers, and they will often be the ones who are audited by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Their responsibilities include the regular monitoring of water quality, maintaining water infrastructure to an incredibly high standard, and even providing public education about water safety. In addition to the DWI, water utility companies are also subject to regulation by Ofwat, also known as the Water Services Regulation Authority.
In the UK, property owners are also responsible for ensuring the safety of the water supply within their buildings, especially important if others are staying in their buildings. This includes ensuring that all of the elements of the water systems are looked after properly, regularly testing for dangerous contaminants, and complying with the relevant regulations regarding water safety.
In addition to these parties, businesses in the UK can also take advantage of resources and tools to help them ensure appropriate water safety. Businesses are also expected to take proactive steps to prevent dangerous water contamination, including implementing good hygiene practices, and ensuring the proper disposal of dangerous waste materials. For example, businesses that produce hazardous waste must ensure that it is stored, transported, and disposed of safely, so as to avoid any negative impact on the water supply in their premises and in the surrounding area.
Ensuring the safety of the water supply is a shared responsibility among a number of different parties, including government agencies, water utility companies, property owners, and businesses. By implementing the proper testing and maintenance plans, the relevant parties can ensure that water systems remain safe for all those who use them.