28 June 2021
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Water Quality Checks to Resume at Customers’ Taps28 June 2021
Sampling programme restarts
Water quality sampling checks at customers’ taps – which were paused during lockdown - are to restart across Scotland with pandemic restrictions now easing.
“We want customers to be aware the programme is re-starting and that Scottish Water samplers may be calling again to check water quality and we thank the public for participating in this activity. Additional precautions will be taken to maintain safety and health.”Simon Parsons
Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning, Scottish Water
Scottish Water samplers will again be out and about calling at randomly selected addresses to take water for testing from customers’ homes to ensure it meets high quality standards.
Nationwide household sampling was halted during the pandemic to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe and healthy.
Alternative sampling arrangements, agreed with the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR), were put in place to maintain monitoring of quality levels throughout the past year. These included taking water from different parts of the distribution network, commercial premises and volunteers’ homes.
Now the programme is to resume. Samplers will ensure all appropriate additional safety precautions are taken including wearing face masks, gloves, wiping down surfaces which they have been in contact with and maintaining distance from anyone in the property. Samplers will ask if anyone in the property has virus symptoms or is self-isolating and the visit will only go ahead if nobody meets those criteria.
Householders will also be asked to take precautions as appropriate - and can decline the visit if they wish.
Each year, Scottish Water’s sampling teams take approximately 15,000 samples at properties randomly selected by postcode.
Around 200,000 tests are carried out on all samples from across the network. The quality of Scotland’s public water supply has been maintained at a very high level in recent years. During 2019/20 Scotland’s water quality was 99.917% compliant with standards.
Samples taken are subjected to rigorous testing which can detect the presence of metals or bacteria through to picking up any discolouration, taste or odour issues.
Simon Parsons, Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning, said: “The samples taken from our customers’ taps are vital to ensuring water quality is checked and maintained all year round.
“This activity was paused during the restrictions resulting from the need to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep our key workers and householders safe.
“We want customers to be aware the programme is re-starting and that Scottish Water samplers may be calling again to check water quality and we thank the public for participating in this activity. Additional precautions will be taken to maintain safety and health.
“During the period of restrictions, we were unable to carry out samples in customers’ homes but put alternative measures in place to provide continued confidence in the quality of Scotland’s water.
“We would like to thank our customers in advance for their co-operation in helping us meet some of the most rigorous quality standards anywhere in the world.”
Scottish Water is also taking the opportunity to remind householders to be alert for bogus callers. If a sampler knocks on your door, you can follow the 3Cs advice:
- Card – use the caller’s identify card to help verify their credentials.
- Check – check their ID carefully including that the photo matches the person at the door.
- Call – use the customer helpline – 0800 0778 778 – to verify with one of our team that the caller is genuine.