There had been a “deterioration throughout the water supply system” on bacterial quality, according to the regulator, Sue Petch. She has also launched legal enforcement action because of an “unacceptable” level of faecal parasites and a “very disappointing” number of incidents at one water treatment works in Aberdeenshire.
Petch, the Drinking Water Quality Regulator, has released her report for 2014. It reveals there were 53 incidents across Scotland rated as significant, serious and major, some of them contaminating drinking water delivered to hundreds of consumers.
Her report does not include the major incident last month when more than 6,000 residents in North Lanarkshire were left without tap water for two days because of contamination by an “oily-based substance”. The cause of the incident is still being investigated.
Petch points out that water quality standards for coliform bacteria, used as an indicator of contamination, were breached 40 times in 2014, compared to 17 times in 2013. “I am disappointed to have to report this position and have requested that Scottish Water examine disinfection processes, in detail, at all of its treatment works,” she says.