Industry insights

How safe is your tap water to drink?

2 min read

By Will Vickery |  Published

In the UK, we have rigorous national standards and laws which govern the quality of our drinking water. But is your tap water safe to drink? According to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), 99.95% of public water complied with the standards, meaning a tiny proportion of tap water in the UK, was deemed unsafe to drink. 

Whilst your tap water may not be entirely contaminant-free, it should not contain a level of contamination that could pose a threat to your health. But do you really just want your water to be safe to drink? Wouldn’t you want to be able to have access to high quality drinking water? That’s why Thirsty Work aims to provide the highest quality of water solutions so people across the UK can have access to high quality drinking water.

What defines safe drinking water? 

According to the DWI, tap water that is deemed safe to drink, does not exceed the pre-defined levels of specific pollutants such as lead, nitrates or common pathogens. 

The drinking water directive 1998 was established, to ensure people in the UK were provided with a health-based standard of quality public drinking water, which was based upon the evidence from the World Health organisation’s guidelines for drinking water quality. This ensures that water suppliers test their water on a regular basis to ensure they are complying with the regulations and controls over a range of factors including micro-organisms, chemicals like nitrates and pesticides, heavy metals such as lead and copper, as well as how the water looks and tastes.

If you are concerned about the quality of your local tap water, we would recommend that you contact your local water company and request they respond to your concerns.

If you’re looking for a solution to improve the quality of your drinking tap water, then Thirsty Work have a bespoke range of Pura filters which are designed to remove toxic lead, plastic particles, chemicals and odours and improve the quality and taste of your water. 

Has tap water in the UK been unsafe to drink?

1. Bristol

In 2018, certain schools around the Bristol area were closed as a spate of diarrhoea and vomiting struck the city following the discovery that a parasite in the local water supply. Residents were told to avoid drinking from their taps or preparing food with tap water as Bristol Water issued a 48-hour boil water notice to residents in the Clevedon area.

2. Lancashire

In 2015, animal waste seeped into the underground storage tank. The waste contaminated the local drinking water supply with a parasite known as cryptosporidium, which can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhoea if consumed by humans. The contamination affected up to 700,000 consumers in the local area as the utility company issued a boil water alert. In Preston, consumers couldn’t drink their tap water for one month.

3. Worcester

On the 1st March 2019, Pure Water Environmental Services Limited pleaded guilty of supplying contaminated water to 83 residential apartments in Worcester. An investigation followed customer complaints of a chemical taste and odour in the buildings water supply. Following analysis, authorities found a water tank on the private water supply system for the development was contaminated with solvents used during a refitting exercise.

One in two consumers in the UK are said to be concerned with the quality of their tap water. Concerns come from analysis showing that some public water supplies contain lead, bacteria, carcinogens and micro-plastics.

By staying aware of regional water alerts, you’ll be first to know should your local tap water supply become unsafe.

If you’re looking for water solutions that will improve the quality of your drinking water, then contact us for more information.