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Drinking Water

Over 99% of public supplies for drinking water in Scotland complied with current standards. Our public supplies are delivered to our taps via 458 different sources (including rivers, lochs, and springs), 47,000 km of water mains and over 250 water treatment works. In private water supplies, serving 3% of the population, compliance is reduced to 88-94% in some areas.

The drinking water quality standards in Scotland largely stem from the EU Drinking Water Directive and subsequent enabling legislation. Drinking water quality from public water supplies is of high quality, demonstrating a continued improvement in drinking water quality. Challenges still exist around the provision and quality of private supplies.

Research needs identified include long term changes in raw water quality and the impacts of land use change and climate change, the implications of a lead free Scotland, risks to private water supplies, communicating drinking water quality metrics to the public, and the use of innovative technologies to destroy algal blooms

CREW is working with both Scottish Water and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) to address pressures and protect drinking water quality.