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Drinking Water Quality

in Northern Ireland, 2007


A Report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Drinking Water Quality


in Northern Ireland, 2007
A Report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland

A Report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland


Printed and published by Northern Ireland Environment Agency,
Design Studio, Klondyke Building, Gasworks Business Park,
Lower Ormeau Road, BELFAST, BT7 2JA
ISBN 978-1-905127-80-1 November 2008
Contents

Foreword

Executive Summary

Introduction 2

Part 1 - Public Drinking Water Supplies 5

• Overall Drinking Water Quality 6

• Authorised Departures 21

• Consideration of Provisional Enforcement Orders 21

• Incidents and Events Affecting Drinking Water Quality 22

• The Technical Audit Process 26

• Consumer Contacts for Drinking Water Quality Issues 29

Part 2 - Drinking Water Quality in District Council Areas 33

• Summary of Drinking Water Quality Information 33

• Provision of Drinking Water Quality Information to District Councils 33

Part 3 - Protecting Drinking Water Quality 63

• Drinking Water Quality Improvement Programmes 63

• Implementing the Drinking Water Safety Approach - Water Safety Plans 72

Part 4 - Private Water Supplies 79

• Monitoring Programme for Private Supplies 80

• Drinking Water Quality at Private Supplies 82

Part 5 - Drinking Water Quality Standards and Science 87

• Drinking Water Quality Standards 88

• How to Find Out More about Drinking Water Quality 92


Annexes

• Annex 1 - Glossary and Definition of Terms 97

• Annex 2 - Roles and Responsibilities 103

• Annex 3 - Drinking Water Quality Look-up Tables 107

• Annex 4 - Calculations Used in the Report 115

• Annex 5 - Authorised Departures 120

• Annex 6 - Formal Notice Action 123

• Annex 7 - Staffing 125

© Crown copyright 2008


The maps used in this report are based upon Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland’s data with the permission of
the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, © Crown copyright and database rights EMOU206.2. Unauthorised
reproduction infringes © Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings.

Maps also contain data supplied by Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) and, as such, are protected by NI Water
copyright 2008.

Printed on 100% post consumer waste.

A copy of this report is available on the Inspectorate’s website:


www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/annual_reports.htm
Foreword

I am pleased to present our 12th annual report on the quality of drinking water in Northern Ireland. It covers the
2007 calendar year for both public and private water supplies. It is the first report since the Inspectorate became a
statutorily appointed body in April 2007, under the Water Reform process, and the fourth since new Regulations for
public drinking water supplies came into operation in January 2004.

Looking back over the period covered by the 12 reports, there has been a steady improvement in publicly supplied
drinking water quality, with an accelerating trend in recent years. The overall compliance with European and national
drinking water quality standards for all test results has improved from 98.89% in 1996, to 99.60% in 2007. More
improvement work remains to be done, however, and this is highlighted in the report.

In addition to achieving improved compliance, it is important for Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) to maintain
and effectively operate existing assets. During 2007, the Inspectorate noted deterioration in water quality supplied
from some older treatment works and took enforcement action to ensure that drinking water quality from these
works is maintained in the remaining period of their operation, before replacement works come on line.

In this report, we have continued to present information that will help the reader understand more easily what
drinking water quality is like here in Northern Ireland. I am pleased to see this year’s inclusion of local level reporting,
where district council summary information on drinking water quality at consumers’ taps is provided.

Looking forwards, the drinking water regulatory processes continue to be developed across the UK, with a more
risk-based approach being adopted. NI Water is upgrading five of its large water treatment works and bringing them
into supply during the latter part of 2008. I welcome the improvements in drinking water quality that this, together
with other ongoing investment in infrastructure, will bring. We will also continue to develop constructive working
relationships with NI Water and the new statutory bodies appointed under Water Reform: Northern Ireland Utility
Regulator, Department of Regional Development stakeholder units, and Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

I hope you find the report interesting and a useful guide to information on drinking water quality in Northern Ireland.

Randal Scott
Chief Inspector of Drinking Water for Northern Ireland
November 2008
Executive Summary

This is the 12th annual report prepared by the Drinking Water Inspectorate Unit of the Northern Ireland Environment
Agency (NIEA), acting in its regulatory role in matters relating to drinking water quality.

As with previous reports, it gives an account of the Inspectorate’s assessments of, and its checks on, the quality of drinking
water provided by Water Service, who, from 1 April 2007, became Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water). NI Water, a
government-owned company, is the sole supplier of public water in Northern Ireland. The report also provides details of the
quality of the private water supplies which the Inspectorate regulates.

While an overall improvement in drinking water quality has been recorded for 2007, this report and previous reports
highlight those water quality issues where compliance with the regulatory standards still has to be achieved. Overall
microbiological quality has shown a significant improvement at 99.85% compliance compared with 99.76% achieved
last year. There was a significant increase in the number of tests taken from service reservoirs meeting the regulatory
standards in 2007, as well as increased compliance at water treatment works and at consumers’ taps. Compliance with
microbiological standards is important as contraventions may indicate a breach in the integrity of the water supply system
or a failure in the treatment process. Where the condition of a consumer’s tap is the reason for microbiological standards
not being met, NI Water advises the consumer accordingly.

Drinking water quality at consumers’ taps is assessed using ‘mean zonal compliance’, an index which is calculated using
40 parameters from the regulatory sampling programme. In this reporting year, 13 parameters failed to achieve full
compliance: trihalomethanes (THMs), iron, aluminium, lead, manganese, pesticides, total pesticides, turbidity, E. coli,
nickel, heptachlor epoxide, colour, and hydrogen ion.

Compared with last year, there has been a decrease in the compliance achieved at consumers’ taps: 99.34% reported for
2006; and 99.30% reported for 2007. The main reason for this is the significant increased number of THM contraventions.
It is disappointing to note this particular deterioration as there had been a progressively upward trend for THMs: from
68.44% in 2004, 75.37% in 2005 and 83.04% in 2006 to this lower value of 79.37% in 2007. NI Water gave the principal
reason for this to be due to changes in raw water quality caused by heavy rain. The Inspectorate has emphasized to
NI Water the importance of water treatment processes being robust enough to deal with the changing raw water quality:
capable of removing organic matter from the raw water and, hence, reducing THMs in the distribution system.

During 2007 the Inspectorate took ‘enforcement action’ to address specific operational issues relating to THM non-
compliance of the Authorised Departure values in the Dunore Point, Castor Bay and Seagahan supply areas. The necessary
remedial measures in relation to this enforcement action are being implemented by NI Water. The completion of new and
upgraded water treatment works by 2009, together with careful operational management of the water treatment works
and distribution systems, should significantly progress THM compliance. A major infrastructure project involving the water
treatment facilities at Dunore Point, Castor Bay, Forked Bridge, Moyola and Ballinrees should deliver improved water
quality to more than 50% of Northern Ireland’s population over the next year.

Parameters such as iron, aluminium, manganese and turbidity will show improved compliance with the implementation of
the mains rehabilitation programme.

Lead compliance is expected to further progress with the continued delivery of the orthophosphate treatment programme.
Better pesticide compliance is expected with the adoption of a water safety plan approach by NI Water, which includes
enhanced catchment management.

Variations in water quality compliance performance continue across Northern Ireland, reflecting the need for completion
of current and future planned improvement work schemes. This year in the report, the parameters which have not met the
regulatory requirements are listed by water supply zones within the district council areas.
Where NI Water supplies water that does not meet the drinking water standards, it must investigate the cause of the
problem and notify the Inspectorate of its findings. The Inspectorate assesses each notification and determines whether the
failure is likely to recur. If it considers that this is the case, the Inspectorate requires NI Water to take corrective action.

Authorised Departures, formal notice and initiation of enforcement action procedures have been used by the Inspectorate
as regulatory mechanisms to target issues of non-compliance with drinking water quality standards. These regulatory
processes place a requirement upon NI Water to undertake the necessary remedial measures.

Events that affect drinking water quality which occur during the day-to-day operation of NI Water’s treatment works and
distribution systems are notified to the Inspectorate, who assesses and follows up on each one. If the Inspectorate considers
an event to have been serious enough to present a risk, or a potential risk to public health, then it classifies it as an incident.
During 2007, 20 incidents and eight events were notified. Of the 20 incidents so notified, 12 related to situations of
compromised disinfection, six related to treatment difficulties and two were caused by other factors. Mitigation of the risks
of non-compliance at water treatment works is within NI Water’s control. Where necessary, this is being addressed by
NI Water through upgrading water treatment processes and reviewing operational practices.

The development of a drinking water safety plan approach is seen by the Inspectorate as an effective way of mitigating
risks of contamination in the water supply chain, from the source waters in the catchments, through the water treatment
works and onwards through the storage and distribution networks to consumers’ taps. In Part 3 of the report, we have
looked at the parameters which can be used to highlight different aspects of water quality issues within the supply chain.

As part of the Inspectorate’s ongoing work, we undertook the annual technical audit inspection programme during 2007.
This enables us to assess whether good practice is being followed as NI Water carries out its statutory obligations. Following
the inspections, we present reports containing our conclusions, recommendations, suggestions and comments to NI Water
and we require prompt appropriate follow-up action to be taken.

Current Regulatory Framework

The Water Reform process established Water Service, who had been operating as an agency within the Department for
Regional Development in Northern Ireland during the first three months of this 2007 reporting period, as a government-
owned company, NI Water, from 1 April 2007.

The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order (2006), while establishing the conditions under which
NI Water operates, also defines the roles of the ‘regulators’. These are: the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation
(NIAUR) for ‘economic regulation’; the Department for Regional Development for ‘drinking water regulation’; the Northern
Ireland Environment Agency for ‘environmental regulation’; and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland (CCNI) as the
‘customer representation’.

Within this new regulatory framework, there have been inherent changes regarding the role and responsibilities of the
Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland. The Order appointed all scientific staff within the Drinking Water
Inspectorate as inspectors to act on behalf of the Department for Regional Development in respect of public supplies
(those supplied by NI Water), and on behalf of the Department of the Environment in respect of private water supplies.
Randal Scott was designated as the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water by both Departments. The Inspectorate continues
to operate as a functional unit from within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, an agency of the Department of the
Environment in Northern Ireland, on behalf of both Departments.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Introduction

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (the ‘Inspectorate’) is a functional unit


within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, part of the Department
of the Environment. It is one of the United Kingdom’s regional regulatory
bodies which have statutory duties in terms of drinking water quality. The
duties of the Inspectorate for Northern Ireland apply to both public and
private water supplies.

A public water supply is one provided by Northern Ireland Water Ltd


(NI Water) for the purposes of drinking, washing and cooking or food
production. A private water supply is any supply of water provided for the
purposes of drinking, washing and cooking or food production, other than
by NI Water.

The Inspectorate’s Responsibilities

The regulatory framework for water supplies in Northern Ireland has


changed. The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1973
was rewritten as ‘The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland)
Order 2006’ to enable the Water Reform process to proceed, whereby, Water
Service, the public supplier of water in Northern Ireland, began to operate
as a government-owned company (Go Co) from 1 April 2007.

Following these legislative changes, the Drinking Water Inspectorate is now


a statutory appointee, acting on behalf of the Department for Regional
Development (DRD) in respect of public water supplies. It continues to act
on behalf of the Department of the Environment in relation to private water
supplies. The Order also conferred, for the first time, enforcement powers
on the Inspectorate in matters arising with NI Water.

The Inspectorate’s role is to provide independent reassurance that human


health is safeguarded through the provision of safe public water supplies by
NI Water.

To be safe, drinking water must be wholesome at the time of supply.


Wholesomeness is defined by reference to drinking water quality standards
and other requirements set out in the Regulations. Many of the drinking
water quality standards come from the 1998 EC Drinking Water Directive
which came fully into force on 25 December 2003. The Directive focuses on
those parameters of importance to human health (known as mandatory
parameters), together with others that reflect the control of water
treatment processes and the aesthetic quality of drinking water (known
as indicator parameters). The Directive also allows member states to set
national standards to ensure that the good quality of drinking water already
achieved is not allowed to deteriorate.

The Inspectorate‘s regulatory responsibilities for public drinking water


supplies are contained within The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations
(Northern Ireland) 2007; and for private water supplies, within The Private
Water Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994.

Our role is to provide guidance to NI Water on how to carry out these


regulatory tests and how to report the results. We undertake independent

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www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

checks to assess if the testing has been carried out to a high standard of
analytical quality control. Our purpose here is to provide public reassurance
in relation to the integrity of NI Water’s results. Our role also extends to
publishing an annual report which provides summaries of these results.

Some of the Regulations address specific aspects of drinking water safety,


for example, a requirement to adequately treat and disinfect water supplies,
and regulation on the control of the use of chemicals and materials of
construction used in public water supplies.

We also carry out independent technical audits of NI Water’s records and


sites to ensure its operational and management procedures are robust
and appropriate. On completion of these inspections, we submit reports
containing our conclusions, recommendations, suggestions and comments
to NI Water. A summary of the inspections carried out are given later in
Part 1 of the report.

NI Water must notify the Inspectorate of any event, which by reason of


its effect, or likely effect on the quality or sufficiency of drinking water,
may give rise to a significant risk to consumers’ health. Others, including
consumers, may bring such events to our attention. Our role is to
investigate and report on these circumstances. Further details of the events
and incidents reported to the Inspectorate in 2007 are given in Part 1 of this
report.

NI Water must investigate the cause of each test result which does not meet
the standard and forward these investigation reports to the Inspectorate.
Our role is to assess this information, and, where appropriate, initiate the
regulatory processes to enable NI Water to bring about the necessary
improvements so that standards can be met in a timely and cost-effective
way.

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Part 1
Public Drinking Water Supplies
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Part 1
Public Drinking Water Supplies

This part of the report gives an overview of the drinking water quality
provided by Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water).

It provides the Inspectorate’s assessment of NI Water’s performance


during 2007 in its duty to deliver drinking water to its customers
throughout Northern Ireland.

During this 2007 reporting year, following Water Reform, Water Service,
an agency within the Department for Regional Development, became
Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) on 1 April, a government-owned
company with responsibility to supply and distribute water throughout
Northern Ireland. Table 1.1 illustrates some figures about NI Water.

Table 1.1: NI Water Figures

NI Water Assets
Number of water treatment works 43
Number of service reservoirs 342
Number of water supply zones 62
Length of mains pipe (km) 26,500
Water Supplied
Water supplied (Ml/day) 617
% from surface sources (impounding reservoirs) Ml/day 53
% from surface sources (rivers and loughs) Ml/day 42
% from ground sources (boreholes) Ml/day 5
Population Served
Northern Ireland population estimate 1,724,000
% population supplied by NI Water 99
Properties connected to the public water supply 795,000
Number of district councils 26
Number of health authorities 5

Water Sources

In Northern Ireland, water supplies are mostly obtained from surface water
(approximately 95%), with the remainder being groundwater sources. Water
from all these sources is treated and distributed through approximately
26,500 kms of water mains. A higher percentage of the Northern Ireland
population, as compared with Great Britain, lives in rural areas. The average

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length of water main per head of population connected to the public


supply in Northern Ireland is estimated at 15.4 metres compared with 6.2
metres in England and Wales, and 9.0 metres in Scotland.

Water source has an important impact on the properties of a drinking


water supply, such as taste, hardness, acidity (pH) and mineral content. The
predominantly surface water sources in Northern Ireland contain naturally
occurring organic materials which need to be removed by water treatment
processes.

Within Northern Ireland, private water supplies are also used by a small
percentage of the population (<1%). Information on the regulation of
private water supplies is given in Part 4 of the report.

Drinking Water Quality Testing

Throughout 2007, NI Water sampled drinking water across Northern


Ireland to test for compliance with the standards in The Water Supply
(Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 and 2007. The
Regulations require that sampling programmes are in place to ensure that
water quality is monitored at water treatment works, service reservoirs,
water supply points and at consumers’ taps in water supply zones.

Overall Drinking Water Quality

In 2007, of the 124,404 tests undertaken by NI Water, 499 (0.40%) failed to


meet the standards. This is an improvement compared with the 558 (0.45%)
tests which failed in 2006, and is due to improved compliance being
reported for water treatment works and service reservoirs.

While an overall improvement in drinking water quality has been


recorded for 2007, this report and previous reports highlight those water
quality issues where compliance with the regulatory standards still has
to be achieved. Overall microbiological quality has shown a significant
improvement at 99.85% compliance compared with 99.76% achieved
last year. There was a significant increase in the number of tests taken
from service reservoirs meeting the regulatory standards in 2007, as well
as increased compliance at water treatment works and consumers’ taps.
Compliance with microbiological standards is important as contraventions
may indicate a breach in the integrity of the water supply system or a failure
in the treatment process. Where the condition of a consumer’s tap is the
reason for microbiological standards not being met, NI Water must advise
the consumer accordingly.

Certain chemical parameters have still not met the standards, mainly:
trihalomethanes (THMs), iron, aluminium, lead and manganese, and
significant improvement measures still need to be implemented to progress
compliance. THM compliance should be substantially achieved by 2009
with the completion of new and upgraded water treatment works. The
implementation of the mains rehabilitation programme should further
improve compliance for iron, aluminium and manganese, and lead
compliance is expected to increase with the continued delivery of the
orthophosphate treatment programme.

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Table 1.2: Overall Water Quality

Number Number of Tests


of Tests Not Meeting the
Standards
Water Leaving Water Treatment Works
E. coli 9,471 4
Coliform bacteria 9,471 11
Microbiological Total 18,942 15
Nitrite 387 0
Turbidity* 9,471 50
Total 28,800 65
Water in Service Reservoirs
E. coli 17,581 5
Coliform bacteria 17,581 43
Total 35,162 48
Water at Consumers’ Taps or
Authorised Supply Points
E. coli 5,568 3
Coliform bacteria 5,568 31
Enterococci 464 0
Clostridium perfringens* 2,939 3
Microbiological Total 14,539 37
Zone Chemical Analysis 23,400 343
Supply Point Chemical Analysis 22,503 6
Total 60,442 386

Overall Microbiological Quality* 68,643 100 (0.15%)

Overall Water Quality* 124,404 499 (0.40%)

The key water quality results for 2007 are presented in two tables: one
showing results for the microbiological parameters (Table 1.3); the other
presents the chemical/physical parameters (Table 1.5). Specific drinking
water quality issues are further discussed in Part 3 of this report.

*For year-on-year comparison, note that turbidity results for water leaving water treatment works
and Clostridium perfringens results for water samples at authorised supply points are included in the
2007 figures.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Microbiological Quality

To protect public health, microbiological standards have to be met at each


individual water treatment works and service reservoir, and at consumers’
taps. The significance of the individual test results for each microbiological
parameter at each monitoring location varies, and a single positive result
cannot be interpreted without other information. The microbiological
results confirm the overall safety of drinking water supplies, with an overall
high level of microbiological quality compliance (99.85%) being achieved in
2007.

Table 1.3: Microbiological Parameters

Number of Tests
Total Number
Test Parameters Standard Not Meeting the Comments
of Tests
Standard

Water Leaving Water Treatment Works


E. coli 0/100ml 9,471 4
Coliform bacteria 0/100ml 9,471 11
Number of Water Treatment Works (WTW) Sampled = 43
Water Leaving Service Reservoirs
E. coli 0/100ml 17,581 5
0/100ml
95% compliance 338 service reservoirs met
Coliform bacteria required for each 17,581 43 the annual 95% compliance
reservoir rule.*

Number of Service Reservoirs Sampled = 342


Water Sampled at Consumers’ Taps
E. coli 0/100ml 5,568 3
Enterococci 0/100ml 464 0
Number of Consumers’ Taps Sampled (Water Supply Zones) = 62
Water Leaving Water Treatment Works

One site (out of 43 WTWs) is


<1 oocyst per 10
Cryptosporidium 130 0 on a continuous sampling
litres**
programme.

*Note: Erratum in 2006 Report, Part 1, Table 1.3 – correct figure should read 347 service reservoirs
met the 95% compliance rule.

**Note: This is a reporting value and not a regulatory treatment standard.

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E. coli at Water Treatment Works and Service Reservoirs

In 2007, across Northern Ireland, a total of 27,052 samples for E. coli testing
were collected at water treatment works and service reservoirs. E. coli was
detected in nine of these samples: four from water treatment works; and five
from service reservoirs. Where the reason for failure was due to insufficient
disinfection, sampling error or contamination due to ingress, remedial action
was undertaken by NI Water.

On detecting E. coli, NI Water is required to act promptly to protect


public health. The immediate response when finding E. coli in a sample at a
works or at a service reservoir is to carry out substantive investigative work
and confirm that the water being received by consumers is safe.

Coliform Bacteria at Water Treatment Works

Testing for coliform bacteria at works gives reassurance that water is being
treated adequately to remove bacterial and viral pathogens. In 2007, of the
43 works in Northern Ireland, nine sites had coliform bacteria contraventions.
The Inspectorate has expressed its concern to NI Water regarding these
contraventions. Repeated occurrences of coliform bacteria in samples
from the same works in one year are of concern and require action to be
taken. In 2007, this situation occurred at two sites: Carron Hill and Dunore
Point. Investigative work by NI Water reported disinfection problems and
unrepresentative sampling as the reasons for failing to comply with the
regulatory standard.

Coliform Bacteria at Service Reservoirs

Testing for coliform bacteria at service reservoirs is used to give reassurance


that the quality of water held at these strategic locations in the distribution
system is adequately maintained. Service reservoirs which are not
maintained in good structural condition can be prone to inward leakage
from contaminated surface water.

Secondary disinfection is installed at some service reservoirs in Northern


Ireland, particularly where there are long distribution networks. In such
cases, NI Water considers it necessary to boost disinfection levels to achieve
a disinfection residual at the end of the network. However, it is imperative
that secondary disinfection does not disguise a more fundamental problem
with a service reservoir, such as compromised integrity. NI Water continues
to develop a programme of inspection, cleaning and refurbishment of
service reservoirs.

The national standard requires that at least 95% of samples collected


weekly from each service reservoir throughout the year are free from all
coliform bacteria. In 2007, 342 service reservoirs were sampled and 338
met the regulatory standard. Coliform bacteria were present at 35 (10.2%)
service reservoirs during 2007.

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The number of occasions when coliform bacteria were detected at


service reservoirs decreased significantly from 68 in 2006, to 43 in 2007.
Investigative work revealed inadequate disinfection on 19 occasions;
contamination due to ingress on 12 occasions; and inadequate sampling
procedures (resulting in unrepresentative sampling of water going into
supply) due to dirty, leaking or exposed sample taps as the reasons for
samples failing to meet the regulatory requirements on 10 occasions.
No apparent reason was found for the remaining two samples. The
Inspectorate expressed its concern to NI Water about these water quality
issues, particularly where, due to ingress, disinfection was compromised
and the microbiological standards were not met. NI Water is taking the
appropriate remedial measures through its service reservoir integrity
programme and improved operational practices.

Enterococci and E. coli at Consumers’ Taps

The presence of Enterococci, like E. coli, is indicative of faecal contamination


and neither bacterium should be found in any drinking water sample. In
2007, Enterococci were not found in any of the 464 samples taken by
NI Water at consumers’ taps.

In 2007, a total of 5,568 consumer tap samples were tested for the presence
of E. coli and three were positive. In these cases, there was no indication
from the information provided by NI Water as part of its investigative work,
of a faecal contamination event affecting other properties in these zones.
Further investigative samples were satisfactory.

Coliform Bacteria at Consumers’ Taps

The Regulations require that coliform bacteria samples are collected from
consumers’ taps. The network of water mains and service reservoirs which
are known as the ‘distribution system’ carry water from the water treatment
works to consumers. Regardless of how thoroughly the drinking water has
been treated, the condition of the distribution system can have an effect
on the quality of water passing through it, including the condition of the
internal plumbing within consumers’ premises.

In 2007 there has been a decrease in the number of samples that failed
to comply with the coliform bacteria standard from samples taken from
consumers’ taps: 31 (0.56%), compared with 41 (0.81%) in 2006. Of these
samples, follow-up investigations report the condition of consumers’ taps
as the reason for 19 (61.3%) of the contraventions. NI Water is required to
advise the consumer where the contravention has been attributed to the
domestic plumbing and what action, if any, the consumer may take.

Samplers used by NI Water are trained to collect samples from consumers’


taps. The Inspectorate, however, continues to express its concern that
NI Water’s sampling arrangements for all locations, i.e. water treatment
works, service reservoirs and consumers’ taps, should not generate
unrepresentative sample results.

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www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Cryptosporidium at Water Treatment Works

The Regulations require NI Water to carry out an annual risk


assessment for Cryptosporidium, and during 2007, of the 43 water
treatment works assessed, only one site was identified to be included in a
continuous monitoring programme for the detection of Cryptosporidium
oocysts. This site blends surface water, where treatment includes
disinfection, slow sand filtration and rapid gravity filtration, with water from
deep boreholes.

Monitoring is carried out in accordance with the document ‘Guidance for


the Monitoring of Cryptosporidium in Treated Water Supplies in Northern
Ireland’, which is available on the website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/crypto_guidance_april05.pdf.
The Guidance identifies factors that contribute towards the assessment
of ‘significant risk’, such as: the catchment; water source type and quality;
the type of treatment provided; and history of any drinking water related
cryptosporidiosis outbreaks.

Risk assessment arrangements were established for public health


protection and incorporate a formal notification level of one or more
oocysts per 10 litres and an alert level of 0.1 oocysts per 10 litres. Of the
130 tests carried out in 2007, all results were below both the formal
notification level and the alert reporting level. During 2007, there were no
reports of mains water supply related outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in
Northern Ireland.*

Table1.4: Cryptosporidium Monitoring

2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

Number of sites sampled 1 4 5 5 5

Number of samples collected 130 1,137 1,495 1,519 1,502

Number of samples with oocysts detected 0 9 41 8 79

% of samples with oocysts detected 0.00 0.79 2.74 0.53 5.3

Number of sites with oocysts detected in one or more samples 0 4 5 3 5

% of sites with oocysts detected in one or more samples 0.00 100 100 60 100

% of detections that were <0.1 oocysts/10 litres 100 100 99.80 100 100

Number of samples >1 oocysts/10 litres 0 0 0 0 0

Number of sites with >1 oocysts/10 litres 0 0 0 0 0


Highest concentration of oocysts/10 litres detected 0.00 0.015 0.21 0.08 0.09

Number of Water Treatment Works 43 48 48 50 54

* Data source: Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Northern Ireland).


Monitoring

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Clostridium Perfringens

The Regulations require monitoring for Clostridium perfringens as


an indicator parameter, and it can be used in association with other
parameters to assess the efficiency of water treatment processes. This
organism is a spore forming bacterium that is exceptionally resistant to
unfavorable conditions in the water environment: extremes of
temperature and pH; and disinfection processes such as chlorination and
ultraviolet light. It is a normal component of the intestinal flora of up to 35%
of humans and other warm-blooded animals. These characteristics make it
a useful indicator of either intermittent or historical faecal contamination of
a ground water source, or surface water filtration plant performance. Any
detection of Clostridium perfringens should trigger an investigation by
NI Water.

In 2007, 2,939 tests were carried out for Clostridium perfringens on samples
collected from water treatment works. Of these, three failed to meet the
standard of 0/100ml. The standards were not met at three of the 43 works
sampled: Castor Bay, Ballysallagh and Drumaroad.

Chemical/Physical Quality

Drinking water quality at consumers’ taps is assessed using mean zonal


compliance (MZC), an index which is calculated using 40 parameters from
the regulatory sampling programme. For a description of how mean zonal
compliance is calculated, please refer to Annex 4. Compared with last year,
there has been a decrease in the compliance achieved at consumers’ taps:
99.34% reported for 2006; and 99.30% reported for 2007. The main reason
for this is the significant increased number of THM contraventions.

Table 1.5 summarizes the percentage zonal compliance of all the samples
taken to represent the quality of water at consumers’ taps in 2007. The 13
parameters which did not achieve full regulatory compliance are listed at
the top of the table.

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Table 1.5: % Mean Zonal Compliance of Samples Taken at Consumers’ Taps

Number Number
% Zonal % Zonal
Parameter of Parameter of
Compliance Compliance
Samples Samples
1
Total Trihalomethanes 752 79.37 Arsenic 464 100
Iron 2,012 98.29 Bromate 464 100
Aluminium 2,012 98.78 Cadmium 464 100
Lead 464 98.79 Cyanide 388 100
Manganese 2,012 98.87 Chromium 464 100
Mercury 388 100
Pesticides - other
2, 3 17,460 99.03 Antimony 464 100
substances
Selenium 464 100
Pesticides - total
388 99.71 Tetrachloroethene/
substances
trichloroethene (sum 388 100
Turbidity 2,012 99.77 of 2 substances)
E. coli 5,568 99.80 PAHs (sum of 4
Nickel 464 99.80 464 100
substances)
Heptachlor epoxide 388 99.90 Enterococci 464 100
Colour 2,012 99.91 Boron 388 100
Hydrogen ion 2,012 99.98 Tetrachloromethane 388 100
1,2-dichloroethane 388 100
Benzo(a)pyrene 464 100
Benzene 388 100
Taste 2,012 100 Aldrin 388 100
Odour 2,012 100 Dieldrin 388 100
Sodium 464 100 Heptachlor 388 100
Nitrate 492 100 Total Number of
52,427
Nitrite 492 100 Samples
Nitrate/Nitrite Formula 492 100
Copper 464 100 Mean Zonal
99.30
Compliance %
Fluoride 387 100

1
The problems reflected by these parameters which have not achieved full 24 (38.7%) zones have associated Authorised
compliance do not apply everywhere in Northern Ireland; full details of the Departure work programmes.
water supply zone areas where each parameter standard has not been met
is given in Annex 3. Part 2 of this year’s report presents, for the first time, the 2
All pesticides other than aldrin, dieldrin,
water supply zones where compliance has not been achieved at the local heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide.
level of district council area.
3
3(4.8%) zones have associated Authorised
Comparing the overall percentage MZC across the UK for 2007, Northern Departure work programmes.
Ireland reports 99.30%; Scotland, 99.60%; and England and Wales, 99.96%.
The improved compliance reported for England and Wales, and Scotland
reflects the substantial investment in improvement programmes which
have been delivered to increase compliance. In Northern Ireland there is an
ongoing programme being implemented to improve drinking water quality
compliance.

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Trihalomethanes (THMs)

Trihalomethanes arise when chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water


and make it microbiologically safe to drink, is added to water containing
naturally occurring organic substances. Drinking water in Northern Ireland
is predominantly obtained from surface waters, which are likely to contain
naturally occurring organic materials. The leaching of this organic content
into water supplies is affected by seasonal variations. Water treatment
is necessary to remove the organic material prior to disinfection, and
optimization of these processes minimizes the production of THMs.

In 2007, THMs remain the parameter for which there is the greatest number
of tests failing to comply with the regulatory standards. Of the 752 tests
carried out, 243 (32.31%) exceeded the standard. It is disappointing to note
that this is a significant increase from the 21.31% tests exceeding in 2006.
THMs are discussed in more detail in Part 3 of this report.

NI Water must continue to maintain a careful balance between maintaining


good bacteriological quality through an adequate disinfection residual, and
minimizing chlorine levels to limit the formation of THMs. Where possible,
without compromising disinfection, NI Water should continue to strive for
lower THM values.

Table 1.6: Trihalomethane Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Number of % of % of
Determinations Determinations Determinations
Not Meeting Not Meeting ADs
100 µg/l

2007 752 32.31 5.59


2006 704 21.31 1.14

Iron

The regulatory standard for iron has been set for aesthetic reasons because
levels persistently above the standard can give rise to discoloured water.
There is no health risk from the reported exceedences of the iron standard
but the presence of excessive iron may make the appearance and taste of
the water unacceptable to consumers. There are various reasons why iron
might be present in the water: it may be present in the raw water;
iron compounds may be added as part of water treatment; or it can be
released as a consequence of the corrosion of iron water mains.

In 2007, of the 2,012 samples taken for iron, 34 (1.69%) failed to meet
the 200 µg/l standard due to the condition of the distribution network.
Of these contraventions, Altmore-Gortlenaghan, Lough Ross, Seagahan,
Dorisland, Lough Braden and Limavady Water Supply Zones were of
particular significance as they had recurring iron contraventions. NI Water
is identifying the location of these contraventions and prioritizing remedial
action to effect regulatory compliance within the associated rehabilitation
work programme. Iron is discussed in more detail in Part 3 of this report.

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Table 1.7: Iron Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Number of Number of % of
Determinations Determinations Determinations
Not Meeting Not Meeting
200 μg/l 200 µg/l

2007 2,012 34 1.69


2006 2,016 45 2.33

Aluminium

Aluminium can occur naturally in many water sources, particularly those


derived from upland areas. Aluminium compounds are also used as an
important part of the processes used in the treatment and purification
of water, including the removal of harmful organisms. In addition to
this primary role, aluminium-based water treatment removes naturally
occurring aluminium from water. The regulatory standard for aluminium is
based on aesthetic considerations because high concentrations in water
may cause discoloration.

In 2007 a total of 2,012 samples were tested for aluminium; 30 (1.49%)


exceeded the standard. Inadequate treatment or poor control of the
coagulation process may lead to aluminium passing through the treatment
works and into the supply where it can accumulate in the distribution
network. Of the 30 failures for this year, investigative work by NI Water
reported 14 were due to disturbance of the mains; 10 related to a water
quality incident in the Drumaroad supply area; and a further two were
related to treatment problems. Investigation by NI Water was unable to
determine the reason for the remaining four failures.

Table 1.8: Aluminium Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Number of Number of % of
Determinations Determinations Determinations
Not Meeting Not Meeting
200 μg/l 200 µg/l

2007 2,012 30 1.49


2006 2,016 36 1.79

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Lead

The regulatory requirements are set as an interim lead standard of 25 µg/l


which was to be met by 25 December 2003, and a final standard of 10 µg/l
to be met by 25 December 2013.

Meeting the lead standard is a complex matter because although some


lead pipes are owned by NI Water, most belong to consumers, i.e. building
owners. Many older properties still have service pipes and internal
plumbing wholly or partly comprised of lead. Some lead in drinking water
may be due to the use of lead solder on copper pipes not owned by
NI Water (the use of lead solder on copper pipes has been banned since
the early seventies). Whether or not the lead standard is exceeded at a
particular tap depends on a number of factors, an important one being the
plumbosolvency of the water (the tendency for lead to dissolve in water).

The Regulations require NI Water to carry out a programme of measures


(water treatment) to reduce the tendency of water supplies to pick
up lead from pipes and fittings. A plumbosolvency strategy to deliver
improved compliance for the interim lead standard of 25 µg/l introduced a
programme of orthophosphate treatment at all the major water treatment
works during 2004. NI Water is currently assessing the effectiveness of this
treatment and whether the treatment process has been optimized.

NI Water has an ongoing programme of replacement of its part of lead


service pipes, which is carried out during mains rehabilitation. NI Water will
also replace, free of charge, any of its pipes which may be made of lead in
the supply to a property, but only when a written request is received from a
consumer who has replaced the portion of lead service pipe for which the
householder is responsible.

In 2007, of the 464 tests carried out for lead, four (0.86%) exceeded the
standard. All of these exceedences occurred in water supply zones which
have associated orthophosphate treatment programmes in place, and
following further investigation, it was found that two of these exceedences
occurred at properties which had lead service pipes. Investigation by
NI Water found no apparent reason for the other two exceedences. When
the sample has exceeded the standard, NI Water notifies the customers and
the local Environmental Health Officer. Lead is discussed in more detail in
Part 3 of this report.

Table 1.9: Lead Compliance with Regulatory Standards

% of % of
Number of Determinations Determinations
Determinations Not Meeting Not Meeting
25 µg/l 10 µg/l

2007 464 0.86 1.51


2006 480 0.63 2.92
2005 506 1.38 3.56

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Manganese

The regulatory standard for manganese has been set for aesthetic
reasons. Manganese occurs naturally in many of Northern Ireland’s water
sources and is removed by effective water treatment. Where treatment is
inadequate, manganese and iron can accumulate in distribution pipes.

Of the 2,012 samples taken in 2007, the manganese standard was not met
on 23 (1.14%) occasions. Sixteen failures were due to disturbance of the
mains; and six were related to the water quality incident in the Drumaroad
supply area. Following investigative work, no reason was found for the
remaining contravention.

Pesticides

Pesticides are a group of substances that include insecticides, herbicides,


fungicides and algicides. The Regulations set standards for individual
pesticides, as well as a standard for the sum of all the pesticides. The
standards are set with a wide margin of safety. Government guidelines
specify that sampling and analysis should be undertaken for those
pesticides used in significant amounts on catchments and those most
likely to reach water supplies. Water sources may contain traces of pesticide
residues as a result of agricultural use (pest control on crops) and non-
agricultural use (herbicide for weed control on roads, etc). NI Water is
required to assess the risk to drinking water from pesticides in use in
its catchments and then develop an appropriate pesticide monitoring
programme.

The Inspectorate would encourage the development of a water safety plan


approach as an effective means of mitigating the risks of contamination
within catchments used to provide drinking water sources.

During 2007, 48 individual pesticides were monitored. Of the 19,012


determinations, five failed to comply with the regulatory standards. On
four occasions the regulatory standard was not met for MCPA, and on one
occasion, the regulatory standard for heptachlor epoxide was not met. One
of the MCPA exceedences also contravened the total pesticide limit of
0.5 µg/l. MCPA is a herbicide used for controlling broad-leaved weeds in
grass and cereal crops. Heptachlor epoxide is a broad spectrum insecticide
which is currently banned in the UK.

When a pesticide contravention occurs, NI Water liaises with the Northern


Ireland Environment Agency’s Pollution Control Team to carry out
investigations regarding pesticide usage and control within the relevant
catchments.

Table 1.10 lists the locations where pesticide contraventions have occurred
above the regulatory standard for the last three years. The Inspectorate
considers the extent and duration of these regulatory contraventions
and takes action, as appropriate. Regulatory action has been taken at
two locations: firstly, at Lough Cowey Water Treatment Works, where the
Inspectorate has granted an Authorised Departure for mecoprop until this
works is decommissioned; and secondly, at Altmore Water Treatment Works,
where work was being undertaken to put in place a treatment barrier
(powdered activated carbon) to remove pesticides from the source water.

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Table 1.10: Pesticide Exceedences at Water Treatment Works

2007 2006 2005

Heptachlor Epoxide

Pentachlorophenol
Total Pesticides
Total Pesticides

Isoproturon

Glyphosate
Mecoprop
Mecoprop
Water Treatment Works

MCPA
MCPA
MCPA

2,4-D
W1301, Moyola                 1

W2501, Altmore 1 1 2     1        

W2706, Camlough 1          1    

W3301, Dunore Point 1              



W3317, Dorisland 2 1           2    

W3396, Mourne at  1  1          
Ballaghanery*
W3503, Conlig*    1          

W3505, Lough Cowey* 3            

W4301, Carmoney         1   1  

W4501, Derg 1              

W4541, Glenhordial             1    

Total Number of Exceedences 4 1 1 4 4 1 1 1 1 4 1 1

*These sites are no longer in service.

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Nickel

Nickel is not normally found in drinking water sources, but traces can be
found in drinking water due to contact with nickel-plated or chromium-
plated taps. In 2007, of the 464 samples taken, one failed the 20 µgNi/l
standard due to the condition of the consumer’s tap.

Colour

The 20 mg/l Pt/Co regulatory standard for colour is based on aesthetic


considerations: water should be clear and bright. Colour in water comes
from naturally occurring humic substances, particularly in acidic water
sources derived from peaty type catchment areas. The humic substances
responsible for colour may form other compounds (such as THMs) when
water is disinfected. Colour can be removed by appropriate treatment.

In some circumstances, water may also become coloured as it comes into


contact with old iron mains. In 2007, of the 2,012 samples taken, two
(0.10%) failed to meet the standard for colour. One of these was caused by
the condition of the water mains and the other was due to the quality of
the water leaving the water treatment works.

Hydrogen ion (pH)

The pH is a measure of acidity (or alkalinity) in water. The Regulations


prescribe that pH should be between a minimum value of 6.5 and a
maximum value of 9.5.

In Northern Ireland, many upland waters used for public supply contain
acidic organic material derived from peat. The pH of water supplied is
adjusted during treatment to control the corrosion of water mains and to
reduce the uptake of metals such as lead, copper and zinc from consumers’
plumbing.

Contraventions of the pH standard in treated water can often be related to a


problem at the water treatment works. Another, usually temporary cause of
contravention of the pH standard, arises from newly installed cement-lined
water mains in the distribution system.

Of the 2,012 samples taken for pH during 2007, the regulatory standards
were not met on one occasion when the minimum value of 6.5 was not
achieved, and on three occasions when the maximum value of 9.5 was not
met. The contraventions were due to operational difficulties in controlling
pH in the associated water treatment works.

Water Quality in Distribution

A measure of water quality in distribution is operational performance


index (OPI [TIM]), which is based on the mean zonal compliance of three
parameters which best reflect the causes of discoloured water: turbidity,
iron and manganese. For 2007, the OPI (TIM) is 98.98% (98.87% in 2006)
here in Northern Ireland. For Scotland, the OPI (TIM) is 99.15% (98.86% in
2006), and in England and Wales it remains at 99.85% in 2007.

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Table 1.11: Operational Performance Index (OPI [TIM])

Parameter % Mean Zonal Compliance

Turbidity 99.77

Iron 98.29

Manganese 98.87

OPI (TIM) 98.98

The use of this index will help the Inspectorate to identify more clearly
where effort is required to raise the quality of water at consumers’ taps. The
range of OPI (TIM) values in 2007 across the water supply zones in Northern
Ireland varies from 90.28% to 100%. Failure across the region varies and
tends to reflect where the distribution network contains a large proportion
of cast-iron mains. Further details on this variation are discussed in Part 3 of
this report.

Turbidity

The regulatory standard for water leaving a water treatment works is


a turbidity value of 1 NTU. The finely suspended particles which cause
turbidity in water must be removed by effective water treatment. Where
treatment is inadequate, these particles will remain in the water going into
supply. A turbidity value of < or = 1 NTU is considered necessary to achieve
effective disinfection.

Turbidity exceedences occurred at 17 (39.5%) water treatment works in


2007. Of the 9,471 samples taken for turbidity analysis from water treatment
works, 50 (0.53%) failed to meet the standard; a significant improvement
compared with last year when 1.17% failed to meet the standard.

This parameter is often, but not always associated with discoloration,


which in turn, can be caused by corrosion within the distribution system.
Excessive turbidity can make the appearance of the water unacceptable to
consumers. Of the 2,012 tests carried out on samples taken at consumers’
taps in 2007, five samples failed to meet the turbidity standard of 4 NTU for
consumers’ taps. Four failures were due to disturbance of the mains and one
was related to the internal plumbing of the property sampled.

Contraventions – Follow-up Action

If NI Water supplies water that does not meet the drinking water standards,
it must investigate the cause of the problem and notify the Inspectorate of
its findings. The Inspectorate assesses each notification and determines if
the failure is likely to recur.

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If the Inspectorate considers that the failure is likely to recur, NI water is


required to put a programme of remedial work in place to improve drinking
water quality. The Inspectorate implements the appropriate statutory
mechanism to secure or facilitate compliance. During this reporting period,
the following statutory mechanisms have been in place: Authorised
Departures; formal notices; and consideration of provisional enforcement
orders.

Authorised Departures (ADs)

Where a water treatment works has been identified as being at risk of


failing to meet the regulatory standards, and the existing water treatment
is considered inadequate, the Inspectorate agrees a water treatment
improvement programme with NI Water which is stated within the terms
and conditions of an AD. The Regulations recognize that a period of time
may be required during which improvement work must be carried out to
bring the drinking water into compliance with the regulatory standards.

During 2007, ADs were in place for THMs in 24 water supply zones; two
for the individual pesticide MCPA; and one for the individual pesticide
mecoprop. Further details of these ADs are contained within Annex 5 of this
report.

Formal Notice Action

Under the previous 2002 Regulations, formal notice action was a process
used by the Inspectorate to make improvements to drinking water quality
following the failure of a regulatory requirement. The notices which
issued in 2006 related to a range of non-compliances with the regulatory
standards for THMs, iron, coliform bacteria and pesticides (MCPA and
mecoprop). Further details on these formal notices are contained within
Annex 6 of this report. The Inspectorate monitors progress with the
implementation of any remedial measures and expressed its concern to
NI Water regarding the length of time taken for corrective action to be
carried out, particularly action relating to coliform contraventions and the
installation of chlorine units. Appropriate enforcement action will be taken
for any future similar non-compliances under the new 2007 regulatory
regime.

Consideration of Provisional Enforcement Orders

The Inspectorate’s assessment of a significant contravention of the


Regulations may result in ‘enforcement action’ being taken. In 2007 the
enforcement process commenced with three ‘minded to enforce’ letters
requesting what action NI Water intended to take to secure compliance in
relation to recurring THM contraventions above the granted AD level. The
Inspectorate accepted appropriate undertakings from NI Water in relation
to the Dunore Point, Castor Bay and Seagahan water supply areas. A
summary of the corrective action associated with these three consideration
of provisional enforcement orders is given in Table 1.12.

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Table 1.12: Consideration of Provisional Enforcement


Orders Issued in 2007

Water Treatment Works


(WTWs) and Associated Parameter Corrective Action
Water Supply Zones

Dunore Point WTWs Replacement of Dunore WTWs


as required by the terms and
Dunore East conditions of the Authorised
Oldpark THMs - recurring Departure. Implement interim
Woodvale AD failures remedial operational measures
Breda East at the ozonation plant; prioritize
Breda West a programme of reservoir
cleaning; and minimize
distribution residence times.

Replacement of Castor Bay


Castor Bay WTWs WTWs as required by the
terms and conditions of
Banbridge-Babylon Hill the Authorised Departure.
Ballydougan-Ballyhannon THMs - recurring Implement interim remedial
Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk AD failures operational measures at the
Castor Bay-Richill ozonation plant; prioritize
a programme of reservoir
cleaning; and minimize
distribution residence times.

Replacement of Seagahan
WTWs as required by the
terms and conditions of
the Authorised Departure.
Seagahan WTWs Minimize THM levels through
THMs - recurring best operational practice; keep
Seagahan AD failures chlorination regime under
review; prioritize a programme
of reservoir cleaning; and
review distribution residence
times and chlorine levels.

Incidents and Events Affecting Drinking Water Quality

The Inspectorate requires NI Water to inform it of all events that have


affected, or are likely to affect, drinking water quality or sufficiency of
supplies, and where as a result, there may be a risk to consumers’ health.
This information is required to be provided according to agreed guidance
and reporting procedures. NI Water is also encouraged to notify the
Inspectorate of events that may fall outside the criteria but which could,
nonetheless, impact on water quality or cause concern to consumers.

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Assessment of Incidents and Events by the Inspectorate

When notified, the Inspectorate assesses NI Water’s provisional information


to determine whether it is an incident or event. The Inspectorate defines an
incident as a situation where there has been a demonstrable deterioration
in the quality of drinking water, giving rise to a significant potential risk to
the health of consumers or a significant adverse aesthetic water quality
change. Where no such deterioration has taken place, the situation is
classified as an event.

There is always the potential for incidents and events to happen. What
matters is how well NI Water minimizes both the risks of occurrence
and the consequences of incidents as it acts to protect public health at all
times. The Inspectorate assesses all the information available to determine:

l what caused the problem and whether or not it was avoidable;

l what NI Water did in response and how it handled the situation;

l what lessons can be learned to prevent similar incidents in the


future; and

l if there were any breaches of the Regulations.

There are several typical outcomes of an incident assessment by an


inspector and these are set out below:

l a letter is sent to NI Water and, where appropriate, copied to


other relevant parties to advise that the incident is closed;

l a letter is sent to NI Water and, where appropriate, copied to other


relevant parties, making recommendations for action which
NI Water must take to address deficiencies revealed by the incident;
and/or

l enforcement action may be taken to ensure that satisfactory


remedial measures are put in place to prevent further regulatory
contraventions.

Details of Notified Incidents and Events During 2007

During 2007, there was a range of incidents and events notified to the
Inspectorate: 20 incidents and eight events, as shown in Table 1.13. Of
the 20 incidents, 12 related to situations of compromised disinfection; six
related to treatment difficulties; and two were caused by other factors.
Mitigation of the risks of non-compliance at water treatment works is within
NI Water’s control. This is being addressed by NI Water through upgrading
water treatment processes and reviewing operational practices, where
necessary.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

When incidents and events are notified to the Inspectorate, the appropriate
district councils and health authorities are also notified. When the
circumstances are considered, the appropriate health authorities may
require ‘boil water advice notifications’ to be issued by NI Water to the
‘affected’ consumers. During 2007, there were no boil water advice
notifications issued.

Table 1.13: Drinking Water Quality Incidents and Events in 2007

Date and Area and Estimate of Nature and Cause of Incident/Event Incident
Duration of Population/Properties or Event
Incident/Event Potentially Affected Classification
8 January Rathlin Island Coliform bacteria failures in final waters at the Incident
2007 (130 population) water treatment works, service reservoir and in
(3 days) the water supply zone. Investigation by NI Water
was unable to identify a specific reason.
17 January 2007 Ballinrees Water Treatment Treatment failure led to aluminium and turbidity Incident
(1 day) Works exceedences in the final water.
(79,000 population)

9 May 2007 Lisraw Service Reservoir E. coli and coliform bacteria failures caused by Incident
(2 days) (60 properties) inadequate disinfection.

16 May 2007 Dunore Point Water Coliform bacteria exceedence due to chlorination Incident
(1 day) Treatment Works failure.
(30,000 properties)

21 May 2007 Altmore Water Pesticide (MCPA) exceedence and also total Incident
Treatment Works pesticide limit exceeded. Insufficient treatment to
(22,000 population) remove MCPA from raw water.

29 May 2007 Lenamore Springs Water E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences due to Incident
(1 day) Treatment Works and chlorination failure.
Teebane West Service
Reservoir
(350 properties)

29 May 2007 Crocknabohil Service E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences due to Incident
(1 day) Reservoir chlorination failure at water treatment works.
(110 properties)

12 June 2007 Dorisland Water Treatment Pesticide (MCPA) exceedence due to breakdown Incident
Works of carbon dosing plant.
(170,000 population)

13 June 2007 Scarva - Newry Main Coliform bacteria exceedences at four service Incident
(3 days) (2,300 properties) reservoirs after chlorination failure.

20 June 2007 Ballymullock Service Coliform bacteria exceedence due to inadequate Incident
(1 day) Reservoir disinfection.
(400 properties)

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Table 1.13: Continued

Date and Area and Estimate of Nature and Cause of Incident/Event Incident
Duration of Population/Properties or Event
Incident/Event Potentially Affected Classification
3 July 2007 Layde Service Reservoir E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences due to Incident
(1 day) (8 properties) inadequate disinfection and possible ingress.

19 July 2007 Altmore Water Treatment Treatment difficulties led to aluminium Incident
(2 days) Works exceedences in the works’ final water and in
(22,000 population) supply.

19 July 2007 Killylane Water Supply E. coli and coliform bacteria failures due to Incident
(3 days) Zone inadequate disinfection.
(3,200 properties)

July - September Drumaroad Supply Area Aluminium and manganese exceedences due to Incident
2007 (250,000 population) a number of factors.
(2 months)
2 October 2007 Loughans Service E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences Incident
(2 days) Reservoir following ingress.
(120 properties)

5 October 2007 Coast Road, Ballygalley Coliform bacteria exceedences due to inadequate Incident
(4 days) (50 properties) disinfection.

26 October 2007 Ards Boreholes at Introduction of new trunk main led to Incident
(5 days) Ballycullen contraventions of the turbidity standard.
(74,500 population)

1 November 2007 Drumaroad Water Treatment difficulties led to aluminium Incident


(5 hours) Treatment Works exceedences in the works’ final water.
(250,000 population)

9 November 2007 Stradreagh Water E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences due to Incident
(2 days) Treatment Works chlorination failure.
(2,500 population)

21 December Moyola Water Treatment Mechanical failure on secondary filters led to Incident
2007 Works turbidity exceedences.
(4 days) (66,000 population)

5 February 2007 Carron Hill Water E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences Event
(1 day) Treatment Works reported due to unrepresentative sampling.
(10,000 population)

27 April 2007 Carmoney Water Coliform bacteria exceedence reported. Event


(1 day) Treatment Works No apparent reason.
(80,000 population)

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Table 1.13: Continued

Date and Area and Estimate of Nature and Cause of Incident/Event Incident
Duration of Population/Properties or Event
Incident/Event Potentially Affected Classification
12 June 2007 Ballysallagh Water Coliform bacteria exceedence reported. Event
(1 day) Treatment Works No apparent reason.
(22,500 population)

13 June 2007 Seagahan Water Coliform bacteria exceedence reported. Event


(1 day) Treatment Works No apparent reason.
(15,000 population)

13 June 2007 Carron Hill Water Coliform bacteria exceedence reported. Event
(1 day) Treatment Works No apparent reason.
(10,000 population)

18 June 2007 Lough Fea Water E. coli and coliform bacteria exceedences Event
(1 day) Treatment Works reported. No apparent reason.
(50,000 population)

6 September Dunore Point Water Coliform bacteria exceedence reported. Event


2007 Treatment Works No apparent reason.
(1 day) (30,000 properties)

20 December Shanmoy Borehole Water Turbidity exceedences due to naturally occurring Event
2007 Treatment Works particles.
(12 days) (24,000 population)

The Technical Audit Process

Technical audit is the term used for the process by which the Inspectorate
checks that NI Water is complying with its statutory obligations. The audit
process also allows the Inspectorate to observe whether current good
practice is being followed. The inspector will give advance notice to
NI Water and explain the purpose of the visit. To aid this process, NI Water
identifies a day-to-day contact person for the inspector, and the Inspectorate
has a named inspector who is its point of contact for raising enquiries or
resolving concerns.

The technical audit process consists of three elements:

• Annual Assessment of Drinking Water Quality Data

› A check on the quality of water supplied throughout the year, based on


information provided by NI Water .

› Checking that NI Water has met its obligations in regard to sampling


programmes and improvement programmes.

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• Inspection of Operational Sites

› Announced visits to observe selected activities of NI Water which are


relevant to its provision of drinking water and the sampling and testing of
drinking water supplies.

• Interim Checks

› Carried out on aspects of compliance and based on information provided


periodically by NI Water.

A summary of the Inspectorate’s findings from the 2007 Inspection


Programme are given in the table below.

Table 1.14: 2007 Inspection Programme - Summary of Inspectorate’s Findings

Location Audit Activity Number of Number of


Recommendations Suggestions

Dorisland Water To check that good practice in water 23 13


Treatment Works treatment is being operated.

Gortlenaghan Water To check that good practice in water 6 4


Treatment Works treatment is being operated.

Killyhevlin Water To check that good practice in water 4 3


Treatment Works treatment is being operated.

Drumaroad Water Post-incident analysis audit. 5 2


Treatment Works
Seagahan Water Post-incident analysis audit. 8 3
Treatment Works
Cabragh, Collone, To check that good practice in water 16 8
Magheraliskmisk distribution is being operated.
and Redhills Service
Reservoirs.
Mains Rehabilitation To check that good practice in water 10 6
Programme distribution is being operated.

NI Water Laboratories To check that good practice in the analysis of 21 14


water samples is being operated.

NI Water Headquarters To check that good practice of the 4 1


‘Laboratory Information Management
System’ is being operated.

Water Quality Samplers To check that good practice in the collection 18 13


of water samples is being operated.

27
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

In 2007, the technical audit programme was satisfactorily undertaken


and the Inspectorate acknowledges NI Water’s continued cooperation.
NI Water has implemented or provided substantive comment on all
recommendations and suggestions within the audit reports.

During the year, the Inspectorate introduced the use of summary reports;
these were provided to NI Water staff at the conclusion of each audit. These
reports summarize the main findings from the audit and also agree a date
for provision of outstanding information (if applicable). A final audit report
is then produced. This approach is both effective and efficient in terms
of communicating the outcomes of the audit process to NI Water. Each
audit report presents the main conclusions and any recommendations,
suggestions or comments made. A clear distinction is made in audit reports
between recommendations, which require a formal written response from
NI Water, and suggestions. Recommendations are made only where, in
the Inspectorate’s opinion, action is required to avoid a foreseeable risk or
a breach of a regulatory duty. If such a breach has occurred, then formal
action may be considered. Suggestions are made in relation to matters
which do not present such a risk; instead they relate to an aspect of best
practice. The Inspectorate has noted that for a number of audits carried out
in 2007 there was undue delay in receiving appropriate responses from
NI Water, and would expect that responses for future audits will be provided
within the required timescales.

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www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Consumer Contacts for Drinking Water Quality Issues

In 2007 the Inspectorate requested NI Water to provide information on the


complaints and concerns made by its customers as consumer acceptability
of drinking water quality is of interest to the Inspectorate. The majority
(66%) of these complaints and concerns show that these were related to the
appearance of water (see Fig 1.1). Within this category, the main concern
(74%) relates to discoloured water, with consumers experiencing orange,
brown or black coloured water at their taps (Fig 1.2 refers). It is expected
that the long-term mains rehabilitation programme of the distribution
system will improve the appearance of water.

Figure 1.1: Main Categories of Consumer Complaints Received


by NI Water in 2007
Appearance - 66%
Appearance

66% Taste and Odour - 13%

Illness - 1.1%

Particles - 2.7%

Animalicles - 17%

Other - 17%

Taste and Odour

17%
Other
Illness
13%
Animalicles
0.2% Particles
1.1%
2.7%

Figure 1.2: Breakdown of the Complaints within the Appearance


Category Received by NI Water in 2007

Colour - 74.1%
Colour

74.1% White - Chalk - 10.7%

White - Air - 12.4%

Stained Washing - 0.4%

Hardness - 0.3%

General - 2.1%

General
White - Chalk 2.1%
10.7% Hardness
Stained
White - Air
Washing 0.3%
12.4% 0.4%

29
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

NI Water Contact Details:

When a consumer has a drinking water quality concern or complaint,


he/she should first contact NI Water’s Customer Service Unit and ask them
to investigate.

Telephone: 08457 440088


E-mail: waterline@niwater.com

Address: NI Water Customer Relations Centre


4th Floor
Capital House
3 Upper Queen Street
BELFAST
BT1 6PU

If, having discussed your concerns with NI Water and you do


not feel that the issue has been satisfactorily resolved, you may contact the
Consumer Council.

Consumer Council Contact Details:

Telephone: Complaints line 08456 016022


E-mail: complaints@consumercouncil.org.uk

Address: Consumer Council


Elizabeth House
116 Holywood Road
BELFAST
BT4 1NY

Drinking Water Inspectorate Contact Details:

Should a consumer feel it necessary to contact the Drinking Water


Inspectorate, he/she should use the contact details below.

Telephone: 028 9056 9282


Fax: 028 9056 9263
E-mail: dwi@doeni.gov.uk

Address: Drinking Water Inspectorate


Environmental Protection Division
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
BELFAST
BT7 2JA

30
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Where can I get More Information on the Quality of my


Drinking Water?

General information on drinking water quality matters is available on the


Inspectorate’s website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/consumer.htm

NI Water Data Tables

A summary of all monitoring data provided to the Inspectorate is


published in electronic format in the form of tables and is available on the
Inspectorate’s website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/public_water/drinking_
water_quality.htm
The data summarizes the numbers of samples taken and the numbers of
samples failing the standard or specification for each parameter as required
by the Regulations.

Information Leaflets

Recently, Water UK launched a consumer guide entitled ‘Looking after WATER


in your home’. It provides advice on how to maintain the quality of tap water
in your home. The Inspectorate is pleased to support this industry-wide guide
and has promoted and encouraged its use through NI Water, district councils
and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. This leaflet can be found on
Water UK’s website:
www.water.org.uk/home/resources-and-links/waterfacts/looking-after-water

Water Hardness

In support of the ‘Looking after WATER in your home’ leaflet, the Inspectorate
has produced a more detailed local map indicating the areas of hard and
soft water in Northern Ireland. This map can be viewed on the Inspectorate’s
website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/consumer/water_hardness.htm

Hard Water can cause scale deposition to form in water heating appliances,
such as boilers, kettles, and washing machines, and can also make it more
difficult to work up lather from soaps, washing up liquids and washing
powders. Soft waters, on the other hand, may be more corrosive to water
pipes. To obtain more detailed information on the water hardness in your
area, contact NI Water on: 08457 440088.

31
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Part 2
Drinking Water Quality in District Council
Areas
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Part 2

Drinking Water Quality in District Council Areas

This part of the report provides summary drinking water quality data
presented by local district council areas.

Also included is a summary of the responses to a questionnaire about


drinking water quality which the Inspectorate issued to the district councils.

Summary of Drinking Water Quality Information

In this year’s report, the Inspectorate has introduced a new part, ‘Drinking
Water Quality in District Council Areas’ as a way of assisting readers to
understand more easily what the water quality is like in water supply zones
that are within their local district council area. To do this, the Inspectorate
has taken each district council area, and, based on the parameters which
are used to assess drinking water quality at consumers’ taps, has listed those
which have not achieved full compliance with the regulatory standards.
These contraventions have been presented in tables using an indicator
measure referred to as ‘mean zonal compliance’. The definition of mean
zonal compliance is contained within Annex 4. It is important to note that
there are 40 parameters which are used to measure water quality within a
water supply zone and that it is only when parameters have not achieved
100 percent compliance, that they are listed on the tables.

When a contravention occurs, Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) carries
out an investigation and appropriate remedial action is taken. For summary
details of work that is being carried out at specific water treatment works,
please refer to Annex 5. For more specific detail on the work being carried
out, the reader should contact NI Water’s Customer Service Unit on:
08457 440088.

The tables that follow list the water supply zones in the district council areas
where there has been a contravention. The reader should note that some
water supply zones cover more than one district council area, and where
this occurs, the results for the whole zone will be included on more than
one district council area page.

There continues to be variations in water quality compliance performance


across Northern Ireland, reflecting the need for the completion of current
and future planned improvement work.

Provision of Drinking Water Quality Information to District


Councils

District councils use various means to keep themselves informed about


drinking water quality. The Regulations require NI Water to provide each
district council with an annual report summarizing drinking water quality
within its area. NI Water has to inform district councils of events affecting
drinking water quality within their areas. District councils may carry out
their own monitoring programmes and some will get involved in helping to
resolve consumer complaints about drinking water quality.

33
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

The Inspectorate is keen to seek the opinions of each Chief Environmental


Health Officer on the quality and safety of drinking water supplies in his
district council area, and so for the third year running, the Inspectorate
issued a short questionnaire to obtain feedback for inclusion in this annual
report. The questions invited views on drinking water quality and the extent
to which councils were involved in local water quality issues.

Of the 26 questionnaires issued, 19 district councils gave their views. A


summary of these views were:

• 17 indicated they were satisfied with the quality of the public


water supply;

• one indicated that it was generally satisfied with the quality of


the public water supply;

• one council indicated that it was concerned with the regular lack
of supply of the public water supply and its effect on water
quality;

• 16 favoured reporting of water quality issues on a more local


interest level;

• 11 councils would like to have reporting on consumer complaints


to be included in the report; and

• 10 councils would like to see more detail given on the reasons/


causes of any local incidents of water quality failures, and
common incident outcomes details would be considered useful.

Other comments made by district councils included:

• interest in more detail on all parameters including THMs,


Cryptosporidium, lead, aluminium, iron and manganese;

• awareness of lead replacement issues; NI Water lead failure


notifications; interest in lead communication pipes and advice to
householders; and the issuing of public health notice(s) if
necessary; and

• NI Water’s handling of customer complaints.

When the questionnaire was issued previously, a common response was


that it would be useful to have reporting of water quality issues on a more
local level. Also, through the Inspectorate’s engagement with other ‘parties’,
it is often asked about local water quality. It is intended that the tables
which follow will provide summary information of water quality compliance
at a local level.

Another common response to the questionnaires was to have more local


information presented on both incidents and events, and on consumer
complaints. While it is not possible for the Inspectorate to consider
presentation of this information on a local basis, summary information has
been presented in Part 1 of this report. For more detailed information on
these local issues, please contact NI Water at 08457 440088 or
waterline@niwater.com
34
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Antrim Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z105 - Bellaghy
Z109 - Dunore North
Z110 - Killylane
Z310 - Dunore East

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.1: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Antrim


Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z109, Dunore North Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 83.33
Z110, Killylane Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 37.50
Z310, Dunore East Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 55.56

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Bellaghy Water Supply Zone (Z105) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

35
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Ards Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z305 - Clandeboye
Z313 - Lisbane
Z316 - Lough Cowey
Z317 - North Peninsula

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.2: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Ards


Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z305, Clandeboye Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Z313, Lisbane Manganese 95.83
Z316, Lough Cowey Trihalomethanes 91.67
Z317, North Peninsula Aluminium 98.08
Manganese 98.08

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

36
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Armagh City and District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z209 - Castor Bay-Shanmoy


Z210 - Clay Lake
Z219 - Seagahan
Z221 - Banbridge-Babylon Hill
Z222 - Ballydougan-Ballyhannon
Z226 - Fofanny
Z227 - Castor Bay-Richill

WSZs

Table 2.3: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Armagh


City and District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z209, Castor Bay-Shanmoy E. coli 98.31
Trihalomethanes 33.33
Z210, Clay Lake Lead 87.50
Manganese 91.67
Trihalomethanes 0.00
Z219, Seagahan Colour 97.22
Iron 94.44
Manganese 97.22
Trihalomethanes 4.17
Z221, Banbridge-Babylon Hill Aluminium 95.83
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 50.00
Z222, Ballydougan-Ballyhannon Trihalomethanes 44.44
Z227, Castor Bay-Richill Trihalomethanes 33.33

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Fofanny Water Supply Zone (Z226) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

37
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Ballymena Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z104 - Ballymena Borough


Z105 - Bellaghy
Z106 - Buckna
Z108 - Dungonnell
Z109 - Dunore North
Z110 - Killylane

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.4: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Ballymena Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z104, Ballymena Borough Iron 97.22
Trihalomethanes 79.17
Z106, Buckna Trihalomethanes 75.00
Z108, Dungonnell E. coli 97.92
Z109, Dunore North Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 83.33
Z110, Killylane Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 37.50

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Bellaghy Water Supply Zone (Z105) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

38
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Ballymoney Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z101 - Alcrossagh
Z102 - Altnahinch
Z107 - Drumabest
Z108 - Dungonnell

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.5: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Ballymoney Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z101, Alcrossagh Trihalomethanes 87.50
Z102, Altnahinch Iron 97.22
Trihalomethanes 62.50
Z107, Drumabest Nickel 87.50
Z108, Dungonnell E. coli 97.92

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

39
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Banbridge District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z212 - Fofanny-Banbridge
Z221 - Banbridge-Babylon Hill
Z222 - Ballydougan-Ballyhannon
Z226 - Fofanny

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.6: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Banbridge District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z212, Fofanny-Banbridge Iron 95.83
Z221, Banbridge-Babylon Hill Aluminium 95.85
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 50.00
Z222, Ballydougan-Ballyhannon Trihalomethanes 44.44

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Fofanny Water Supply Zone (Z226) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

40
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Belfast City Council Area


Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z301 - Ballyhanwood
Z303 - Breda East
Z304 - Breda West
Z307 - Dorisland
Z309 - Dunmurry
Z310 - Dunore East
Z318 - Oldpark
Z321 - Woodvale
Z322 - Purdysburn North

WSZs

Area with no WSZs



Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.7: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Belfast


City Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z301, Ballyhanwood Aluminium 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Z303, Breda East Aluminium 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 87.50
Z304, Breda West Lead 87.50
Trihalomethanes 75.00
Z307, Dorisland Hydrogen ion 98.68
Iron 96.05
Manganese 98.68
Turbidity 97.22
Z309, Dunmurry Trihalomethanes 12.50
Z310, Dunore East Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 55.56
Z318, Oldpark Aluminium 98.08
Trihalomethanes 69.44
Z321, Woodvale Trihalomethanes 55.56
Z322, Purdysburn North Aluminium 95.83
Iron 95.83
Manganese 95.83
Turbidity 95.45

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.
41
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Carrickfergus Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z110 - Killylane
Z307 - Dorisland

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.8: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Carrickfergus Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z110, Killylane Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 37.50
Z307, Dorisland Hydrogen ion 98.68
Iron 96.05
Manganese 98.68
Turbidity 97.22
*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

42
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Castlereagh Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z301 - Ballyhanwood
Z305 - Clandeboye
Z313 - Lisbane
Z315 - Lisnabreeny
Z319 - Purdysburn South

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.9: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Castlereagh Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z301, Ballyhanwood Aluminium 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Z305, Clandeboye Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Z313, Lisbane Manganese 95.83
Z315, Lisnabreeny Aluminium 94.23
Manganese 96.15
Z319, Purdysburn South Iron 97.22
Manganese 97.22
Trihalomethanes 87.50

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

43
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Coleraine Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z102 - Altnahinch
Z103 - Ballinrees

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.10: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Coleraine Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z102, Altnahinch Iron 97.22
Trihalomethanes 62.50
Z103, Ballinrees Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 62.50

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

44
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Cookstown District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z111 - Lough Fea


Z113 - Moyola
Z116 - Unagh
Z411 - Lough Macrory

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.11: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Cookstown District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z113, Moyola Aluminium 97.22
Iron 97.22
Manganese 97.22
Trihalomethanes 70.83

*All other parameters and water supply zones in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore
not included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation
and appropriate remedial action is taken.

45
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Craigavon Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z222 - Ballydougan-Ballyhannon
Z223 - Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk
Z227 - Castor Bay-Richill

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.12: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Craigavon Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z222, Ballydougan-Ballyhannon Trihalomethanes 44.44
Z223, Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 45.83
Z227, Castor Bay-Richill Trihalomethanes 33.33

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

46
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Derry City Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z403 - Carmoney
Z409 - Foyle
Z413 - Limavady

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.13: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Derry


City Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z403, Carmoney Aluminium 94.23
Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 87.50
Turbidity 97.92
Z409, Foyle Trihalomethanes 75.00
Z413, Limavady Aluminium 97.22
Colour 97.22
Iron 94.44
Manganese 94.44
Trihalomethanes 75.00

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

47
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Down District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z212 - Fofanny-Banbridge
Z226 - Fofanny
Z308 - Downpatrick
Z313 - Lisbane
Z315 - Lisnabreeny

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.14: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Down


District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z212, Fofanny-Banbridge Iron 95.83
Z308, Downpatrick Aluminium 88.46
Iron 98.08
Z313, Lisbane Manganese 95.83
Z315, Lisnabreeny Aluminium 94.23
Manganese 96.15

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Fofanny Water Supply Zone (Z226) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

48
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z201 - Altmore
Z202 - Altmore-Gortlenaghan
Z209 - Castor Bay-Shanmoy
Z219 - Seagahan
Z227 - Castor Bay-Richill
Z407 - Killyhevlin
Z411 - Lough Macrory

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.15: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z201, Altmore E. coli 91.67
Trihalomethanes 66.67
Z202, Altmore-Gortlenaghan Aluminium 91.67
Iron 79.17
Manganese 91.67
Trihalomethanes 58.33
Z209, Castor Bay-Shanmoy E. coli 98.31
Trihalomethanes 33.33
Z219, Seagahan Colour 97.22
Iron 94.44
Manganese 97.22
Trihalomethanes 4.17
Z227, Castor Bay-Richill Trihalomethanes 33.33
Z407, Killyhevlin Aluminium 98.68

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Lough Macrory Water Supply Zone (Z411) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed.
Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial
action is taken.

49
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Fermanagh District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z401 - Belleek
Z407 - Killyhevlin
Z410 - Lough Braden

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.16: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Fermanagh District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z407, Killyhevlin Aluminium 98.68
Z410, Lough Braden Aluminium 91.67
Iron 91.67
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 75.00

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Belleek Water Supply Zone (Z401) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where a
standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action is
taken.

50
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Water Quality in Larne Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z106 - Buckna
Z110 - Killylane
Z307 - Dorisland

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.17: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Larne


Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z106, Buckna Trihalomethanes 75.00
Z110, Killylane Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 37.50
Z307, Dorisland Hydrogen ion 98.68
Iron 96.05
Manganese 98.68
Turbidity 97.22

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Limavady Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z402 - Brishey
Z403 - Carmoney
Z412 - Stradreagh
Z413 - Limavady

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.18: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Limavady Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z403, Carmoney Aluminium 94.23
Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 87.50
Turbidity 97.92
Z413, Limavady Aluminium 97.22
Colour 97.22
Iron 94.44
Manganese 94.44
Trihalomethanes 75.00

*All other parameters and water supply zones in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore
not included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation
and appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Water Quality in Lisburn City Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z212 - Fofanny-Banbridge
Z223 - Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk
Z308 - Downpatrick
Z309 - Dunmurry
Z310 - Dunore East
Z314 - Lisburn North
Z315 - Lisnabreeny
Z320 - Stoneyford

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.19: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Lisburn


City Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z212, Fofanny-Banbridge Iron 95.83
Z223, Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 45.83
Z308, Downpatrick Aluminium 88.46
Iron 98.08
Z309, Dunmurry Trihalomethanes 12.50
Z310, Dunore East Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 55.56
Z314, Lisburn North Trihalomethanes 25.00
Z315, Lisnabreeny Aluminium 94.23
Manganese 96.15
Z320, Stoneyford Trihalomethanes 50.00

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Magherafelt District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z103 - Ballinrees
Z111 - Lough Fea
Z112 - Mormeal
Z113 - Moyola

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.20: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Magherafelt District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z103, Ballinrees Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 62.50
Z112, Mormeal Aluminium 95.83
Iron 95.83
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 83.33
Turbidity 95.45
Z113, Moyola Aluminium 97.22
Iron 97.22
Manganese 97.22
Trihalomethanes 70.83

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Lough Fea Water Supply Zone (Z111) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where
a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action
is taken.

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Water Quality in Moyle District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z101 - Alcrossagh
Z102 - Altnahinch
Z108 - Dungonnell
Z115 - Rathlin

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.21: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Moyle


District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z101, Alcrossagh Trihalomethanes 87.50
Z102, Altnahinch Iron 97.22
Trihalomethanes 62.50
Z108, Dungonnell E. coli 97.92

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Rathlin Water Supply Zone (Z115) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed. Where a
standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial action is
taken.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Newry and Mourne District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z214 - Lough Ross


Z224 - Silent Valley-Kilkeel
Z225 - Newry-Ballintemple
Z226 - Fofanny

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.22: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Newry


and Mourne District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z214, Lough Ross Iron 83.33
Z225, Newry-Ballintemple Iron 95.83
Trihalomethanes 83.33

*All other parameters and water supply zones in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore
not included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation
and appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Water Quality in Newtownabbey Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z109 - Dunore North


Z110 - Killylane
Z307 - Dorisland
Z310 - Dunore East

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.23: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Newtownabbey Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z109, Dunore North Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 83.33
Z110, Killylane Aluminium 98.08
Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 37.50
Z307, Dorisland Hydrogen ion 98.68
Iron 96.05
Manganese 98.68
Turbidity 97.22
Z310, Dunore East Iron 98.08
Trihalomethanes 55.56

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in North Down Borough Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z302 - Ballysallagh
Z303 - Breda East
Z305 - Clandeboye
Z306 - Conlig
Z311 - Holywood
Z322 - Purdysburn North

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.24: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in North


Down Borough Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z302, Ballysallagh Iron 95.83
Trihalomethanes 62.50
Z303, Breda East Aluminium 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Trihalomethanes 87.50
Z305, Clandeboye Iron 98.08
Manganese 98.08
Z306, Conlig Lead 75.00
Z311, Holywood Trihalomethanes 25.00
Z322, Purdysburn North Aluminium 95.83
Iron 95.83
Manganese 95.83
Turbidity 95.45

*All other parameters in these water supply zones achieved full compliance and are therefore not
included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and
appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Water Quality in Omagh District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z405 - Glenhordial
Z408 - Lenamore Springs
Z410 - Lough Braden
Z411 - Lough Macrory

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Lakes/Loughs

Table 2.25: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in Omagh


District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z408, Lenamore Springs Lead 75.00
Z410, Lough Braden Aluminium 91.67
Iron 91.67
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 75.00

*All other parameters and water supply zones in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore
not included in this table. Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation
and appropriate remedial action is taken.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Quality in Strabane District Council Area

Water Supply Zones (WSZs) in Council Area

Z404 - Derg
Z408 - Lenamore Springs
Z410 - Lough Braden
Z411 - Lough Macrory

WSZs

Area with no WSZs

Table 2.26: % Zonal Compliance in Water Supply Zones in


Strabane District Council Area

Sampling Location - Zones Parameter % Zonal


Compliance*
Z404, Derg Aluminium 97.22
Trihalomethanes 50.00
Z408, Lenamore Springs Lead 75.00
Z410, Lough Braden Aluminium 91.67
Iron 91.67
Manganese 95.83
Trihalomethanes 75.00

*All other parameters in this area achieved full compliance and are therefore not included in this
table. Lough Macrory Water Supply Zone (Z411) attained full compliance and is therefore not listed.
Where a standard has not been met, NI Water carries out an investigation and appropriate remedial
action is taken.

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61
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Part 3
Protecting Drinking Water Quality
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Part 3
Protecting Drinking Water Quality

This part of the report gives a summary of the work which is being undertaken
by Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) to protect drinking water quality in
Northern Ireland. It looks at the improvement programmes which are being
implemented, particularly where the trihalomethane, iron and lead standards
have not been met.

It also looks at an outline of the water safety plan approach to risk


management and an assessment of NI Water’s performance in supplying water
from the catchments through the water treatment works and onwards through
its distribution networks to consumers’ taps.

Drinking Water Quality Improvement Programmes at


Water Treatment Works (WTWs)

Where drinking water quality standards have not been met, NI Water
has an ongoing major investment programme to improve water quality
compliance. NI Water’s drinking water quality investment plans continue
to target the areas of non-compliance, with further improvements to water
treatment works underway. During 2007, construction work was completed
on the new Carron Hill WTWs, close to Crossmaglen. Construction work
progressed in the Alpha Public Private Partnerships Project (PPP) which
includes NI Water’s treatment facilities at Dunore Point, Castor Bay, Moyola,
Forked Bridge and Ballinrees, which together provide 50% of Northern
Ireland’s water supply. The completion of this project (which is currently
on target for the end of 2008) should significantly improve compliance,
particularly for trihalomethanes (THMs). Improvement work at Clay Lake,
which serves Keady and the surrounding area, is in the commissioning
stage. Other projects which are necessary to increase compliance are
underway for Seagahan and Altmore WTWs.

Drinking Water Quality Improvements - Authorised Departure


Compliance Programmes

With the agreement of the Inspectorate, programmes of improvement work


are put in place to enhance drinking water quality wherever necessary. This
involves a regulatory process referred to as ‘Authorisation of Departures’
(ADs). In 2007 there were 24 ADs in place for THMs, and three in place for
individual pesticides (two for MCPA and one for mecoprop). Of the THM
ADs, 17 will end during 2009 with the delivery of the Alpha PPP schemes.
Annex 5 provides details of the Authorised Departures that were in place
during 2007.

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Trihalomethanes

Trihalomethanes are disinfection by-products that arise when chlorine,


which is used to disinfect the water and make it microbiologically safe to
drink, is added to water containing naturally occurring organic substances.
Drinking water in Northern Ireland is predominately abstracted from
surface waters (approximately 95%), which contain naturally occurring
organic materials. Water treatment is therefore necessary to remove the
organic material prior to disinfection, and optimization of these processes
minimizes the production of THMs. A history of inadequate treatment to
remove this organic material at many of NI Water’s water treatment works
has resulted in a high level of THM non-compliance.

NI Water’s drinking water quality investment plans continue to target areas


of THM non-compliance. Several schemes to upgrade the water treatment
works have already been completed and this is reflected in the trend of
improving overall compliance for THMs, particularly in recent years, as
can be seen below in Figure 3.1. However, it is disappointing to note that
this progressively upward trend has seen a decline in 2007. NI Water gave
changes in raw water quality caused by heavy rain as the principal reason
for this. The Inspectorate has emphasized to NI Water the importance of
water treatment processes being robust enough to deal with the changing
raw water quality: capable of removing organic material from the raw water
and, hence, reducing THMs in the distribution system.

Figure 3.1: Percentage of Tests Meeting the 100 µg/l THM Standard

100100

90 90

80 80

70 70
% Compliance

60 60

50 50

40% Compliance
40

30 30

20 20

10 10

0 0
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2000 2001 2002 2003 Year 2004 2005 2006 2007
Year

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During 2007 the Inspectorate took ‘enforcement action’ to address specific


operational issues relating to THM non-compliance of the Authorised
Departure levels in the Dunore Point, Castor Bay and Seagahan supply
areas. The necessary remedial measures in relation to this enforcement
action are being implemented by NI Water. The completion of new and
upgraded water treatment works by 2009, together with careful operational
management of the water treatment works and distribution systems,
should significantly progress THM compliance. The Alpha PPP project
involving the water treatment facilities at Dunore Point, Castor Bay, Forked
Bridge, Moyola and Ballinrees should deliver improved water quality over
the next year.

Looking at the maps (Figures 3.2 - 3.5) that follow, it is apparent that there
are variations in THM levels in areas within Northern Ireland: some show
improving compliance; while other areas show a marked deterioration in
2007. This largely reflects where improvement work to replace or upgrade
existing water treatment works has been delivered, and where schemes are
in the process of construction and/or commissioning.

Improved compliance is particularly evident in water supply zones in the


south-eastern parts of Counties Down and Armagh; the Ards Peninsula; and
the south-eastern parts of Belfast, supplied by the new treatment facilities
at Drumaroad and Fofanny WTWs (which treat the surface waters derived
from upland peaty catchments in the Mourne Mountains).

In 2007, notable deteriorations in THM compliance are particularly evident


in water supply zones in the mid Armagh area, supplied by Seagahan
WTWs, and zones supplied by Castor Bay WTWs in the Craigavon area.

THM compliance should be significantly increased as NI Water upgrades


its infrastructure over the next two years. In parallel to this, NI Water has an
action plan in place targeting better THM compliance: this includes a review
of its residual disinfection policy and operational practices at existing water
treatment works and distribution systems.

NI Water must continue to retain a careful balance between maintaining


good microbiological quality through an adequate disinfection residual,
and minimizing chlorine levels to limit the formation of THMs. Where
possible, without compromising disinfection, NI Water should continue to
strive for lower THM levels.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Figure 3.2: Average THM Values in Water Supply Zones Across


Northern Ireland in 2004

Average THM values (µg/l)


0 - 50
50.1 - 100
100.1 - 150
No Mains Water Supply

Figure 3.3: Average THM Values in Water Supply Zones Across


Northern Ireland in 2005

Average THM values (µg/l)


0 - 50
50.1 - 100
100.1 - 150
No Mains Water Supply

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Figure 3.4: Average THM Values in Water Supply Zones Across


Northern Ireland in 2006

Average THM values (µg/l)


0 - 50
50.1 - 100
100.1 - 150
No Mains Water Supply

Figure 3.5: Average THM Values in Water Supply Zones Across


Northern Ireland in 2007

Average THM values (µg/l)


0 - 50
50.1 - 100
100.1 - 150
150.1 - 200
No Mains Water Supply

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Drinking Water Quality Improvement Programmes in


Distribution Networks

In addition to the upgrade of water treatment facilities, NI Water has an


ongoing mains rehabilitation programme to restore or replace
the existing water mains pipework. In Northern Ireland, there are
approximately 26,500 kms of water mains that deliver water to
customers’ taps, and many of these mains are made of cast iron.

The condition of the water mains may result in consumers receiving


discoloured drinking water due to the presence of iron or manganese.
Deposits of these naturally occurring substances have accumulated over
many years in the distribution networks as a consequence of their
presence in source waters and a lack of effective water treatment.
In other situations, where the distribution networks are comprised
substantially of old unlined cast-iron water mains, these release iron
into the water due to corrosion. Where iron has accumulated in the
distribution pipes and these deposits get disturbed, they may cause
orange-brown or black discoloration of the water. As part of distribution
maintenance, NI Water has operated an ongoing scouring and cleaning
programme to minimize these water quality problems.

NI Water continues to develop a Water Mains Rehabilitation Programme


in which supply zones that experience water quality and other supply
problems are subjected to a detailed zonal study. Zonal studies indicate
the areas where commencement of water mains rehabilitation should
be prioritized. Currently work is planned for the rehabilitation of
pipework in 71 areas throughout Northern Ireland. Of these, 36 studies
have been completed, with 20 ongoing. Studies on eight further zones
are due to commence, with the remaining seven zonal studies still to be
programmed. This work has resulted in 50 ‘work packages’ being started,
and it is expected that 30 of these ‘packages’ will be completed during
2008.

A measure of water quality in distribution used by the UK Drinking


Water Quality Regulators is an operational performance index called
OPI (TIM), which is based on compliance of three parameters which best
reflect the causes of discoloured water: turbidity, iron and manganese.
In Northern Ireland, the use of this index helps to identify those areas
where more effort is required to raise the quality of water at consumers’
taps.

Table 3.1 lists those water supply zones in Northern Ireland which
have had an OPI (TIM) less than 100% in the period 2004 to 2007. It is
important to note that water supply zones may change from year to
year as rezoning takes place and, therefore, some zones included in this
table have been incorporated in a new zone.

This table shows that OPI (TIM) values across the water supply zones in
Northern Ireland range from 83.33% to 100%. Failure to achieve 100%
compliance across the region varies and tends to reflect where the
distribution networks contain a large proportion of cast-iron mains.

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Table 3.1: Operational Performance Index (OPI [TIM]), 2004 - 2007

Zone Water Supply Zone 2004 2005 2006 2007


Code % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM)
Z102 Altnahinch 93.52 97.22 92.59 99.07
Z103 Ballinrees   98.72
Z104 Ballymena Borough 99.07 99.07 99.07
Z105 Bellaghy 98.61  
Z107 Drumabest 97.22
Z108 Dungonnell 95.24 98.61  
Z109 Dunore North     99.36
Z110 Killylane 98.08 99.36  99.36
Z111 Lough Fea   94.44
Z112 Mormeal 98.61  98.61 95.70
Z113 Moyola 99.07 98.15 98.15
Z116 Unagh 97.22
Z201 Altmore 91.67 83.33 83.33
Z202 Altmore-Gortlenaghan 97.10 95.83 95.83 90.28
Z204 Ballintemple* 94.45
Z205 Ballydougan* 98.04  
Z206 Ballyhannon* 97.22    
Z207 Banbridge* 98.55  
Z208 Castor Bay* 98.55 97.22
Z209 Castor Bay-Shanmoy   98.61
Z210 Clay Lake 97.22 97.22
Z211 Fofanny-Ballymaconaghy* 96.97 
Z212 Fofanny-Banbridge 96.19   99.07 98.61
Z213 Fofanny-Newry* 95.10  
Z214 Lough Ross   95.83 94.44 94.44
Z215 Lurgan* 98.15    
Z216 Magheraliskmisk* 98.61  
Z217 Newry* 97.22 95.83 97.22
Z219 Seagahan 99.07   97.22
Z221 Banbridge-Babylon Hill     98.61
Z223 Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk 99.36
Z225 Newry-Ballintemple 98.61
Z301 Ballyhanwood 98.72 99.36
Z302 Ballysallagh 97.10 97.22 98.61
Z303 Breda East 99.36 99.36
Z305 Clandeboye 98.00 98.72 98.72
Z306 Conlig 83.33
Z307 Dorisland 98.63 98.68 96.93 97.32
Z308 Downpatrick 98.08 99.36 99.36
Z309 Dunmurry 99.35
Z310 Dunore East 99.36
Z311 Holywood 91.67 91.67
Z312 Kilkeel/Annalong* 94.20 98.61
Z313 Lisbane 97.33 98.61
Z314 Lisburn North 96.00
Z315 Lisnabreeny 98.72 99.36 98.72
Z316 Lough Cowey 97.22
Z317 North Peninsula 98.20 98.15 99.36
*These no longer exist as separate zones.
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Table 3.1: Continued

Zone Water Supply Zone 2004 2005 2006 2007


Code % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM) % OPI (TIM)
Z318 Oldpark 99.36 99.36
Z319 Purdysburn South 96.97   99.07 98.15
Z321 Woodvale   99.54
Z322 Purdysburn North     95.70
Z403 Carmoney   98.72 98.03
Z407 Killyhevlin 99.36
Z409 Foyle 99.07 99.07  
Z410 Lough Braden 98.61 98.61   95.83
Z411 Lough Macrory 98.61  
Z412 Stradreagh 91.67  
Z413 Limavady 96.30 95.37 94.44 96.29
Overall OPI (TIM) 98.42 98.85 98.87 98.98
Percentage Number of Water Supply Zones with 45.1 42.1 33.3 48.4
OPI (TIM) <100%

While this table can give an indication of which water supply zones have
iron and/or manganese and/or turbidity failures, the index is derived
from regulatory samples taken randomly in water supply zones, which are
geographically delineated areas. The majority of these failures arise from
iron contraventions. It is only with further follow-up investigative work
that the location of these failures can be identified; this will then give an
indication of which areas within the zones need targeted for appropriate
corrective action.

The map presented in Figure 3.6 shows the geographical distribution of iron
failures across Northern Ireland; these have been reported from regulatory
compliance sampling programmes over the last four years.

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www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Figure 3.6: Iron Contraventions in Water Supply Zones, 2004 - 2007

Improving Compliance with Current and Future Lead Standards

It is encouraging to report that all the work carried out by NI Water to


date has resulted in a significantly improving trend in lead compliance in
Northern Ireland, as shown in Figure 3.7. Looking towards the future
and based on monitoring during 2007, 99.14% of tests met the interim
standard of 25 µg/l, and the number of tests meeting the future standard of
10 µg/l has increased to 98.49%.

To further improve compliance with the lead standard is a complex matter


because although some lead pipes are owned by NI Water, most belong to
consumers (building owners). The responsibility and cost for replacing lead
pipes within the owner’s building is not a drinking water quality regulatory
requirement: it is a choice that the owner has to make.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Figure 3.7: Percentage of Tests Meeting the Current and Future


Standards for Lead, 2002 - 2007

100
100
100
95
95
95
90
90
% Compliance

90
%
%%Compliance
Compliance25µg/l
Compliance 25µg/l
25 µg/l
85
85 % Compliance 25µg/l
85 % Compliance 10µg/l
% Compliance 10µg/l
%%Compliance
Compliance10µg/l
10 µg/l
80
80
%
% Compliance
Compliance
80
% Compliance
75
75
75
70
70
70 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Year
Year
Year

In addition to regulatory samples, NI Water collects samples in response


to consumer requests and for other operational reasons. In 2007, the
Inspectorate noted that a significant number of operational samples
(160) failed the 25 µg/l standard for lead. The main reason for this would
be the considerable amount of building renovation work within the
Belfast area, where traditionally lead pipe work would have been used.

Implementing the Drinking Water Safety Approach -


Water Safety Plans

The primary objectives of a water safety plan designed to protect


human health and ensure good water supply practice are: the
minimization of contamination of source waters; the reduction or
removal of contaminants through appropriate treatment processes;
and the prevention of contamination of the distribution network and
domestic (building) water systems.

A water safety plan is the most effective way of ensuring that a water
supply is safe for human consumption. It is based on a comprehensive
risk assessment and the adoption of a risk management approach for
each of the steps in a water supply chain, from catchment to consumer.

NI Water continues to develop its drinking water safety plans which will
involve identification of the hazard(s) and calculation of risk of that/
those hazard(s) which could potentially threaten each stage of the water
supply process, to ensure that effective controls are in place to protect
drinking water quality.

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Water Safety Performance

In last year’s report, the Inspectorate looked at parameters which can


be used to highlight different aspects of water quality issues within the
water supply chain in Northern Ireland. We have continued to look at
performance for 2007 using the same parameters. The tables which follow
also include 2006 figures for reference.

Water Sources (Catchment)

The Drinking Water Quality Regulations do not require NI Water to


sample its water sources, although sampling is undertaken for operational
reasons. Table 3.2 shows a summary of selected results of tests carried out
on samples taken during 2007 from water sources (mainly reservoirs [53%]
and rivers and loughs [42%]) used for public supplies in Northern Ireland.
The summary data gives an indication of the range of water quality that
NI Water is normally required to treat in order to comply with the Drinking
Water Quality Regulations.

Table 3.2: Summary of Data from Sampling of Water Sources


Parameter Name 2007 2007 2007 2006
Number Minimum Maximum Average Average
of Tests Value Value Value Value
Coliform bacteria (per 100mls) 86 0 37,800 1,023 1,000
E. coli (per 100mls) 86 0 14,700 286 115
Enterococci (per 100mls) 45 0 120 15 14.3
Colour (mg/l Pt/Co) 163 0.7 483 56 60
Hydrogen ion (pH) 163 5.59 9.96 7.54 7.5
Manganese (µg/l) 86 1 19,005 433 104
Iron (sol) (µg/l) 86 12 8,569 686 430
Ammonium (mg/l) 163 0.1 6.54 0.09 0.03
Nitrate (mg/l) 163 0.1 46.5 3.78 3.9
Pesticides - total (µg/l) 45 0.02 0.56 0.08 0.06

NI Water should assess the risks within its catchments and establish
monitoring programmes as necessary. This is part of the catchment
management planning process which will be used to inform drinking
water safety plans. These monitoring programmes are necessary for
the management of NI Water’s treatment processes in the provision of
safe drinking water supplies. This is particularly important in relation to
establishing baseline information on raw water quality to evaluate changes
such as increased natural organic matter.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Water Treatment

In 2007, risks of water treatment non-compliance continued to be


particularly significant for the process control parameters, notably, THMs
and aluminium. THMs have been discussed earlier in this part of the
report. Good operational control of the water treatment process using
aluminium-based coagulants will mitigate the risk of non-compliance
with the aluminium standard.

Table 3.3: Water Treatment Indicators

% of % of
Tests Not Tests Not
Meeting the Meeting the
Process Control Standards Standards
Parameters Place of Sampling in 2007 in 2006
Colour Water Supply Zones 0.10 0.36
Hydrogen ion Water Supply Zones 0.15 0.21
Nitrate Water Supply Zones 0 0
Nitrite Water Treatment Works 0 0.13
Aluminium Water Supply Zones 1.49 1.79
Trihalomethanes Water Supply Zones 32.31 21.31
Bromate Water Supply Zones 0 2.08

Disinfection
Parameters
Coliform bacteria Water Treatment Works 0.12 0.15
E. coli Water Treatment Works 0.04 0.05
Turbidity Water Treatment Works 0.53 1.17

The second grouping of parameters in the water treatment table


looks at the effectiveness of disinfection and pathogen removal. It is
encouraging that in 2007 there has been improved compliance with
coliform bacteria, E. coli, and, in particular, turbidity. To safeguard
drinking water from the risk of microbiological organisms being present,
the process of effective disinfection is fundamental to treatment works’
operation. It is therefore paramount that NI Water achieves its primary
duty of disinfecting drinking water before it is supplied to consumers
and that there are appropriate critical control measures in place.

Water Distribution Systems


In Table 3.4, two measures are used which describe the cleanliness of
the distribution system from where the water leaves the treatment
works up to the point of supply to consumers.

The selection of distribution parameters is to reflect the age, condition


and maintenance status both of the pipes (water mains) and, to a lesser
extent, the reservoirs which comprise the distribution networks. The
distribution grouping of parameters has previously been discussed
under the name of OPI (TIM) earlier in this part of the report (Table 3.1
refers). OPI (TIM) for 2007 is 98.98%; for 2006, it was 98.87%.

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Table 3.4: Water Distribution Indicators

% of Tests Not % of Tests Not


Meeting the Meeting the
Standards Standards
Place of Sampling in 2007 in 2006
Distribution Maintenance
Turbidity Water Supply Zones 0.25 0.05
Iron Water Supply Zones 1.69 2.33
Manganese Water Supply Zones 1.14 0.41
Reservoir Integrity
Coliform bacteria Service Reservoirs 0.24 0.38
E. coli Service Reservoirs 0.03 0.03

Microbiological sampling takes place weekly at service reservoirs as a check


on their integrity and general hygienic status. The assessment of reservoir
integrity is based on this microbiological quality. In 2007 there were 342
service reservoirs used in Northern Ireland in the supply and distribution of
water to consumers.

Like disinfection, the integrity of reservoirs gives information on the


fundamental water safety record of NI Water as regards to risk of ingress
of contaminants. Secondary disinfection is carried out through chlorine
boosting at selected service reservoirs in Northern Ireland (particularly
those with long distribution networks) to achieve a disinfection residual
at the end of the network. However, it is imperative that secondary
disinfection does not disguise a more fundamental problem such as
compromised reservoir integrity because of the condition (structural
integrity) of the reservoir or its configuration (flow management).

The Inspectorate has noted that during the year a number of reservoirs with
non-trivial microbiological failures have been taken out of service because
of integrity problems. In other situations, reservoirs with non-trivial failures
were placed on a refurbishment programme of service reservoir integrity.

Water Systems within Buildings

Domestic water systems (buildings), particularly the consumer’s drinking


water tap, is the point where water is taken for consumption and is
therefore where water is judged to be satisfactory, or not, as the case may
be. Not all parameters that are monitored for regulatory purposes are
wholly within NI Water’s control. Certain parameters are influenced by the
nature and condition of water distribution systems within buildings. The
parameters in Table 3.5 are selected to assess building water systems.

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Table 3.5: Indicators for Water Systems within Buildings


% of Tests Not % of Tests Not
Meeting the Meeting the
Standards Standards
Building Water Systems Place of Sampling in 2007 in 2006
Coliform bacteria Water Supply Zones 0.56 0.81
E. coli Water Supply Zones 0.05 0.08
Enterococci Water Supply Zones 0 0
Nickel Water Supply Zones 0.22 0
Lead Water Supply Zones 0.86 0.63
Sodium Water Supply Zones 0 0
Copper Water Supply Zones 0 0

In assessing the microbiological failures at consumers’ taps it is


important to note that the condition of consumers’ taps is something
over which NI Water has no control. NI Water is responsible for
ensuring that its samplers are trained to lift representative samples.
The percentage of tests that failed to comply with the coliform bacteria
standard in samples taken at consumers’ taps has shown a significant
decrease from 0.81% in 2006, to 0.56% in 2007. Follow-up investigative
reports indicate that the conditions pertaining to the sampling of
consumers’ taps are the reason for 61.3% of the failures.

As a way of helping consumers understand what steps they can take to


control risks arising within their homes, the Inspectorate has supported
an industry-wide initiative, whereby, Water UK launched a guide called
‘Looking after WATER in your home’ which is available from the website:
www.water.org.uk/home/resources-and-links/waterfacts/looking-after-water

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Part 4
Private Water Supplies
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Part 4
Private Water Supplies

In this part of the report, we give details of the private water


supplies for which the Inspectorate has responsibility.

Introduction

Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) supplies water to over 99% of the
Northern Ireland population; the remainder of the population has private
water supplies.

Private water supplies are defined in The Water and Sewerage Services
(Northern Ireland) Order 2006 as any supplies of water provided otherwise
than by NI Water. Private water supplies are diverse in nature, and there are
a range of users: from those which supply single domestic dwellings, to
those supplying large commercial activities.

The private water supplies for which the Drinking Water Inspectorate for
Northern Ireland has a regulatory responsibility under The Private Water
Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994, are those which serve more
than one household and are used for drinking, washing and cooking;
or those used in commercial food production: the making, processing,
preserving, preparing, or marketing of food or drink (including water) for
sale for human consumption. The regulations are implemented by the
Inspectorate, with the sampling duties carried out under an agreement with
district councils, and in the case of dairy farms, the sampling and analysis is
carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

There are 1,266 private supplies currently registered with the Inspectorate.
It is estimated that there are a further 4,000 private supplies to individual
private domestic dwellings and these are not required to be registered
under the regulations.

Although there are some (mainly commercial) private supplies in urban


areas, the majority are situated in the more remote, rural parts of Northern
Ireland. Private water supplies may be drawn from a variety of surface and
groundwater sources. Surface sources include streams, rivers and lakes;
groundwater sources include wells, boreholes and springs. The majority of
private supplies in Northern Ireland are from groundwater sources.

In Northern Ireland, 91% of the private water supplies registered with


the Inspectorate relate to dairy farms; the remaining 9% relate to other
commercial and domestic supplies.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Monitoring Programme for Private Supplies

Private water supplies are split into two categories and further assessed into
classifications:

• category 1 - a supply that is used only for drinking, washing or cooking


by people living in properties receiving the supply: water used solely
for domestic purposes. Category 1 supplies are placed in classes A to E
depending on the number of people supplied, or volume of water used; and

• category 2 - a supply that is used to make food or drink that is sold, or is used
in properties with a regularly changing population, for example, hospitals,
hotels, caravan sites or schools. Category 2 supplies are placed in classes 1 to
5 depending on the volume of water used.

A breakdown of the number of private water supplies within each


classification is shown below in Table 4.1.

Table 4.1: Number of Private Water Supplies by Classification

Number of
Classification Supplies % of Total Classifications Excluding Dairy
Farms
Number of % Excluding Dairy
2.5 Dairy Farms 1,152 91.00 Supplies Farms
2.5 9 0.71 9 7.89
2.4 48 3.79 48 42.11
2.3 22 1.74 22 19.30
2.2 15 1.18 15 13.16
2.1 1 0.08 1 0.88
1.E 19 1.50 19 16.67
Total No. 1,266 100 114 100

Depending on the classification, a sampling and analysis programme is put


in place for each individual private supply. The frequency of the sampling
and the range of parameters tested for are based on the nature of the supply.
Dairy farms are tested for microbiological parameters. All other registered
private water supplies are sampled and tested for microbiological parameters
along with a range of physical/chemical parameters. Table 4.2 shows the
monitoring frequencies for selected individual classifications.

Table 4.2: Private Water Supplies - Monitoring Frequencies by


Classification
Number of Monitoring
Classification Average Daily People Served Frequency
Volume (m3/day) by the Supply (Samples/Annum)
2.1 >1,000 >5,000 24
2.2 101 - 1,000 505 - 5,000 12
2.3 21 - 100 105 - 504 6
2.4 2 - 20 10 - 104 2
2.5 <2 <10 1
1.E <5 <25 1

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6 8
The sampling of private water supplies, excluding dairy farms, is carried out
4
on behalf
6 of the Inspectorate by the Environmental Health Departments of
the relevant district councils. The Inspectorate has a contract in place for the
Number of Supplies
4
analysis of samples
6 taken by the councils, and this requires that all analysis
must be carried out by UKAS (or equivalent) accredited laboratories.
Number of Supplies 6
4
A separate sampling, analysis and reporting programme for dairy farms
2
is carried
Number of Supplies
4 out by the Quality Assurance Branch of the Department of
Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), and reported annually to the
2 Inspectorate.
Number of Supplies The AFBI laboratory located at Newforge which has UKAS
4
accreditation, undertakes the analysis for samples taken at dairy farms. The
2 Quality Number of Supplies
Assurance Branch
4 of DARD takes responsibility for investigating and
acting upon contraventions of the regulatory standards for private supplies
Number of Supplies
0 at dairy
2 farms.

0 The Inspectorate
2 acknowledges the cooperation of staff from both the
Quality Assurance Branch of DARD and AFBI‘s Newforge Laboratory, and
0 from the relevant district
2 council Environmental Health Departments
Ards BC
Antrim BC
in carrying out our activities in relation to the Private Water
Derry Supplies
CC Down DC Larne BC

Regulations.
0
Ards BC
Coleraine BC Derry CC Down DC Li
Ballymena BC
Antrim BCArmagh C&DC Banbridge DC Craigavon BC
0 Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC Fermanagh DC
A breakdown Ardsof
BCprivate water supplies by district council area is shown
below in Figure
Antrim BC 4.1
Ballymena BC
Armagh C&DC
Coleraine BC
Banbridge DC .
Craigavon BC Derry CC Down DC
0 Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC Fermanag
Ards BC
Coleraine BC Derry CC Down
Ballymena BC Banbridge DC Craigavon BC
Figure 4.1: Private Water Supplies, 2007 - by District Council Area
Antrim BC
Armagh C&DC Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC
(Incorporating Classifications)
Ards BC
Ballymena BC
Coleraine BC Dungannon & Sth Tyr BC Derr
Banbridge DC Craigavon BC
Antrim BC
Armagh C&DC Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC
10 10
1.E
Ards BC
2.1 2.2 2.3 Coleraine
2.4 Dungannon & Sth Ty
BC 2.5
Antrim BC Ballymena BC Banbridge DC Craigavon BC
Armagh C&DC Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC
1.E 2.1 2.2 2.3 Coleraine
2.4 Dungann
BC2.5
Ballymena BC Banbridge DC C
Armagh C&DC Ballymoney BC Cookstown D
8 8

1.E 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4


Number of Supplies

1.E 2.1 2.2 2.3


6 6

1.E 2.1 2.2

4 4
1.E 2.1

Number of Supplies

2 2

0 0
Antrim BC
Ards BC
Armagh C&DC
Ballymena BC
Ballymoney BC
Banbridge DC
Coleraine BC
Cookstown DC
Craigavon BC
Derry CC
Down DC
Dungannon & Sth Tyr BC
Fermanagh DC
Larne BC
Limavady BC
Lisburn CC
Magherafelt DC
Moyle DC
Newry & Mourne DC
Newtownabbey BC
Strabane DC

Ards BC
Derry CC Down DC Larne BC Moyle DC
Antrim BC
Lisburn CC
Coleraine BC Limavady BC Strabane DC
Ballymena BC Banbridge DC Craigavon BC
Armagh C&DC Ballymoney BC Cookstown DC Fermanagh DC Magherafelt DC

Newtownabbey BC
Newry & Mourne DC

Dungannon & Sth Tyr BC

1.E 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

Note: Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, North Down, and Omagh Councils do not have private water supplies
included in the Inspectorate’s 2007 sampling programme.
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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Figure 4.2: Private Water Supplies (Excluding Dairy Farms) in 2007

Drinking Water Quality at Private Supplies

Since June 1999, the Inspectorate has been carrying out a sampling and
analysis programme at private water supply sites. The following tables and
graphs provide summary information for the most recent periods.

Table 4.3 provides an overview of the quality of water in private water


supplies. The results show that out of a total of 12,723 tests carried out in
2007, 97.37% met the regulatory standards. The regulatory requirements
were not met on 334 occasions.

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Table 4.3: Overall Water Quality in Private Water Supplies, 2005 - 2007

 
Determinations in 2007 Determinations in 2006 Determinations in 2005
Parameters
    Exceeding PCV   Exceeding PCV   Exceeding PCV
  Total Total Total
No. No. % No. No. % No. No. %
Total coliforms 961 114 11.86 1,024 154 15.04 1,201 168 13.99
Faecal coliforms 961 94 9.78 1,024 123 12.01 1,201 141 11.74
Trihalomethanes 180 8 4.44 173 11 6.36 169 14 8.28
Manganese 181 21 11.60 176 27 15.34 169 27 15.98
Iron 180 23 12.78 176 22 12.50 160 21 13.13
Odour (quantitative) 171 2 1.17 161 1 0.62 160 1 0.63
Aluminium 180 1 0.56 176 0 0.00 169 2 1.18
Oxidizability 131 2 1.53 121 0 0.00 118 2 1.69
Colour 180 3 1.67 175 1 0.57 170 1 0.59
Ammonium 180 3 1.67 175 1 0.57 168 6 3.57
Turbidity 217 7 3.23 221 8 3.62 201 10 4.98
Hydrogen ion (pH) 254 10 3.94 248 7 2.82 252 1 0.40
Sodium 130 2 1.54 121 2 1.65 118 2 1.69
Magnesium 131 2 1.53 121 1 0.83 129 0 0.00
Nitrate 220 4 1.82 222 4 1.80 207 1 0.48
Sulphate 131 4 3.05 122 4 3.28 119 1 0.84
Temperature 418 1 0.24 475 2 0.42 448 5 1.12
Nitrite 220 1 0.45 234 1 0.43 264 0 0.00
Calcium 131 0 0.00 121 1 0.83 118 0 0.00
Conductivity 253 1 0.40 249 0 0.00 254 0 0.00
Taste (quantitative) 134 0 0.00 122 4 3.28 118 2 1.69
Total pesticides 67 1 1.49 69 1 1.45 70 0 0.00
Individual pesticides 838 4 0.48 877 3 0.34 910 2 0.22
Other parameters 6,274 26 0.41 6,075 41 0.67 5,617 15 0.27
Total 12,723 334 2.63 12,658 419 3.31 12,510 422 3.37

Note: The results are reported to the standards in the 1998 Drinking Water Directive.

Physical/ Chemical Quality

Contraventions of the physical/chemical standards have been reported for


a range of parameters. As with previous years where the standards have not
been met, the contraventions relate mainly to iron (12.78%), manganese
(11.60%), and trihalomethanes (THMs)(4.44%).

Microbiological Quality

The overall microbiological quality for all private water supplies is given
in Figure 4.3, where it is subdivided into compliance at dairy farms and
compliance at all other registered private water supplies (excluding dairy
farms). Within Figure 4.4 these compliance rates are further subdivided into
classifications for 2007. This shows a compliance rate among private water
supplies serving small domestic supplies, classification 1.E, to be lower than
the larger category 2, commercial supplies.

83
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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Figure 4.3: Summary of Overall Microbiological Quality


Figure904.3: Summary of Overall Microbiological Quality

100
100

% Compliance
85
95
95
% Compliance

90 90

80

85
% Compliance
85

80 80

Figure
Figure4.4
4.4Summary
Summary
75 ofofMicrobiological
MicrobiologicalQuality
Qualityfor
for2007
2007bybyClassification
Classification
2003 20042003 2005 2004 20062005 20072006

75 75

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


2003
2005
2004 2004 20062005
2005 2006 2007
2006 2007 2007

iforms - non dairy sites


Total coliforms - non dairy sites
Faecal-coliforms
Total coliforms
Total coliforms - non dairy sitesnon dairy- sites
non
Faecaldairy
coliformssites
- non dairy sites Faecal Total coliforms - dairy sites
Total
coliforms
Total coliforms - dairy coliforms - dairy
- non dairy
sites sites sites
Faecal coliforms - dairy sites Faecal
Total coliforms
coliforms - dairy
- dairy sites
sites

Faecal coliforms
non dairy sites - non dairy sites Faecal coliforms - non dairy sites
Faecal coliforms - Total coliforms
non dairy sites - dairy sites Faecal coliforms - dairy sites Faecal coliforms - dairy sites
Faecal- coliforms
Total coliforms dairy sites- dairy sites

Figure 4.4: Summary of Microbiological Quality for 2007 by Classification


Figure 4.4 Summary of Microbiological Quality for 2007 by Classification

2.1 2.1

2.2 2.2

2.3 2.3
Classification

2.4 2.4

Classification
Dairy
Dairy Farms
Farms (2.5)
(2.5)

2.5
2.5

1E 1E

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
0 10 20 30 40 50
% Compliance 60 70 80 90 100
1010 2020 3030 4040 5050 6060 7070 8080 9090
Total Coliforms Faecal Coliforms

%% Compliance
Compliance
% Compliance

Total coliforms
Total Coliforms
Total Coliforms
Faecal coliforms
Faecal Coliforms
Faecal Coliforms

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www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Pesticides

An ongoing pesticide monitoring programme is undertaken for private


water supplies. In 2007, the Inspectorate’s sampling programme recorded
four pesticide failures of the regulatory standard at four individual sites. On
two occasions, the pesticide detected was glyphosate; the remaining two
failures were for the pesticides atrazine and isoproturon.

Follow-up Actions on Regulatory Exceedences

Exceedences of the regulatory standards at private water supplies are


initially reported by the Inspectorate to the relevant district council who
will then subsequently inform the owners/users. All contraventions are
investigated by the Inspectorate in conjunction with the appropriate
Environmental Health Department, and remedial actions are taken
depending on the nature and level of the failure. These actions may
include carrying out site visits and offering technical advice to owners/
users on treatment options, as well as providing practical advice on
source protection of their private supplies to reduce the potential risks of
contamination.

Further Information

Following collaboration between the UK regions, a technical manual


on private water supplies has been published. The manual provides
comprehensive guidance and detailed technical advice for owners/users
of private water supplies and is a useful tool for those required to assess
or work with these supplies. A copy of the manual and other general
information relating to private water supplies can be downloaded from the
following website: www.privatewatersupplies.gov.uk

Other Useful Websites

Further information on private water supplies and general information on


drinking water quality can also be found at the following websites:

Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland

www.ni-environment.gov.uk/environment/drinkWater/private_water.shtml

World Health Organization

www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/gdwq3rev/en/index.html

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Part 5
Drinking Water Quality Standards and Science
www.ni-environment.gov.uk Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Part 5
Drinking Water Quality Standards and Science
How is Drinking Water Quality Regulated?

The Legal Framework

The Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland was formed in 1996 to
provide independent reassurance that public water supplies in Northern
Ireland are safe, and that drinking water quality is acceptable to consumers.
The regulatory framework for water supplies in Northern Ireland has been
changed from The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order
1973 to The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
This enabled the Water Reform process to proceed, whereby, Water Service,
the public supplier of water in Northern Ireland, began to operate as a
government-owned company, Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water) on 1
April 2007.

A public water supply is one provided by NI Water for the purposes of


drinking, washing, cooking or food production.

Water supplies that are not provided by NI Water are known as private
water supplies.

Wholesome Drinking Water

The law requires that water must be wholesome at the time of supply.
Wholesomeness is defined by reference to drinking water quality
standards and other requirements set out in The Water Supply (Water
Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007. These are available on the
Inspectorate’s website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/public_water/regulations_
guidance.htm

Many of these standards come from the 1998 European Drinking Water
Directive which came fully into force on 25 December 2003. The Directive
focuses on those parameters of importance to human health but it also
includes others that relate to the control of water treatment processes and
the aesthetic quality of drinking water. The Directive allows member states
to set additional or tighter national standards to secure the good quality
already achieved and to prevent it from deteriorating in the future. In the
United Kingdom there are national specific definitions for wholesomeness
of water at water treatment works, service reservoirs and in water supply
zones.

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To be wholesome, water leaving a water treatment works must not contain:

l E. coli in excess of 0/100ml (national requirement);

l coliform bacteria in excess of 0/100ml (national requirement); or

l nitrite in excess of 0.1 mgNO2 /l (Directive requirement).

To be wholesome, water leaving a service reservoir must not contain:

l E. coli in excess of 0/100ml (national requirement); or

l coliform bacteria in excess of 0/100ml in more than 5% of samples


taken in a year (national requirement).

To be wholesome, water at consumers’ taps or water leaving a tanker must:

l contain nothing alone (other than a parameter) or in


combination (including parameters) that is a potential danger to
public health (this is a catch-all provision which reflects the concept
of wholesomeness as developed over the years);

l meet the standards (maximum or minimum in Schedule 1,


Tables A and B, i.e. Directive and national standards); and

l satisfy the nitrate/nitrite formula (NO3 /50 + NO2/3 ≤ 1)


(Directive requirement).

As can be seen, the concept of wholesomeness is based firmly on regulatory


standards. However, what should be stressed is that unwholesome drinking
water does not necessarily represent a risk to consumers’ health. Most
standards are set with a very wide margin of safety and are based on a
lifetime’s consumption of water.

Drinking Water Quality Standards

The drinking water quality standards are set out in statute in The Water
Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007. Each regulated
substance or organism is known as a parameter. As well as setting standards
for each parameter, the Regulations state how often each one should
be tested for and where the samples should be taken from. Samples
are routinely collected at water treatment works, service reservoirs and
customers’ taps. Anyone wishing to find out more about how each standard
is derived can do so by accessing the published WHO expert opinion at:
www.who.int/topics/drinking_water/en/

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Microbiological Standards

To protect public health there are microbiological standards which have


to be met at each treatment works and treated water service reservoir
or tower. Microbiological determinations are also undertaken on
consumer tap samples. The significance of individual test results for each
microbiological parameter at each location varies, and a single positive
result does not necessarily mean that water is unsafe to drink. Other
information is required to assess water safety and each result is assessed on
a case-by-case basis.

European Health-Based Chemical Standards

European health-based standards for chemicals are set with a wide margin
of safety on the basis of a lifetime’s consumption of water and taking into
account the amounts present in food. Just because a standard has been set
for a substance does not mean that it is present in drinking water. The vast
majority of the regulated chemicals are never found in drinking water in
Northern Ireland. Others occur only in very specific or local circumstances.

National Chemical and Physical Standards

The European Drinking Water Directive recognizes the importance of


maintaining a high quality of drinking water, and for this reason, several
standards set in the original 1980 Drinking Water Directive (but not the
1998 Drinking Water Directive) have been continued in the form of national
standards. Most of the standards address levels that make the water
unacceptable to consumers on the grounds of odour, taste or appearance.

Additional Monitoring Parameters

In addition to the drinking water standards, NI Water is required to test


for additional indicator parameters to assist it with good water supply
management and control of the drinking water quality.

The Inspectorate’s website can be referenced to find out how each


parameter complied with the regulatory standards:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/public_water/drinking_
water_quality.htm

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Water Testing

NI Water has a duty to collect samples and test for each of the substances
and organisms (known as parameters) in the Regulations. NI Water must
make the results of this testing available to its customers. The Inspectorate’s
role is to carry out independent checks to ensure that this testing is being
performed to a high standard of quality control.

Laboratories must be accredited and follow recognized methods of analysis


such as those published by the Standing Committee of Analysts (SCAs)
whose work is described below. The work of the Inspectorate is aimed at
providing public reassurance regarding the robustness and the integrity of
NI Water’s results.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this report, the Inspectorate provides summaries of


NI Water’s results for the benefit of consumers, businesses, district councils,
health professionals and other regulators.

The Safety of Drinking Water

The Regulations make some specific provisions for drinking water safety,
for example, there are provisions regarding the parasite Cryptosporidium.
There is also a requirement to adequately treat and disinfect water supplies,
and there are controls over the chemicals and materials of construction
that may be used in public water supplies. The Inspectorate carries out
independent technical audits of NI Water’s records and sites to ensure
that operational and management procedures are robust and appropriate.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

NI Water is required by law to notify the Inspectorate of any event


which may give rise to a significant risk to consumers’ health. Others,
including consumers, can also make the Inspectorate aware of any
such events. The Inspectorate will investigate and report on all these
circumstances and, where necessary, initiate appropriate corrective action.
Further information on events and incidents notified to the Inspectorate in
2007 can be found in Part 1, Table 1.13 of this report.

Standing Committee of Analysts

NI Water is required to follow methods of analysis set within the


Directive and the Regulations. National methods are published by the
Standing Committee of Analysts. These documents are available free of
charge and can be downloaded from the Environment Agency website at:
www.environment-agency.gov.uk/nls

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Approval of Products for use in the Provision of Water Supplies

The Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales provides a technical
resource to facilitate the approval, nationally, of chemicals and materials
of construction. Until March 2007, this approval process was carried out
by an independent expert committee, the Committee on Products and
Processes. This committee was disbanded as part of the government’s
‘Better Regulation Process’ and replaced by the ‘Regulation 31 Enquiries
Service’. For further information on the approval of products and for the
current ‘List of Approved Products’, please refer to the Drinking Water
Inspectorate for England and Wales website:
www.dwi.gov.uk/31/approvedProducts.shtm

Drinking Water Science


The safety of drinking water is of such importance to public health that the
underpinning science is kept under continuous review. The World Health
Organization manages a global process of rolling revision of drinking water
guidelines on behalf of the water and health regulators in all countries
(Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, Third Edition). These guidelines can
also be viewed on the WHO website:
www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/guidelines/en/
All countries are able to contribute knowledge based on published peer
review research studies and on data from their national water and health
surveillance programmes.

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How to Find Out More about Drinking Water Quality

If you want to find out about the quality of drinking water supplied to your
home or workplace, then you should first contact NI Water at its Customer
Service’s Unit:

Tel: 08457 440088


E-mail: waterline@niwater.com

If you are researching a particular aspect of drinking water quality it is


important to seek information from an appropriate source such as those
listed below.

Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland (DWI NI)

The Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland is a unit within the
Northern Ireland Environment Agency, responsible for regulating the
drinking water quality in Northern Ireland under The Water Supply (Water
Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and The Private Water Supplies
Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994.
Web address: www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater.htm
Tel: +44 (028) 9056 9282
E-mail: dwi@doeni.gov.uk

Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) England and Wales

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) regulates public water supplies


in England and Wales. It is responsible for assessing the quality
of drinking water, taking enforcement action if standards are not being met,
and appropriate action when water is unfit for human consumption.
Web address: www.dwi.gov.uk
Tel: +44 (0)207 270 3370
E-mail: dwi.enquiries@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR)

The role of the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland was
established in the Water Industry Act 2002 to provide an independent
check that Scottish Water is complying with the Drinking Water Quality
Regulations.
Web address: www.dwqr.org.uk
E-mail: regulator@dwqr.org.uk

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World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization is the United Nations’ specialized agency


for health. WHO’s objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest
possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO’s constitution as a state
of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity.

Web address: www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/gdwq3rev/en/


index.html
E-mail: info@who.int

Foundation for Water Research (FWR)

An independent, non-profit-making organization, with charitable status,


that shares and disseminates knowledge about water, wastewater and
research into related environmental issues.

Web address: www.fwr.org


Tel: +44 (0)162 889 1589
E-mail: office@fwr.org.uk

UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR)

UKWIR facilitates collaborative research for UK water operators. The UKWIR


programme generates sound science for regulation and practice.

Web address: www.ukwir.co.uk


Tel: +44 (0)207 344 1807
E-mail: mail@ukwir.org.uk

Water UK

Water UK is the industry association that represents all UK water and


wastewater service suppliers at national and European level.

Web address: www.water.org.uk/home


Tel: +44 (0)207 344 1844

Water for Health

Water for Health is a water industry initiative to guide and inform health
authorities, to stimulate interest and research, and to help move water up
the public agenda.

Web address: www.water.org.uk/home/water-for-health


Tel: +44 (0)207 344 1844

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Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s


Water Management Unit (WMU)

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has a duty to promote the


conservation of the water resources of Northern Ireland and the cleanliness
of water in waterways and underground strata. WMU protects the aquatic
environment.

Web address: www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/quality.htm


Tel: +44 (028) 9262 3100
E-mail: EP@doeni.gov.uk

Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Northern Ireland


(CDSC [NI])

The CDSC (NI) was established in 1999. The key elements of the service
provided by CDSC (NI) include surveillance of communicable disease and
research. It also provides advice and support to DHSSPS, Health and Social
Services Boards and Trusts, and professionals.

Web address: www.cdscni.org.uk


Tel: +44 (028) 9026 3765
E-mail: Cdscni@hpa.org.uk

Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR)

The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation has a responsibility to


protect the interests of water and sewerage consumers with regard to price
and quality of services, by promoting effective competition in the supply of
water and the provision of sewerage services.

Web address: http://ofreg.nics.gov.uk/


Tel: +44 (028) 9031 1575

Consumer Council for Northern Ireland

The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland is a statutory body whose aims
are to promote and safeguard the interests of all consumers in Northern
Ireland.

Web address: www.gccni.org.uk


Tel: +44 (028) 9067 2488
E-mail: info@consumercouncil.org.uk

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Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland

The Food Standards Agency is an independent government department


set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public’s health and
consumer interests in relation to food, including the use of water in food
production.

Web address: www.food.gov.uk/northernireland/


Tel: +44 (028) 9041 7700
E-mail: infofsani@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

Drinking Water Quality and Health Research Programme

Most research into drinking water quality and health is funded by the
Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in England.
On behalf of DEFRA, the Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales
manages the national Drinking Water Quality and Health Research
Programme (DWQH).

The ‘Executive Summaries’ of the DWQH research reports, together with the
reports by the former Department of the Environment and Department of
the Environment, Transport and the Regions, since 1977, are posted on the
Foundation for Water Research (FWR) website: www.fwr.org, with details of
how to obtain copies of research reports. Some of the more recent DWQH
reports are available in full on the Drinking Water Inspectorate for England
and Wales website: www.dwi.gov.uk

All enquiries about drinking water quality and research should be


addressed in the first instance to: DWI Enquiries, Room M03, 55 Whitehall,
London, SW1A 2EY, or e-mail: dwi.enquiries@defra.gis.gov.uk
A list of the research completed in 2007 and research in progress in 2008
is available from the Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales
website: www.dwi.gov.uk/research/researchindex.shtm
.

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Annexes
• Annex 1 - Glossary and Definition of Terms
• Annex 2 - Roles and Responsibilities
• Annex 3 - Drinking Water Quality Look-up Tables
• Annex 4 - Calculations Used in the Report
• Annex 5 - Authorised Departures
• Annex 6 - Formal Notice Action
• Annex 7 - Staffing

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Annex 1 - Glossary and Definition of Terms

These definitions will assist in the understanding of the report where technical terms have been used.

Aesthetic associated with the senses of taste, smell and sight.

AFBI Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, a non-departmental public body of the


Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, created on 1 April 2006.

Aggressive a term used to indicate that the water has a tendency to dissolve copper
(and other metals) from the inner surface of a pipe or water fitting such as a
tap.

Alkali a solution containing an excess of free hydroxyl ions, with a pH greater than
seven.

Analytical Quality Analytical Quality Control is the method used to


Control (AQC) ensure that laboratory analysis methods are performing correctly.

Aquifer underground strata containing water.

Authorised Departure (AD) authorisation granted by the Inspectorate, in consultation with the Health
Authorities, for Northern Ireland Water Ltd to temporarily supply water
exceeding a drinking water standard, provided that there is a planned
programme of work at the water treatment works to improve the water
quality and that there are no adverse health implications.

Authorised Supply Point a sampling point within the distribution system authorised for certain
parameters by the Inspectorate because the results of the analysis of such
samples are unlikely to differ in any material respect from the results of the
analysis of samples taken from consumers’ taps.

Catchment the area of land that drains into a watercourse.

Chloramine a substance formed by reaction between chlorine and ammonia, used as a


disinfectant in distribution systems because it has long lasting properties
compared to chlorine.

Chloramination the process of generating a chloramine disinfectant residual in water


leaving treatment works.

Chlorine Residual the small amount of chlorine or chloramines present in drinking water
to maintain its quality as it passes through Northern Ireland Water Ltd’s
network of pipes and household plumbing.

Coagulation a process employed during drinking water treatment to assist in the


removal of particulate matter.

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Coliforms a group of bacteria which may be faecal or environmental in origin.

Communication Pipe the connection from the water main to the consumer property boundary
(normally at the outside stop tap).

Compliance Assessment a comparison made by the Inspectorate of data (gathered by Northern


Ireland Water Ltd) against standards and other regulatory requirements.

Compound a compound consists of two or more elements in chemical combination.

Contact Tank a tank, normally situated on a water treatment works site, which forms part
of the disinfection process. A disinfectant chemical (normally chlorine) is
dosed into the water as it flows into the tank. The period of time that the
water takes to flow through the tank allows sufficient ‘contact’ time for the
chemical to kill or deactivate any viruses or pathogenic organisms that may
be present in the water.

Contravention a breach of the regulatory requirement.



Cryptosporidiosis the illness produced by infection with Cryptosporidium.

Cryptosporidium a protozoan parasite.

DEFRA Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Determination an analysis for a specific parameter.

Distribution Systems Northern Ireland Water Ltd’s network of mains, pipes, pumping stations and
service reservoirs through which treated water is conveyed to consumers.

Drinking Water Directive European Council Directive (98/83/EC), relating to the quality of water
intended for human consumption – setting out drinking water standards to
be applied to member states.

Drinking Water Standards the prescribed concentrations or values listed in the Regulations.

Epidemiology a process of studying the distribution of cases of disease within a


population in relation to exposure to possible sources of the infection, with
a view to establishing the actual source of the infection.

Epoxy Resin Re-lining a rehabilitation process in which a cleaned section of iron water main is
sprayed with a mixture of epoxy resin and hardener to produce a thin but
strong coating of material on the inside of the main.

Event a situation affecting, or threatening to affect drinking water quality.

Exceedence relates to a contravention or breach of regulatory standards.

Faecal Coliforms a subgroup of coliforms, almost exclusively faecal in origin.

Filtration the separation of suspended particulate matter from a fluid.

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Formal Notification a process which commences with a ‘notice’ to Northern Ireland Water Ltd
of the Inspectorate’s intention to initiate a formal process of notification
documenting the Inspectorate’s requirements where a regulatory
requirement has not been met.

Glyphosate a broad-based spectrum herbicide used in both agriculture and forestry,


and for aquatic weed control.

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) an absorbent filtration media used to remove trace organic compounds
from water.

Groundwater water from aquifers or other underground sources.

Incident an event where there has been a demonstrable deterioration in the quality
of drinking water.

Indicator Organism an organism which indicates the presence of contamination and, hence, the
possible presence of pathogens.

Indicator Parameter something that is measured to check that the control measures, such as
water treatment, are working effectively.

Inspectorate the Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland.

Investment Programme investment in improvement works to water treatment works and


distribution systems.

Leaching to lose, or cause to lose soluble substances by the action of a percolating


liquid.

Mains Rehabilitation restoration of water mains pipework to a proper condition.

Mean Zonal Compliance % (MZC%) a measure of compliance with drinking water standards - see zonal
percentage compliance below.

MCPA (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy) acetic acid. An aryloxyalkanoic acid herbicide


used for controlling broad-leaved weeds in grass or cereal crops.

MCPP 2-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy) propanoic acid. An aryloxyalkanoic acid


herbicide used for controlling broad-leaved weeds in grass or cereal crops.
Commonly referred to as Mecoprop.

Mecoprop see MCPP.

Microbiological associated with the study of microbes.

m3/d cubic metres per day.

mg/l milligrams per litre (one thousandth of a gram per litre).

ml millilitre.

Ml/d megalitres per day (one Ml/d is equivalent to


1,000 m3/d or 220,000 gallon/d).

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ng/l nanograms per litre (one billionth of a gram per litre).

µg/l micrograms per litre (one millionth of a gram per litre).



Notice of Intention a necessary precursor to the issue of a formal notice – see formal
notification above.

Oocyst the resistant form in which Cryptosporidium occurs in the environment, and
which is capable of causing infection.

Organoleptic characteristics of a substance detected by our senses, for example, taste,


odour or colour.

Orthophosphoric Acid a chemical which is added in low concentrations at water treatment works
to minimize the uptake of lead from old pipework.

Ozone Process (Ozonation) the application of ozone gas in drinking water treatment.

PAHs a group of organic compounds known as Polycyclic Aromatic


Hydrocarbons, comprising, for the purposes of the Regulations, four
substances: benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(ghi)
perylene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene.

Parameters the substances, organisms and properties listed in Schedules 1 and 2, and
regulation 2 of the Regulations.

Pathogen an organism which causes disease.

Pentachlorophenol a phenoxyacidic pesticide used primarily for protecting wood from fungal
growth.

Pesticides any fungicide, herbicide, insecticide or related product (excluding


medicines) used for the control of pests or diseases.

pH Value a measure of the acidity or basicity related to the concentration of the


hydrogen ion.

Phosphate Dosing treatment of water that results in a protective film building up on the inside
of pipes, minimizing the likelihood of lead being present in drinking water
supplied through lead pipes.

Plumbosolvency the tendency for lead to dissolve in water.

Prescribed Concentration the numerical value assigned to drinking water standards defining the
or Value (PCV) maximal or minimal legal concentration or value of a parameter.

Private Water Supplies any supplies of water provided otherwise than by the public supplier,
Northern Ireland Water Ltd.

Protozoan Parasite a single-celled organism that can only survive by infecting a host.

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Public Registers the drinking water quality information made available to the public as
required by the Regulations.

Public Supplies water supplied by Northern Ireland Water Ltd.

Raw Water water prior to receiving treatment for the purpose of drinking.

Regulations The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R.
No.147, ISBN 978-0-337-96917), or, in the case of private water supplies, The
Private Water Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994 (S.R. No. 237,
ISBN 0-337-912378).

Remedial Action action taken to improve a situation.

Residual Disinfectant the small amount of chlorine present in drinking water to maintain its
quality as it passes through Northern Ireland Water Ltd’s network of pipes
and household plumbing.

Service Connection connection between the Northern Ireland Water Ltd main to a consumer’s
property.

Service Pipe pipe that connects the consumer’s property to Northern Ireland Water
Ltd’s main. It comprises two parts: the communication pipe which is the
connection from the water main to the consumer’s property boundary
(normally at the outside stop tap) and the supply pipe which runs from the
boundary of the property to the consumer’s inside stop tap.

Service Reservoir a water tower, tank or other reservoir used for the storage of treated water
within the distribution system.

Supply Pipe pipe connecting between the boundary of a consumer’s property to the
inside stop tap.

Supply Point a point, other than a consumer’s tap, authorised for the taking of samples
for compliance with the Regulations.

Surface Water untreated water from rivers, impounding reservoirs or other surface water
sources.

Technical Audit the means of checking that Northern Ireland Water Ltd is complying with its
statutory obligations.

Time of Supply the moment when water passes from Northern Ireland Water Ltd’s
pipework into a consumer’s pipework.

Toxicology the study of the health effects of substances.

Treated Water water treated for domestic use as defined in the Regulations.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) a group of organic substances comprising, for the purposes of the
Regulations, four substances: trichloromethane (also known as chloroform),
tribromomethane (also known as bromoform), dibromochloromethane and
dichlorobromomethane.

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Water Supply Zone a pre-defined area of supply for establishing sampling frequencies,
compliance with standards and information to be made publicly available.

WHO World Health Organization.

Wholesome/ a concept of water quality which is defined by reference to standards and


Wholesomeness other requirements set out in the Regulations.

WRc Water Research Centre (1989) plc and/or, as the context may require, its
predecessor body.

Zonal Percentage Compliance the percentage of results for a specific parameter which complied with the
PCV. The mean zonal percentage compliance is the average of the zonal
percentage compliances of all water supply zones in a region.

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Annex 2 - Roles and Responsibilities


Introduction

In organizational terms, the Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern


Ireland is one of five functional units within the Environmental Protection
Directorate of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), an
executive agency within the Department of the Environment (DoE) in
Northern Ireland. The agency is headed by a Chief Executive and a board
of Directors which spans four directorates: Natural Heritage, Built Heritage,
Environmental Protection, and Corporate Services. The Inspectorate’s staff
are civil servants employed by the Crown. The Chief Inspector of Drinking
Water is head of the functional unit.

Following legislative changes under the Water and Sewerage Services


(Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (‘the Order’), the Inspectorate, on 1 April
2007, became a statutory appointee acting on behalf of the Department for
Regional Development (DRD) in respect of public drinking water supplies.
The Inspectorate continues to act on behalf of the Department of the
Environment in respect of private water supplies.

The Order conferred, for the first time, enforcement powers on the
Inspectorate in its dealings with Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NI Water). This
change brings the Inspectorate ‘into line’ with other UK Drinking Water
Regulators.

The Inspectorate, in support of its role, has regular contact with health
authorities, district councils, government departments, and other UK and
EC Drinking Water Quality Regulators. Working relationships with the
Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation and the Consumer Council
for Northern Ireland are being developed in conjunction with DRD Water
Policy Division.

Statement of Functions

Regulatory Functions

The Inspectorate’s regulatory functions for public and private water


supplies are contained within The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations
(Northern Ireland) 2007 and The Private Water Supplies Regulations
(Northern Ireland) 1994.

Other Functions
The Inspectorate has responsibility for:

l provision of advice and guidance to NI Water on all aspects of the


regulatory requirements;

l responding to enquiries relating to drinking water quality from


consumers, organizations and businesses;

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l provision of advice to Ministers on the Inspectorate’s operational


matters, including advice on responses to Parliamentary Questions
about those matters; and

l provision of technical advice on drinking water issues, policies and


standards to Ministers and officials in DRD and DoE.

Participation in National, European and International


Organizations

l Working relationships with other UK Drinking Water Quality


Regulators is managed within a Memorandum of Understanding.

l Contact with member states of the European Union is made


through a European Drinking Water Regulators’ Forum.

l The Water Directorate (WD) within the Department of Environment,


Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has a seat on the EU Drinking Water
Directive Article 12 Committee and DWI England and Wales attends
as the ‘Technical Adviser’ to the WD. Currently the UK has one
additional place available at the Article 12 Meeting. This place is
available to the DWQR in Scotland and DWI (NI) on a rotational
basis.

Contacts with Other Organizations

In conducting its business, the Inspectorate has regular contact with


other organizations within Northern Ireland that have interests in, and
responsibilities for various aspects of drinking water quality. Medical
advice is obtained from the Chief Medical Officer of the Northern Ireland
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS). The
Inspectorate liaises with the Chief Environmental Health Officer (also of
DHSSPS) on relevant health matters and we also communicate with the
Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Northern Ireland) and the Food
Standards Agency. Regular contact with Environmental Health Officers
in district councils continues in connection with both public and private
drinking water quality matters.

In maintaining and developing good communications between all these


interested groups, an established Interdepartmental Drinking Water Liaison
Group meets biannually to discuss and progress drinking water quality
matters relevant in Northern Ireland.

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As a government-owned company, NI Water has financial, environmental


and consumer accountability. The Inspectorate continues to develop
working relationships with the other NI regulators: The Northern Ireland
Authority for Utility Regulation, the ‘environmental regulator’ in the
Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and the Consumer Council for
Northern Ireland.

The Inspectorate keeps itself informed of research being carried out and has
representation on the DEFRA Drinking Water Quality and Health Research
Programme Committee.

The Inspectorate has regular contact with the Department of Agriculture


and Rural Development (DARD) regarding private water supplies.

Information on Drinking Water in England and Wales, and


Scotland

Drinking water throughout the United Kingdom is subject to the same


quality standards and similar Regulations are in place as to those applying
in Northern Ireland. The Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales
acts for and on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the National Assembly of
Wales, in fulfilling its statutory duties in terms of drinking water quality in
England and Wales. The Chief Inspector reports annually to the Secretary of
State (DEFRA) and the National Assembly for Wales. Further information is
available on the Inspectorate’s website: www.dwi.gov.uk

Scottish Water, a publicly owned undertaker, is the sole supplier of public


drinking water supplies in Scotland. Regulation is the responsibility of the
Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland who is appointed by Scottish
Ministers to ensure that the drinking water quality duties imposed on
the public water supplier are complied with. Further information on the
Regulator’s activities can be obtained from its website: www.dwqr.org.uk

The Inspectorate liaises closely with the other UK Regulators and operates
in this respect with a publicly available Memorandum of Understanding
which can be found on their respective websites. For the Drinking Water
Inspectorate for Northern Ireland, this is available from:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater.htm

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General Information about the Inspectorate

General information is available to the public on our website at:


www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater.htm

Complaints about the Inspectorate

If a complaint is received about the way the Inspectorate handles or


carries out its tasks, the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water will initiate an
investigation of the issue and inform the complainant of the outcome of his
investigation.

The Inspectorate’s Handling of Enquiries

The Inspectorate received a range of general information enquiries from


businesses and the general public during 2007. Where a written request for
information was received, the Inspectorate replied within the 15 working
days stipulated in the NIEA’s ‘Statements of Charter Standards’.

NIEA’s Customer Services Standards – Customer Charter

The customer charter is available to download from the NIEA’s website:


www.ni-environment.gov.uk/customer-charter.pdf

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Annex 3 - Drinking Water Quality Look-up Tables


The following tables provide more detail of where the standards have
not been met in the individual water supply zones. The tables present by
parameter, all the contraventions that occurred in water supply zones and
supply points at water treatment works during 2007.

Water Quality in Water Supply Zones, 2007

Table 3.1: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Aluminium

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 43 1,188 0 100.00


Z103, Ballinrees 1 52 1 98.08
Z109, Dunore North 1 52 1 98.08
Z110, Killylane 1 52 1 98.08
Z112, Mormeal 1 24 1 95.83
Z113, Moyola 1 36 1 97.22
Z202, Altmore-Gortlenaghan 1 24 2 91.67
Z221, Banbridge-Babylon Hill 1 24 1 95.83
Z301, Ballyhanwood 1 52 1 98.08
Z303, Breda East 1 52 1 98.08
Z308, Downpatrick 1 52 6 88.46
Z315, Lisnabreeny 1 52 3 94.23
Z317, North Peninsula 1 52 1 98.08
Z318, Oldpark 1 52 1 98.08
Z322, Purdysburn North 1 24 1 95.83
Z403, Carmoney 1 52 3 94.23
Z404, Derg 1 36 1 97.22
Z407, Killyhevlin 1 76 1 98.68
Z410, Lough Braden 1 24 2 91.67
Z413, Limavady 1 36 1 97.22
Total number of zones 62 2,012 30
Mean Zonal Compliance 98.78

Table 3.2: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Colour

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 60 1,940 0 100.00


Z219, Seagahan 1 36 1 97.22
Z413, Limavady 1 36 1 97.22
Total number of zones 62 2,012 2
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.91

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Table 3.3: % Mean Zonal Compliance - E. coli

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 59 5,449 0 100.00


Z108, Dungonnell 1 48 1 97.92
Z201, Altmore 1 12 1 91.67
Z209, Castor Bay-Shanmoy 1 59 1 98.31
Total number of zones 62 5,568 3
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.80

Table 3.4: % Mean Supply Point Compliance - Heptachlor Epoxide

Number Number of Tests %


Sampling Location - Number of
of Supply >PCV per Supply Point
Supply Points Samples
Points Supply Point Compliance
Number of compliant supply points 42 364 0 100.00
W3301, Dunore Point 1 24 1 95.83
Total number of supply points 43 388 1
Mean Supply Point Compliance 99.90

Table 3.5: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Hydrogen Ion <6.5

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 61 1,936 0 100.00


Z307, Dorisland 1 76 1 98.68
Total number of zones 62 2,012 1
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.98

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Table 3.6: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Iron

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 40 1,164 0 100.00


Z102, Altnahinch 1 36 1 97.22
Z103, Ballinrees 1 52 1 98.08
Z104, Ballymena Borough 1 36 1 97.22
Z109, Dunore North 1 52 1 98.08
Z110, Killylane 1 52 1 98.08
Z112, Mormeal 1 24 1 95.83
Z113, Moyola 1 36 1 97.22
Z202, Altmore-Gortlenaghan 1 24 5 79.17
Z212, Fofanny-Banbridge 1 24 1 95.83
Z214, Lough Ross 1 24 4 83.33
Z219, Seagahan 1 36 2 94.44
Z225, Newry-Ballintemple 1 24 1 95.83
Z302, Ballysallagh 1 24 1 95.83
Z305, Clandeboye 1 52 1 98.08
Z307, Dorisland 1 76 3 96.05
Z308, Downpatrick 1 52 1 98.08
Z310, Dunore East 1 52 1 98.08
Z319, Purdysburn South 1 36 1 97.22
Z322, Purdysburn North 1 24 1 95.83
Z403, Carmoney 1 52 1 98.08
Z410, Lough Braden 1 24 2 91.67
Z413, Limavady 1 36 2 94.44
Total number of zones 62 2,012 34
Mean Zonal Compliance 98.29

Table 3.7: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Lead

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 58 440 0 100.00


Z210, Clay Lake 1 8 1 87.50
Z304, Breda West 1 8 1 87.50
Z306, Conlig 1 4 1 75.00
Z408, Lenamore Springs 1 4 1 75.00
Total number of zones 62 464 4
Mean Zonal Compliance 98.79

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Table 3.8: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Manganese

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 42 1,220 0 100.00


Z103, Ballinrees 1 52 1 98.08
Z112, Mormeal 1 24 1 95.83
Z113, Moyola 1 36 1 97.22
Z202, Altmore-Gortlenaghan 1 24 2 91.67
Z210, Clay Lake 1 12 1 91.67
Z219, Seagahan 1 36 1 97.22
Z221, Banbridge-Babylon Hill 1 24 1 95.83
Z223, Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk 1 52 1 98.08
Z301, Ballyhanwood 1 52 1 98.08
Z303, Breda East 1 52 1 98.08
Z305, Clandeboye 1 52 1 98.08
Z307, Dorisland 1 76 1 98.68
Z313, Lisbane 1 24 1 95.83
Z315, Lisnabreeny 1 52 2 96.15
Z317, North Peninsula 1 52 1 98.08
Z319, Purdysburn South 1 36 1 97.22
Z322, Purdysburn North 1 24 1 95.83
Z403, Carmoney 1 52 1 98.08
Z410, Lough Braden 1 24 1 95.83
Z413, Limavady 1 36 2 94.44
Total number of zones 62 2,012 23
Mean Zonal Compliance 98.87

Table 3.9: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Nickel

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 61 456 0 100.00


Z107, Drumabest 1 8 1 87.50
Total number of zones 62 464 1
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.80

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Table 3.10: % Mean Supply Point Compliance - Pesticides - Other Substances

Number of Tests %
Sampling Location - Number of Number of
>PCV per Supply Point
Supply Points Supply Points Samples
Supply Point Compliance
Number of compliant supply points 40 17,432 0 100.00
W2501, Altmore 1 8 1 87.50
W3317, Dorisland 1 12 2 83.33
W4501, Derg 1 8 1 87.50
Total number of supply points 43 17,460 4
Mean Supply Point Compliance 99.03

Table 3.11: % Mean Supply Point Compliance - Pesticides - Total Substances

Number of Tests %
Sampling Location - Number of Number of
>PCV per Supply Point
Supply Points Supply Points Samples
Supply Point Compliance
Number of compliant supply points 42 380 0 100.00
W2501, Altmore 1 8 1 87.50
Total number of supply points 43 388 1
Mean Supply Point Compliance 99.71

Table 3.12: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Trihalomethanes

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 28 188 0 100.00


Z101, Alcrossagh 1 8 1 87.50
Z102, Altnahinch 1 8 3 62.50
Z103, Ballinrees 1 8 3 62.50
Z104, Ballymena Borough 1 24 5 79.17
Z106, Buckna 1 4 1 75.00
Z109, Dunore North 1 24 4 83.33
Z110, Killylane 1 8 5 37.50
Z112, Mormeal 1 12 2 83.33
Z113, Moyola 1 24 7 70.83
Z201, Altmore 1 12 4 66.67
Z202, Altmore-Gortlenaghan 1 12 5 58.33
Z209, Castor Bay-Shanmoy 1 12 8 33.33
Z210, Clay Lake 1 12 12 0.00
Z219, Seagahan 1 24 23 4.17
Z221, Banbridge-Babylon Hill 1 12 6 50.00
Z222, Ballydougan-Ballyhannon 1 36 20 44.44
Z223, Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk 1 24 13 45.83
Z225, Newry-Ballintemple 1 12 2 83.33
Z227, Castor Bay-Richill 1 12 8 33.33

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Table 3.12: Continued

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Z302, Ballysallagh 1 8 3 62.50


Z303, Breda East 1 24 3 87.50
Z304, Breda West 1 8 2 75.00
Z309, Dunmurry 1 24 21 12.50
Z310, Dunore East 1 36 16 55.56
Z311, Holywood 1 12 9 25.00
Z314, Lisburn North 1 12 9 25.00
Z316, Lough Cowey 1 12 1 91.67
Z318, Oldpark 1 36 11 69.44
Z319, Purdysburn South 1 8 1 87.50
Z320, Stoneyford 1 12 6 50.00
Z321, Woodvale 1 36 16 55.56
Z403, Carmoney 1 8 1 87.50
Z404, Derg 1 8 4 50.00
Z409, Foyle 1 8 2 75.00
Z410, Lough Braden 1 12 3 75.00
Z413, Limavady 1 12 3 75.00
Total number of zones 62 752 243
Mean Zonal Compliance 79.37

Table 3.13: % Mean Zonal Compliance - Turbidity

Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal


Sampling Location - Zones
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance

Number of compliant zones 58 1,848 0 100.00


Z112, Mormeal 1 22 1 95.45
Z307, Dorisland 1 72 2 97.22
Z322, Purdysburn North 1 22 1 95.45
Z403, Carmoney 1 48 1 97.92
Total number of zones 62 2,012 5
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.77

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Water Quality Leaving Water Treatment Works, 2007

The following tables give a summary of the quality of water leaving water
treatment works.

Table 3.14: Quality of Water Leaving Water Treatment Works -


European Directive Standards

Prescribed Total % of Number of


Number of Tests
Parameter Concentration Number of Tests Failed Works with
Failed
or Value Tests Failures
Nitrite (works) 0.1 mgNO2/l 387 0 0.00 0
TOTAL 387 0 0.00 0

Table 3.15: Quality of Water Leaving Water Treatment Works -


National Standards

Prescribed Total % of Number of


Number of Tests
Parameter Concentration Number of Tests Failed Works with
Failed
or Value Tests Failures
Coliform bacteria 0/100ml 9,471 11 0.12 9
E. coli 0/100ml 9,471 4 0.04 4
TOTAL 18,942 15 0.08

Table 3.16: Quality of Water Leaving Water Treatment Works -


Additional European Monitoring Requirements

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Table 3.17: Quality of Water Leaving Water Treatment Works -


Northern Ireland Requirement

Total % of Number
Reporting Number of Tests
Parameter Number of Tests Reported of Works
Value >1 Oocysts/100mls
Tests Reported
Cryptosporidium <1 oocysts per
130 0 0.00 1*
oocysts 10 litres
TOTAL 130 0 0.00

*Continuous monitoring at one water treatment works assessed at being at risk, out of a total of 43 water treatment
works.

Water Quality Sampling

The Regulations set out sampling requirements for a range of parameters to be


sampled from specific locations. The Inspectorate notes that for 2007 there was a
significant improvement towards overall compliance with the regulatory sampling
frequency requirements. Where this has not been achieved, the Inspectorate
requires NI Water to continue to ensure that a robust sampling programme is in
place to enable a target of full compliance to be met.

The integrity of monitoring results is fundamental to everyone wanting to know


and understand about drinking water quality.

Table 3.18: Summary of Non-Trivial Sampling Shortfalls

Number of Water Supply Zones with Water Supply Zones with


Water Supply Sampling Shortfalls Non-Trivial Sampling Shortfalls
Zones
Number % Number %
62 10 15.15 3 4.35

Number of Water Treatment Works with Water Treatment Works with


Water Treatment Sampling Shortfalls Non-Trivial Sampling Shortfalls
Works
Number % Number %
43 7 14.58 0 0.00

Number Service Reservoirs with Service Reservoirs with


of Service Sampling Shortfalls Non-Trivial Sampling Shortfalls
Reservoirs
Number % Number %
342 0 0.00 0 0.00

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Annex 4 - Calculations Used in the Report


Meeting the Standards

Mean zonal compliance (MZC%) is an index used by Drinking Water


Quality Regulators throughout the United Kingdom to assess water quality
compliance at consumers’ taps. The background to this approach can be
referenced in the Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2004 report
which is available on the Inspectorate’s website:
www.ni-environment.gov.uk/water/drinkwater/annual_reports.htm

The mean zonal compliances comprised the average of the MZC% figures
for 40 different parameters that are tested to establish the quality of water.
The parameters combining to form this index are listed in Table 4.2.

Definitions

Mean Zonal Compliance for a Parameter

For any one zone, the zonal compliance for any parameter is:

• the percentage of samples meeting the PCV.

Interpretation of Supply Point Samples

Each supply point is viewed as though it was another zone in


Northern Ireland and ‘supply point compliance’ is calculated in exactly
the same way as zonal compliance.

Mean Zonal Compliance for all Parameters

For any parameter, mean zonal compliance (MZC%) is defined as:

• the arithmetic mean of the zonal compliance values for any specified
group of zones (e.g. a group such as the 62 zones specified by NI
Water for 2007).

For those parameters that are monitored at a mixture of supply points


and zones, it would be too cumbersome to refer to ‘mean zonal and/or
supply point compliance’. In all that follows, therefore, the term ‘mean
zonal compliance’ will be taken to mean:

• the arithmetic mean of the zonal compliance values for any specified
group of zones and/or supply points.

The specific grouping of particular interest is:

• all zones in Northern Ireland.

The detailed MZC% calculations for this grouping are illustrated by


detailed worked examples in the following sections.

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Mean Zonal Compliance for Northern Ireland

Consider the example of the parameter colour. The zonal compliance results for
the 62 sampling locations (water supply zones) are summarized below.

Table 4.1: Calculation of % Mean Zonal Compliance for Colour

Numerator
Number of Number of Number of Tests % Zonal of MZC
Sampling Location
Zones Samples >PCV per Zone Compliance Calculation

Number of compliant zones 60 1,940 0 100.00 6,000


Z219, Seagahan 1 36 1 97.22 97.22
Z413, Limavady 1 36 1 97.22 97.22
Total Number of Zones 62 2,012 2 6,194.44
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.91

The values are 100% in all but two zones. The sum of the 62 zonal compliance
values is 6,194.44, and so the mean zonal compliance for colour is the sum of the
MCZ calculation which provides the numerator of the calculation, divided by the
number of zones: 6,194.44/62 = 99.91%.

Overall Compliance

Definitions

For any specified collection of zones and/or supply points, the overall compliance
is:
• the arithmetic mean of the mean zonal compliance values for all
parameters defined in Table 4.1 of this annex.

The arithmetic mean is used in order to give all 40 parameters equal weight in the
overall figure.

Overall Compliance for Northern Ireland

The detailed calculation of MZC% for colour has already been described, and so it
is convenient to continue with this for Northern Ireland as a worked example.

Overall, NI Water monitored for 40 parameters at zones and/or supply points


during 2007. Of these, 27 had a mean zonal compliance of 100%; the MZC% values
for the other 13 parameters are highlighted in Table 4.2.

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Table 4.2: Parameters used in the Calculation of Mean Zonal Compliance

Number of % Zonal
Parameter Point of Compliance
Samples Compliance
Colour Consumers’ taps 2,012 99.91
Turbidity Consumers’ taps 2,012 99.77
Odour Consumers’ taps 2,012 100
Taste Consumers’ taps 2,012 100
Hydrogen ion Consumers’ taps 2,012 99.98
Sodium Consumers’ taps 464 100
Nitrate Consumers’ taps 492 100
Consumers’ taps (samples taken at
Nitrite 492 100
works not included)
Calculated from samples taken at
Nitrate/nitrite formula 492 100
consumers’ taps
Aluminium Consumers’ taps 2,012 98.78
Iron Consumers’ taps 2,012 98.29
Manganese Consumers’ taps 2,012 98.87
Copper Consumers’ taps 464 100
Fluoride Supply point or consumers’ taps 387 100
Arsenic Supply point or consumers’ taps 464 100
Cadmium Supply point or consumers’ taps 464 100
Cyanide Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Chromium Consumers’ taps 464 100
Mercury Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Nickel Consumers’ taps 464 99.80
Lead Consumers’ taps 464 98.79
Antimony Supply point or consumers’ taps 464 100
Selenium Supply point or consumers’ taps 464 100
Pesticides - total substances Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 99.71
PAH - sum of 4 substances Consumers’ taps 464 100
Consumers’ taps (samples taken
E. coli at works/reservoirs are not 5,568 99.80
included)
Enterococci Consumers’ taps 464 100
Boron Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Benzo(a)pyrene Consumers’ taps 464 100
Tetrachloromethane Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Tetrachloroethene/trichloroethene
Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
(sum of 2 substances)
Total trihalomethanes Supply point or consumers’ taps 752 79.37
1,2-dichloroethane Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Benzene Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Bromate Supply point or consumers’ taps 464 100
Aldrin Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Dieldrin Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Heptachlor Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 100
Heptachlor epoxide Supply point or consumers’ taps 388 99.90
Pesticides - other substances* Supply point or consumers’ taps 17,460 99.03
Total Number of Samples 52,427
Mean Zonal Compliance % 99.30
*All pesticides other than aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide.

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The ‘overall compliance’ for Northern Ireland is then calculated as the simple
arithmetic mean of these 40 MZC% values, namely 99.30%.

Pesticides - Other Substances

NI Water carries out a great deal of pesticide monitoring. However, the specific
number and types of pesticides vary depending on the monitoring programme
implemented by the various water undertakers in the United Kingdom, so a
method is needed not only to standardize the results for comparative purposes,
but also to avoid attaching too much weight to the MZC% values for the many
individual pesticides. The method adopted is to pool the results for all pesticides
other than aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide, and to treat them as
a single ‘other pesticides’ parameter. A worked example of how to calculate this is
given below.

Table 4.3: % Mean Zonal Compliance, Pesticides - Other Substances

Number Number of Tests Numerator


Sampling Location - Number of % Zonal
of Supply >PCV per Supply of MZC
Supply Points Samples* Compliance
Points Point Calculation
Number of compliant zones 43 15,520 0 100.00 4,200
W1301, Moyola 1 320 1 99.69 99.69
W2706, Camlough 1 320 1 99.69 99.69
W3317, Dorisland 1 480 2 99.58 99.58
W4301, Carmoney 1 320 2 99.38 99.38
W4541, Glenhordial 1 320 1 99.69 99.69
Total Number of Zones 48 17,280 7 4,698.02
Mean Zonal Compliance 99.96

* Samples: Each individual pesticide is considered to be a sample, e.g. if 8 sample bottles were collected during the year and
analyzed on each occasion for 40 individual pesticides, then the number of samples reported for that supply point would
be 8 x 40 = 320. For each site, every occasion where any individual pesticide is reported >0.1 µg/l, this will be entered in
the Number of Tests >PCV per Supply Point column: e.g. Dorisland had >0.1 µg/l on two separate sampling occasions for
MCPA; and for Carmoney, two individual pesticides had >0.1 µg/l for glyphosate and mecoprop.
(Example calculated using 2005 data.)

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The Operational Performance Index (OPI [TIM])

Definition

For any specified collection of zones, the OPI (TIM) is defined as:

• the arithmetic mean of the mean zonal compliance values for a


defined subset of parameters: turbidity, iron and manganese.

An example of this is shown in the table below which lists mean zonal
compliance values for turbidity, iron and manganese for all of the water
supply zones in Northern Ireland. The derivation of each of the two MZC%
values for colour has been shown in Table 4.1. The sets of values for
turbidity, iron and manganese are calculated similarly.

Once the MZC% values have been determined for the three component
parameters, the OPI (TIM) index is simply calculated as the arithmetic mean
of the three components as shown in the table below.

Table 4.4: Calculation of OPI (TIM) Mean Zonal Compliance

Parameter % Mean Zonal Compliance


Turbidity 99.77
Iron 98.29
Manganese 98.87
OPI (TIM) 98.98

119
Annex 5 - Authorised Departures

120
The information contained in the following tables lists by water supply zone, the water treatment works (WTWs) supplying the zone and a summary of the
associated Authorised Departure compliance improvement schemes which the Inspectorate has agreed with NI Water.

Table 5.1: 2007 Authorised Departures (ADs) for THMs and Associated Improvement Schemes

THMs
Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007

Zone WTWs Supplying AD Progress with WTWs


Zone Name Population AD End Date
Code Water Supply Zone Value Compliance Measures
µg/l
Dunore Point,
Z104 Ballymena Borough Dungonnell, 150 40,800 15 October 2009
Buckna Borehole Dunore Point WTWs
Z109 Dunore North Dunore Point 150 66,860 15 October 2009 upgrade started
June 2006; completion
Z310 Dunore East Dunore Point 150 79,402 15 October 2009
expected October 2008.
Dunore Point, Dorisland,
Z318 Oldpark 150 75,200 15 October 2009
Drumaroad
Z321 Woodvale Dunore Point, Drumaroad 150 91,100 15 October 2009
Z112 Mormeal Moyola, Lough Fea 150 11,200 16 July 2009
Moyola WTWs upgrade
Z113 Moyola Moyola 150 35,800 16 July 2009
completed September 2008.
Z116 Unagh Moyola, Lough Fea 150 15,100 16 July 2009
Castor Bay,
Z209 Castor Bay-Shanmoy 150 21,600 24 September 2009
Shanmoy Borewell
Z221 Banbridge-Babylon Hill Castor Bay 150 26,600 24 September 2009
Z222 Ballydougan-Ballyhannon Castor Bay 150 78,000 24 September 2009 Castor Bay WTWs upgrade
Castor Bay, Forked Bridge/ started June 2006; completion
Z223 Lurgan-Magheraliskmisk Lagan Valley Boreholes at 150 53,400 24 September 2009 expected October 2008.
Poleglass
Castor Bay, Camlough,
Z225 Newry-Ballintemple 150 23,900 24 September 2009
Fofanny
Z227 Castor Bay-Richill Castor Bay, Seagahan 150 1,800 24 September 2009
Clay Lake WTWs upgrade
Z210 Clay Lake Clay Lake 150 10,000 30 November 2007
completed June 2008.
www.ni-environment.gov.uk
Forked Bridge/Lagan
Z309 Dunmurry Valley Boreholes at 150 61,000 24 September 2009 Link main to supply Forked
Poleglass, Drumaroad Bridge WTWs with water from
Castor Bay WTWs started
Forked Bridge/Barbour
Z314 Lisburn North 150 18,100 24 September 2009 September 2006; completion
Boreholes at Northern
expected October 2008.
Z320 Stoneyford Forked Bridge 150 5,900 24 September 2009
www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Z201 Altmore Altmore 150 2,000 24 December 2009 Altmore WTWs to be


decommissioned following
network upgrade.
Altmore,
Z202 Altmore-Gortlenaghan 150 19,700 24 December 2009 Completion date
Gortlenaghan Borewell
expected by 2009/2010.

Seagahan WTWs upgrade


interim work to be completed
Z219 Seagahan Seagahan 150 39,000 24 December 2009 by September 2008, with final
upgrade to be completed by
December 2009.
Creightons Green WTWs to be
Creightons Green, decommissioned by December
Z311 Holywood 150 4,200 31 October 2008
Drumaroad 2008 and Drumaroad WTWs to
supply the area.
Lough Cowey WTWs was
decommissioned in October
Z316 Lough Cowey Lough Cowey 150 7,700 24 December 2009
2008. Drumaroad WTWs is now
supplying the area.
Lough Bradan WTWs upgrade
work will begin in November
Z410 Lough Braden Lough Bradan 150 16,700 30 November 2010
2008; completion expected
November 2009.

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Drinking Water Quality in Northern Ireland, 2007 www.ni-environment.gov.uk

Table 5.2: 2007 Authorised Departures (ADs) for Pesticides and Associated Improvement Schemes

WTWs Progress
MCPA
Zone Supplying Mecoprop AD End with WTWs
Zone Name AD µg/l Population
Code Water AD µg/l Date Compliance
Supply Zone Measures

24 Altmore
Z201 Altmore Altmore 0.5 2,000 December WTWs to be
2009 decommissioned
following
Altmore, 24 network upgrade.
Altmore-
Z202 Gortlenaghan 0.5 19,700 December Expected
Gortlenaghan
Borewell 2009 completion date
by 2009/2010.
Lough Cowey
WTWs was
24 decommissioned
Z316 Lough Cowey Lough Cowey 0.3 7,700 December in October 2008.
2009 Drumaroad WTWs
is now supplying
the area.

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Annex 6 - Formal Notice Action


Table 6.1: Formal Notice Action Summary Details

Date Parameter Location Details Corrective Action

January - April Trihalomethanes Clay Lake Water Recurring THM Authorised Departure granted while
2006 (THMs) Supply Zone contraventions. water treatment upgrade work
(Ongoing into is carried out at Clay Lake Water
2007.) Treatment Works which supplies
this area. Upgrade was completed in
June 2008.

April 2005 - Iron Limavady Water Recurring iron Further investigation and survey
March 2006 Supply Zone contraventions of water mains in the area. Interim
due to cast-iron flushing programme. Longer term
water mains. action will be for water mains
(Ongoing into rehabilitation to be undertaken,
2007.) started in January 2008.

March - THMs Killylane Water Recurring THM Review of chlorination practice;


August 2006 Supply Zone contraventions. review use of blending with Dunore
(Ongoing into Point water supply; and optimization
2007.) of the water treatment processes
required for Killylane Water
Treatment Works.

July - August Coliform Corlea Service Recurring coliform Review of chlorination practice.
2006 bacteria Reservoir contraventions. Self-contained sodium hypochlorite
dosing unit commissioned and
operational in April 2007.

May - August Coliform Derrylin Service Recurring coliform Review of chlorination practice.
2006 bacteria Reservoir contraventions. Self-contained sodium hypochlorite
(Ongoing into dosing unit commissioned and
2007.) operational in May 2007. 99

August - THMs Lough Braden Recurring THM Review of chlorination practices


September Water Supply contraventions. at Lough Bradan Water Treatment
2006 Zone (Ongoing into Works. Authorised Departure
2007.) granted while water treatment
process refurbishment and
commissioning is undertaken.
Construction work to start in
September 2009.

E. coli and Trienaltenagh Recurring Review of chlorination practice.


September - coliform bacteria Service E. coli and coliform Inspection of service reservoir;
October 2006 Reservoir contraventions. ingress identified. Hypochlorite
dosing unit to be installed. This
service reservoir is included in
NI Water’s service reservoir integrity
programme of remedial work.

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Table 6.1: Continued

Date Parameter Location Details Corrective Action

June - Coliform Drumharvey Recurring coliform Review of chlorination practice.


September bacteria Service contraventions. Inspection of service reservoir;
2006 Reservoir ingress identified. Hypochlorite
dosing unit to be installed.
Temporary chlorination in place.

February - Coliform Loughans Recurring coliform Investigatory work carried out;


October bacteria Service contraventions. temporary chlorination in place.
2006 Reservoir (Ongoing into This service reservoir was taken out
2007.) of supply in December 2007.

September - Coliform Ballyberidagh Recurring coliform Temporary chlorination in place. This


October 2006 bacteria Service contraventions. service reservoir was taken out of
Reservoir supply in December 2007.
MCPA and total Altmore Water Recurring MCPA Liaison with Northern Ireland
August -
pesticides Treatment contraventions. Environment Agency’s Pollution
October 2006
Works (Ongoing into Prevention Section, and Forestry
2007.) Service to investigate any potential
catchment activities. Water
treatment works process review;
particulate activated carbon dosing
system is installed. This treatment
works is to be decommissioned in
2009.

October 2006 Coliform Coagh Service Recurring coliform Hypochlorite dosing unit to be
bacteria Reservoir contraventions. installed. This service reservoir
is included in NI Water’s service
reservoir integrity programme of
remedial work.

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Annex 7 - Staffing
In organizational terms, the Inspectorate is one of five functional units
within the Environmental Protection Directorate of the Northern Ireland
Environment Agency (NIEA), an executive agency within the Department
of the Environment in Northern Ireland. The agency is headed by a Chief
Executive and a board of Directors which spans four directorates: Natural
Heritage, Built Heritage, Environmental Protection and Corporate Services.

Staff

A list of Inspectorate staff in post during 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2008 is


given below.

Chief Inspector Randal Scott

Senior Inspector Margaret Herron

Senior Inspector David O’Neill

Senior Inspector Colin Clements

Higher Scientific Officer Una Mailey

Higher Scientific Officer Bernadette Corr

Scientific Officer Paddy Griffin

Administrative Officer Claire Shields

Casual Administrative Assistant Aaron Tedford

Casual Administrative Assistant Gareth Haddock

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127
Drinking Water Inspectorate for Northern Ireland Our aim is to protect, conserve and promote the
Environmental Protection natural and built environment for the benefit of
Northern Ireland Environment Agency present and future generations.
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Belfast BT7 2JA
T. 028 9056 9282 - F. 028 9056 9263
E: DWI@doeni.gov.uk
www.ni-environment.gov.uk

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