Traditionally, the regulatory approach to maintaining the quality and safety of drinking water has largely been a prescriptive one based on the ability of any given supply to meet standards set for a number of different chemical and biological parameters. There are a number of issues around the assumptions and the limitations of a sampling and analysis regime. The basis for such regimes is essentially reactive rather than proactive and, consequently, the cause of the concern may already have impacted consumers before any effective action can be taken. Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has developed a template for recording drinking water safety plans together with guidance notes to help complete them. The template has been developed in MS-Excel and has been designed in a straightforward step-wise manner with guidance on the completion of each sheet. It includes four main risk tables covering each main element of water supply which are pre-populated with commonly found ‘generic’ risks and these are carefully assessed before considering what action is required to deal with significant risks. Following completion of the risk tables, key risks are identified and the interventions required to bring them into control.

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