Rethinking Disinfection Policy

Rethinking Disinfection Policy

Challenge Water companies in the UK are required to develop and implement a Disinfection Policy which lays down the high-level strategy for achieving “an adequate treatment”, in line with the requirements of Regulation 26. Water companies must be able to demonstrate that the treatment is designed for the microbiological challenge present in the raw water, and that it is operated within validated criteria.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate has taken a flexible approach in allowing water companies to develop the structure and contents of their own disinfection policies, with the caveat that the policies need to be informed by “sound science”. What is clear however is that defining and interpreting what this means as well as developing a Disinfection Policy that applies best practice, is challenging and requires substantial knowledge of up-to-date scientific advances.

Solution WRc can support the development or revision of water company disinfection policies. We can perform gap/optimisation analysis, comparing water companies’ existing disinfection policies with good practice elements drawn from international jurisdictions with well-established drinking water safety and disinfection practice.

This fulfils the requirement for establishing disinfection policies based on sound science within a robust, risk-based framework. We can support the revision or rewrite process, as well as benchmarking existing treatment works against elements of good Disinfection Policy Rethinking Disinfection Policy practice.

WRc has successfully delivered this solution to a number of water companies and is in consultation with several others, as well as the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to define optimum approaches. WRc also facilitate a “Disinfection Forum” working group where innovative ideas and best practice can be discussed.

Benefits The benefits of adopting this approach include:

• Alignment of the disinfection policy with international best practice;

• Improved reputational standing;

• Enhanced understanding of necessary disinfection protocols and disinfection activities;

• An accessible approach for managers and operators of a range of different water sources and treatment processes; • Reduction in customer and corporate risk;

• Demonstration of due diligence to the water quality regulator (DWI) with an evidence supported approach for ensuring the microbiological safety of drinking water.