Drinking Water Quality is of concern to us all.
To find out more about Water Quality Standards, the monitoring we do and the major issues affecting water quality, click the Headings on the left.
The Facts About Drinking Water Quality
Portsmouth Water has a long record of providing safe drinking water to the population of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas. The safety of the drinking water supply will always remain one of our principal objectives.
The greatest health risk associated with drinking water still arises from bacterial contamination. In the UK, only 150 years ago, contaminated water caused many outbreaks of waterborne disease such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery. In the western world these diseases have been virtually eliminated with modern treatment methods and in particular the introduction of chlorine as a disinfection agent. In the Third World unsafe drinking water remains one of the major causes of disease.
All drinking water contains some naturally occurring chemicals. The concept of PURE WATER would imply the absence of everything except H2O. If you drank a glass of pure water you would find it very flat and uninteresting. It's the natural minerals that give drinking water its taste. Drinking water taken from different parts of the UK can taste very different because of the varying natural minerals in each supply.
Most of Portsmouth's supplies originate from the chalk of the South Downs and these naturally contain the hardness salts of calcium and magnesium and traces of other minerals. Hardness salts fur up your kettle but many people consider that they also make the water more palatable. There are some substances - nitrates for example - which would cause concern if present in large amounts. So we carefully monitor levels and strictly follow the advice of the Government's Drinking Water Inspectorate who regularly audit our work.