Current Research

The expansion of drinking water research programmes in the 1970s was driven by a number of factors including: the emerging understanding of how transport of contaminants in soils and aquifers affects the quality of water abstracted for water supply; the growing database on toxicology of water contaminants; awareness of the implications of by-product formation in water disinfection processes; and increasing deployment of highly sensitive analysis techniques for organic and inorganic contaminants in water.

Thus the understanding of the insidious effects of chronic lead poisoning, coupled with the capability for sensitive, rapid lead analysis using Atomic Absorption was a catalyst for introduction of drinking water standards and hence for programmes of plumbosolvency reduction and lead pipe replacement. Similarly the availability of GCMS as a screening technique for ultra-trace levels of organic contaminants supported development of policy on the control of exposure to disinfection by-products in water supplies.

To some extent, research on chemical contaminants continues to be driven by the sensitivity and resolving power of analytical instrumentation. Thus pharmaceutical residues, endocrine disrupting chemicals and residues from non-stick frying pans feature in current research programmes. To find out more about the programmes and publications of the principal sources of water supply research, select from the links that follow:

BSRIA Drinking Water Inspectorate Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland EU Research
Environment Canada South Africa Water Research Commission TZW UK Water Industry Research
United States Environmental Protection Agency Water Research Australia Water Research Foundation Water Services Association of Australia
WRc RCUK Gateway
to Publicly Funded Research
Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme UK Water Research and Innovation Framework (UKWRIF)
  United Kingdom Water Research and Innovation Partnership STREAM