Drinking Water Information Sources

Media interest and consumer concern began to influence drinking water research programmes from the 1990s onwards. The then recently privatised water industry was obliged to react to the concerns of its customers, although in many cases an uninformed and sometimes hostile media prompted those concerns.

In the face of media-prompted irrational concerns about the safety of water supplies, there was a need for impartial, authoritative sources of information in language that would be readily understood by the non-specialist. Reactions to drinking water scare stories included demands for regulation and setting of new standards. The FWR Guide “Drinking Water Standards and Guidelines” provides a balanced review of this subject. In addition, a number of titles in the FWR Reviews of Current Knowledge series address topics that have been the subject of media interest.

Concise and authoritative statements on the status of substances or pathogens that have been considered as presenting a risk via drinking water can also be accessed from a number of other sources:

The DWI provides a wealth of information on drinking water supplies including:- In addition there are a number of sources of more general information in respect of drinking water treatment and regulation including As a further educational resource for non-specialists, FWR plans to publish periodic reviews of water science issues.
  1. Does tap water make you ill?” responds to the recently published American study that suggests consumers using home water treatment units experience lower rates of gastrointestinal symptoms that those consuming water directly from the tap.
  2. "The causes and implications of algal blooms in water supply reservoirs" focusses on the significance of algal toxins for drinking water supplies.
  3. "A brief history of chemical residues in drinking water" looks at topics that have attracted media interest and in some cases, caused public concern.