Access to clean water is fundamental for our health and well-being. So, It’s no surprise that many homeowners are curious about what’s in their tap water and whether it’s safe to drink.

To put it simply, it’s safe to drink UK tap water as it has passed 99.7% of tests. This means it’s been scientifically proven to be clean and safe for regular consumption.

Within this blog, we will explore the properties of tap water, its impact on health, and more. Browse our high-quality water coolers and fountains for your business whilst you’re here.

Where Does UK Tap Water Come From?

UK Tap Water comes from a variety of sources, including reservoirs, rivers, and aquifers. This includes the Lake Vyrnwy Reservoir in Wales, which supplies water to Liverpool and Merseyside and the River Thames and River Severn.

Water hardness varies across the UK depending on where it’s sourced. In the southeast, water tends to be harder due to contact with limestone and chalk, which adds calcium and magnesium to the water.

Soft water is more common in the North and West, where it flows over impermeable rocks like granite. Areas with less rainfall rely more on underground sources for tap water, affecting the availability and quality of the water.

The Treatment Process of UK Tap Water

UK tap water goes through various processes to ensure it’s safe for consumption. This includes:

1. Initial Filtration

Raw water from rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater go through a screening process to remove debris such as leaves, twigs, and organic matter.

After this, the water is placed in large tanks to allow any sand and silt to settle at the bottom.

2. Chemical Treatment

The water is then disinfected to remove harmful bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses. In some areas of the UK, fluoride is added to aid with dental health.

Then, the PH of the water is adjusted to prevent pipe corrosion, achieved by adding lime or sodium hydroxide.

3. Advanced Treatments

If the water needs to be further purified, micro-filtration is used to remove smaller particles. Contaminated or brackish water undergoes reverse osmosis to rid it of contaminants.

UV treatment may also be used to destroy bacteria and viruses.

4. Testing and Quality Control

The bacterial and chemical count and clarity are then regularly tested to ensure it’s safe enough to drink.

Businesses are required to share their results with regulatory bodies and the public for full transparency before supplying it.

5. Final Processing

UK tap water undergoes final filtration before entering the distribution system to ensure it’s clear of impurities. Sometimes, this includes aeration to improve its smell and taste.

UK Tap Water Regulations and Standards

UK tap water must adhere to various regulations and standards to qualify as safe to drink. This includes:

Government Regulations

  • The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI): It must adhere to DWI, the main body responsible for the quality of drinking water in England and Wales.
  • Legislative framework: UK tap water must follow the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 in England and its counterparts in other UK nations. This includes regulations based on taste, odour, and appearance.
  • Role of local authorities: Local authorities play a role in monitoring the safety standards of private water supplies.

Compliance with EU Standards

  • EU drinking water directive: The water quality legislation was originally derived from the EU Drinking Water Directive, which still stands after leaving the EU.
  • Post-Brexit regulations: Certain areas of the EU Act 2018 remain intact after Brexit, which sets out standards for the quality of UK tap water. The environment bill also sets standards for UK water supply to aim for environmental protection and sustainability.

Health Considerations for UK Tap Water

Chemicals and Contaminants

Chlorine is added to tap water to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Without it, tap water wouldn’t be safe enough to consume.

There are some concerns about the amount of chlorine that is added, as it can contain products such as trihalomethanes (THMs). However, the level of chlorine added is regulated to minimise health risks. Fluoride is also carefully monitored once it’s added to prevent tooth decay.

Lead in UK tap water is also a concern as low levels of lead are harmful, particularly for pregnant women and children. However, continuous efforts are being made to replace lead piping in the UK and use phosphate treatments in water to prevent lead dissolution.

There are also systems put in place, such as regular testing and monitoring, to prevent pesticides and nitrates from entering UK tap water. High levels of these can harm the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, especially in infants.

Health Benefits of UK Tap Water

There are various health benefits of drinking UK tap water. These include:

  • Hydration and health: Water plays a vital role in functions like digestion, circulation, absorption, and temperature regulation. It is also an excellent form of hydration, maintaining energy levels, cognitive function, and overall physical health.
  • Essential minerals: UK tap water is a source of calcium and magnesium, especially in hard water. These are essential for cardiovascular function and bone health.
  • Balanced mineral content: Mineral content in UK tap water is well-balanced, contributing to the recommended daily intake of nutrients.
  • Dental health: Fluoridated water prevents tooth decay and decreases the chance of oral diseases.

Choose Cool Water Company for your Business Today

At Cool Water Company, we pride ourselves on the quality of water we sell, creating the perfect hydration system for your office, school, or gym.

With a variety of water coolers to choose from, our water is filtered and safe to drink, and our products are designed to be eco-friendly. With free installation and delivery, browse our products today and place your order with us.