§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The quality of drinking water is regulated by EC directive 80/778/EEC which sets maximum (or minimum) admissible concentrations for about sixty substances in drinking water. The directive makes provision for departures from these standards.
Article 9 makes provision for derogations from the directive to take account of situations arising from the nature and structure of the ground of the supply source and from exceptional meteorological conditions. Such derogations may not relate to toxic or microbiological factors or constitute a public health hazard. In Scotland 148 supplies carry derogations mostly relating to colour, pH, iron or manganese.
Article 20 makes provision for a delay in complying with the directive's standards provided that an action programme and appropriate timetable to improve the quality of water are put forward. 154 supplies in Scotland are at present subject to delays in respect of aluminium, iron, manganese, lead and coliforms.
If the hon. Member is concerned about the quality of particular drinking water supplies, specified details can be given.