Water supply act poorly observed, Netherlands authority says

Businesses and institutions that draw drinking water from the ground themselves often fail to observe the Water Supply Act, authorities in the Netherlands said recently.


March 13, 2003 -- Businesses and institutions such as campsites, breweries and hospitals that draw drinking water from the ground themselves under what are known as "independent abstraction schemes" often fail to observe the Water Supply Act, authorities in the Netherlands said recently. VROM (the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) has shut down five such schemes.

The VROM Inspectorate visited 106 independent abstraction schemes and examined the technical operations and water quality. The results were not very positive. The Water Supply Act lays down a requirement for a measurement programme, but just 34% of the businesses and institutions visited fulfilled this requirement. Similarly only 63% had taken measures to prevent legionnaires' disease.

The VROM Inspectorate has warned the violators that a fine will be imposed if they do not quickly satisfy the regulations. Two violators have already been fined 5,000 euros.

A high proportion of the businesses and institutions that were warned have since submitted a measurement programme. A small number of firms have decided to terminate their independent abstraction schemes and to make use of mains water instead.

The research indicates that the quality of the water supplied is generally good. Five of the 104 businesses and institutions supplied water of substandard quality. The VROM Inspectorate has prohibited the water supply in these cases.

For more information: http://www.vrom.nl/international/.

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