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Mains Water Supplies
 
99% of water in the UK is supplied using the mains water system.  Mains water in the UK is regulated by the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2001, which lay down minimum standards and requirements for water.  In addition, all plumbing, systems and fittings which are connected to the mains water system must be in accordance with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
Bball.gif - 906 bytes What happens behind the scenes?
Water from reservoirs, boreholes, rivers and other sources is processed at cleaning plants all over the country which are operated by local water boards.  Here, the water goes through a variety of purification methods, including the addition of chemicals, sand and carbon filtration, aeration, agitation and flocculation.  Lastly, the water is chlorinated for safe keeping within the pipe network, and in some areas fluoride is added for its assumed benefits for teeth and bones.  The water is then pumped to the water companyís service reservoirs, from where it travels through the mains supply network and into your home.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes Who is in charge of mains water in the UK?
Licenses to abstract water for public supply are granted under the Water Act 2003, which modernised the water industry within the UK.  Standards are set by the World Health Organisation, the European Union, and the UK. Water companies are regulated by OFWAT, a regulatory body established in 2006, whilst the supplies themselves are regulated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Additionally, the Consumer Council for Water represents mains water and sewage consumers in England and Wales. Further information and advice can be obtained from the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes What is in my tap water?
Over 300 different man-made chemicals have now been detected in British tap water.  Water companies test for around 20 of these chemicals.  These twenty chemicals are all present in varying amounts (for example DDT, Simazine, Atrazine, and 3,4 Benz pyrene, (weed killers). If you contact your local water board office, they will give you a copy of the water compliance summary for your area.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes How can the mains water supply be contaminated?
Chemicals and contaminants are able to enter the mains water supply at a number of stages in the supply chain. 
 
Environmental causes include fertilizers, pesticides, industrial waste and pollution, all of which affect our water supply in varying degrees.  Drugs and other chemicals are able to pass through the human body and enter the water supply.  Irresponsible dumping of household items, such as low-energy light bulbs releases chemicals such as mercury into the environment, where they are able to infiltrate the water supply.  What gets washed into the rivers, sea and land of today, ends up in the drinking water of the future! 
 
Faulty machinery, such as an engine oil leak, can allow toxic and hazardous substances to seep into the ground and the water table.  Old or damaged pipes, or acidic water conditions caused by other contaminants, can cause leakage of chemicals into the water supply, such as lead and copper, which are present in the mains water pipes.
 
Sometimes, the potentially hazardous contaminants are added to the water supply by the water boards to help keep the water safe to drink.  Chlorine, for example, is linked to cancer and heart disease, while aluminium, a substance linked to brain damage, is added by water boards during flocculation as aluminium sulphate to help remove particles in the water.  Aluminium, and many other chemicals, are naturally present in water, occurring as they do naturally in the ground. 
 
New contaminants are discovered all the time, and new strategies are employed to clean them.  Sometimes, these new methods are hazardous in themselves, such as the coal tar pitch which was used in the mid 1970s to coat the inside of water mains. This led to the release of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tap-water, some of which are known to be carcinogenic.  This was an unexpected outcome which had great potential for health risks, although most of these pipes have since been replaced by plastic ones.  Whenever new strategies are employed on a large scale, there may be unforeseen costs and disadvantages, which can be damaging to the environment and to the consumer.
 
Where so many chemicals are being used, there is also the potential for human error.  The wrong chemical was used in the wrong tank at Lowermoor Treatment Works in Camelford in 1988, affecting up to 20,000 people with aluminium poisoning in the UKís largest ever water poisoning disaster. The long term health effects of this blunder are still being felt today. 
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes Is mains water bad for you?
We do not think that mains water is bad. You should not buy our filters or anyone else's just because of what you read in the papers. That's there to make papers sell.
 
However, a number of the contaminants which are commonly found in mains supply water are believed to be damaging to health over long periods of time and exposure, and many of them also affect the taste of the water.
 
Human beings and all living things are able to filter their own systems, using their kidneys or other biological functions: Using a water filter means that your kidneys donít need to work so hard.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes My water is from a private supply. Does this mean it is contaminate-free?
Private water supplies are not subject to the strict rules that mains water must adhere to, and you may find a wide range of contaminants in your private water supply.  For more information and advice on a water treatment system, please visit the dedicated area on private water supplies.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes Why should I install a water filtration system?
Filtrations kits give you control over the water you drink, and offer peace of mind and extra protection against environmental contamination.  Using a filtration kit allows you to choose which chemicals enter your body.  We in no way condemn the hard work of the water boards, and the water they supply, or your own private supply!
 
Chlorine is added to mains water to remove bacteria which gives a very unpleasant smell and taste. you drink chlorine every day in fluctuating amounts. Would you willingly drink a glass of water if I put a drop of chlorine (bleach) into it?  Sliced bread keeps fresh because of the plastic wrapping, and is removed prior to eating.
 
Bball.gif - 906 bytes Do you like the taste of tap water?
We find most people do not. From our selection of water filters we can supply you with a water filter that will remove contaminates and improve the taste. When the water tastes better so will everything else that you use it for; your cooking, tea, coffee, all drinks etc. If you require a filter and you donít like the idea of a third tap, we can supply filters to go inline with your sink tap so that all your water is then filtered, we don't normally recommend this type because you use the filter life up when you do the washing up etc.
 
We can supply different types of filters for different problems. The range is very large, so if you do not see what you require then, please contact us.
 
 
EPS Aberystwyth
Dolgelynen
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion SY23 3HJ

         
    Tel:+44 (0)1970 636535 (24hr answer phone)    
         
    email: sales@epsaber.co.uk    
         
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