Tap water in the UK should be ‘safe’ to drink as there are standards for drinking water that water treatment companies should follow. However, it has been found to contain chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, toxins, hormones, antibiotics, fluoride, microplastics, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals and sediments.
Take a look at the annual reports from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), the independent regulator of water quality in England and Wales. Their 2019 report showed that:
- 1,433 failures of regulatory standards were investigated
- 75 legal notices were issued to water companies, including 2 prosecutions, with Northumbrian Water being fined £500,000 and Thames Water having 4 charges brought against them.
You may wonder if boiling your water makes it safe to drink? Boiling water does kill off harmful organisms such as E.coli, but it doesn’t get rid of other contaminants like heavy metals. In fact, it may even make them worse by concentrating them.