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- Water Quality
Tap water in Guernsey is of a very high quality - this is backed up by the thousands of samples that are taken each year by Guernsey Water staff, the vast majority of which pass the stringent water quality guidelines set by the DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) in the UK. You can read more about the benefits of drinking tap water and the quality of our water below.
In 2016, the quality of the water supplied was excellent with 99.91% of 6,866 tests meeting all UK and European Union standards compared with 99.84% in 2015.
You can view our yearly water quality results below.
Testing And Sampling
Guernsey Water tests its treated water on a daily basis for bacteriological and chemical quality in line with the UK Drinking Water Regulations. These tests are undertaken at three different stages in the water treatment process:
At Water Treatment Works (St Saviours, Longue Hougue and Kings Mills)
At Service Reservoirs (Forest Road storage tanks and Water Tower, Frie Plaidy)
At customer taps (throughout the Island)
The tests cover a range of around 130 different parameters. In addition to this we monitor our raw water resources and Catchment Area very carefully to ensure that we can continue to supply water in line with the regulatory requirements. We publish these results on an annual basis (see above).
Guernsey Water also undertakes testing and sampling for customer complaints and queries as necessary.
Tastes And Odours
Customers occasionally report that their tap water has an unusual taste or odour. These complaints are often of a chlorine smell or taste, and sometimes this only occurs in boiled drinks.
Chlorine is added to the water during the final stage of the treatment process. It acts as a disinfectant and a small residual amount is usually present in the water that comes out of your tap. This is to ensure that the quality of drinking water is maintained as it travels through the pipe network.
In order to remove the taste of chlorine, fill up a jug with tap water and keep this in the fridge. Not only will the chilled water taste better, it will also lose any chlorine smell or taste. Make sure the jug is kept covered to avoid other strong smells within the fridge tainting the water, and discard after 24 hours.
You may find that your tap water has a cloudy or white appearance. This can occur when the tap has not been used for a little while e.g. first thing in the morning or on return from holiday. The most common cause for this is tiny air bubbles in the water. You can confirm this by pouring a glass of water and standing it for a few moments. The cloudiness should clear from the bottom of the glass upwards.
Air in water is completely harmless, and in many cases can be removed by adjusting the stop tap/stopcock. If the cloudiness persists or clears from the top of the glass downwards, then please contact us, and we will try and rectify the problem for you.
If your water looks slightly brown, this may be due to tiny rust deposits from iron water mains. This can be caused by a main burst, remedial works on a main, or the reinstatement of a pipe which hasn't been used for a while. If works are being carried out on a water main near you, Guernsey Water will endeavour to contact you in advance of the work taking place. If the brown water does not clear after running your tap for a while, then please contact us. You could check whether your neighbours are also experiencing brown water - if it is just your property that is affected, then it is likely to be an issue with your property's internal plumbing.