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Treating water for drinking

In most countries, the drinking water available is subject to strict limits as to its quality. The UK’s drinking water regulations can be found in The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016.

These water quality standards are typically achieved by taking water out of the environment and treating it in large treatment plants where it reaches a standard appropriate for the drinking water network. This is a very energy- and chemical-intensive process.

Defra provides an introduction to water treatment.

More accessible summaries are presented:

Activity: Pollution of drinking water

On occasion, the water that comes out of customers’ taps is not of the normal standard. A particularly controversial example of this is related to the effects of fracking in the USA.

This is illustrated by the video below:

water on fire from fracking gas

View water on fire from fracking gas video transcript

Research the academic and popular literature around fracking in the USA and other contexts.

Examples of advice notes can be found on the The Planning Inspectorate website.