Jersey Water has announced its preliminary Water Quality results for 2004. The Company has a monitoring programme in place to sample and test the water quality at every stage of the supply chain. As well as complying with UK best practice, the Company’s systems exceed the regulatory monitoring requirements.
The results of the monitoring programme form the basis of the 2004 Water Quality Report. The key highlights demonstrate:
- In 2004, 7,305 million litres of water were supplied to Island homes and businesses.
The water supplied by Jersey Water in 2004 was to a high standard. There was a 99.8% compliance with all physical, bacteriological and chemical standards (2003 = 99.7%)
- Nitrate levels in water resources have shown a declining trend, however the levels remain dependant upon rainfall in the Spring and the intensity of rainfall during that period.
- On the 29th December 2004, a high level (1.4 micro grams per litre) of the herbicide cyanazine was recorded at Augrés Water Treatment Works. Jersey Water’s adviser on water quality, a leading UK toxicologist who advises the UK government and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that, whilst the level was above the Water (Jersey) Law regulatory limit (0.1 micro grams per litre), the concentration found did not pose a risk to human health and the water was safe to drink. Following standard procedures this result was reported to the States of Jersey Environment & Public Services department (E&PS) and the Health & Social Services department. The E&PS are responsible for water quality under both the Water (Jersey) Law and the Water Pollution (Jersey) Law.
Results from stream samples have indicated that the relatively high levels of cyanazine were present in the Grands Vaux and Vallee des Vaux streams. The E&PS are investigating the source of the cyanazine which we understand is used primarily as a pre-emergent herbicide in the production of daffodils and daffodil bulbs.
Managing Director & Engineer of Jersey Water, Howard Snowden, commented:
“We are pleased with the overall results for 2004 of our quality monitoring programme. The water quality results for 2004 form a major part of our Company’s reporting procedure. A full and detailed report will be issued at the same time as the Company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements which are due to be published in April 2005.
The relatively high cyanazine result right at the end of the year was disappointing, given the very good overall results for 2004. Nevertheless, customers can be assured that the water was and continues to be safe to drink and as a precautionary measure the resources which contained this substance were taken out of service once the sample result was known. Our monitoring regime for herbicides and pesticides is four times greater than the regulatory requirements; this ensures that issues such as this are brought to our attention quickly so appropriate action can be taken.
Our aim is to be 100% compliant with international water quality standards, but we can only achieve this with the cooperation of the agricultural industry and other land users in the water catchment areas which feed our reservoirs”.
Managing Director & Engineer
E: [email protected]