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Drinking Water Safety Plans (WHO)

The main objective of all Drinking Water Safety Plans (DWSP) is to ensure that public health is protected. A DWSP describes the supply in terms of its public health risk, indicates areas of a water supply that require improvements and sets priorities for those improvements to be completed.

To develop a useful DWSP a water supplier needs the input of a range of individuals with complementary skill-sets. It is common for this ‘team’ to be well represented by water supply engineers, equipment operators, and water supply managers.

However, many communities are surprised to discover that no one in the team has any expertise in public health, and it shows once the final product is presented for approval. As DWA’s we seldom received a PHRMP that didn’t require significant extra work to get it to a level that could enable its approval. This was partcularly evident when large corporate consultants were involved! The extra time and expenese getting it right would be avoided if appropriate expertise was utilised earlier.

There are many reasons that a water supplier will be unable to access a public health water expert, in particular one who has a thorough knowledge of water supply operation from intake to the point of use, understands catchments and raw water issues, and can converse with water engineers and operators as easily as they can with public health officers and Ministry of Health regulators.

Regardless, what has become clear is that in cases where there’s been insufficient input by a skilled public health professional these DWSPs often fall short of providing the security that the supplier might have expected.

Given the amount of resource and time that the average water supply manager puts into the development of these plans, and the expectations of the communities they supply water to this is unacceptable.

If you would like to learn more about us, and how we can help you to deliver a first-class DWSP tailored specifically to your requirements, and containing the necessary public health input, then you can either contact us at or use the simple contact form (click here)

In the mean time you should check out the resources page which has links to a range of excellent information that you will find useful.