10 November 2015
Islanders with private water supplies have been given updated advice regarding water quality.
Householders who have registered or licensed boreholes or wells on their property have received letters and leaflets highlighting the potential hazards of water drawn from these sources.
Boreholes and well water can be contaminated with bacteria, protozoa, pesticides, parasites and viruses (micro-organisms) or other substances, including nitrates.
Landlords and agents have also been contacted, because they may have responsibility for properties or land with boreholes or wells, which may be used as a drinking water supply.
The mailing advises those who obtain drinking water from their well or borehole to get the supply tested regularly by the States Official Analyst in order to compare the standard of their water to published guidelines.
Anyone who is concerned can obtain further advice from Public Health regarding measures for removing contaminants, such as installing water treatment equipment.
“Many people in Jersey have been accessing drinking water from wells or boreholes for many years without problems,” said Caroline Maffia, Deputy Head of Environmental Health. “However there are risks, and we want to remind householders and landlords that it’s important that they are aware of the origin and quality of the water they are drinking.
“Some groups are at higher risk – for example we advise pregnant women to be especially careful about checking the quality of their drinking water, in the same way that we’d highlight the risks associated with soft cheeses and unpasteurised milk to those who are pregnant.”
Working together to reduce nitrates
Work continues on reducing nitrate levels in Jersey’s water. Representatives from government and other agencies are working together to further reduce nitrate concentrations in water.
A draft water plan for Jersey has been produced and will be the subject of an internal and external consultation process during November and December 2015. The plan is then expected to be considered by the States Assembly in autumn 2016.