Potable Water Quality

Drinking water, or potable water, is water which is safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm.

In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry meets drinking water standards, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Typical uses (for other than drinking or cooking purposes) include washing and landscape irrigation.

The supply and quality of potable water in Gibraltar is controlled by the Public Health (Potable Water) Regulations 1994, the Public Health Potable Water) Rules 1994, Public Health Ordinance (Amendment) Act 2001 and Public Health (Potable Water) Rules 1994 (Amendment) Rules 2001.

Water quality is checked under a two-tier sampling and analysis programme:

  • The water undertakers have their own “in house” programme and additionally submit samples of each batch of water produced to the Public Analyst at the Public Health and Clinical Pathology Laboratories. The analysis results are then interpreted by the Environmental Agency and the batch under consideration is only released for general supply if found fit.
  • The Environmental Agency also carries out its own independent monitoring programme, sampling the water supplies as they reach the consumers. This programme is designed to meet the sampling criteria outlined in Directive 98/83/EC and our national legislation.