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The inspection of (collective) tapwater installations in 2006. Progress and findings

De controle van (collectieve) leidingwaterinstallaties. Voortgang en bevindingen


A portion of all drinking water installations is inspected yearly by the water companies to protect both the public mains system and the users of the installations from contamination. In 2006, 29% of the installations inspected - both existing and new installations - did not comply at the time of the first inspection with the standards set by legislation. A subsequent inspection of the unsatisfactory installations found that most of these shortcomings had been corrected, although 12% of the existing installations and 4% of the new installations still did not comply. By order of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)-Inspectorate Department, the Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands (RIVM) compiles a report each year on the inspection of drinking water installations. The percentages of non-compliance in 2006 are higher than those for 2005, primarily because more detailed information was provided on an increased number of installations. This information enabled RIVM to derive a more accurate assessment of the installations inspected. In addition, more installations were inspected in 2006 than in previous years. When the shortcomings continue, the water companies carry out a third inspection to determine whether these have been corrected by the owner of the installation. With persisting non-compliance, supervision of the installation is transferred to the VROM-Inspectorate Department. In 2006, the water companies transferred 1% of all existing installations that were inspected to the VROM-Inspectorate; no information is available on the percentage of new installations transferred. In terms of installations that must comply with special regulations for the prevention of Legionella (high-priority installations), the number that did not meet legislated standards has decreased, although it is still high (82%). This high incidence confirmes the findings of the inspectors in the field that the prevention of Legionella is not a top priority for the owners and/or managers of these installations. The second inspection, however, found that most of the installations (76%) had corrected the shortcomings, clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of the follow-up inspection.

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