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Water Supply: Pollution

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 121935, tabled on 9 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date his Department first knew about high levels of toxic chemicals found in a Cambridgeshire water supply.

Answered on

21 February 2022

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the regulator for drinking water quality and carries out its regulatory functions independently of the Government. It holds water companies to account and takes action to ensure any failures are addressed.

Water companies are required to notify the DWI of any event that has affected or might affect the quality or sufficiency of the water supplied.

Cambridge Water notified the DWI of the high levels of PFOS on 8 February 2022. The DWI is currently investigating this case. Full details of the investigation cannot be shared at this stage as this might prejudice future legal proceedings. Once the investigation is concluded, the DWI will publish an Event Assessment Letter and share learning through the annual Chief Inspector’s Report, both of which will be publicly available on the DWI’s website.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.