National Water Hygiene

About the Scheme

Our National Water Hygiene (‘Blue Card’) scheme plays a vital part in ensuring the protection of public health and promoting safe drinking water practices. Originally developed in 2006, this scheme replaced the many different water company specific hygiene training programmes and courses, removing the need for individuals to undergo separate testing, health screening and the carrying of multiple cards.

Water companies across the UK mostly mandate National Water Hygiene for individuals entering clean water sites or engaged in operations on the clean water network, whether in direct contact with water or not.

Milo Purcell, Deputy Chief Inspector of the Drinking Water Inspectorate has stated  “It is important for anyone working in contact with the water supply, to learn and fully understand their responsibilities in protecting public health and public confidence in drinking water quality. The Drinking Water Inspectorate expect all those involved to operate to the highest standards of hygiene and safety, ensuring that clean drinking water remains wholesome and there is no deterioration to the quality of supply.”

More and more, individuals handling clean water for human consumption – contractors, facilities management organisations, environmental health practitioners, water engineers, plumbers – are expected to also have a ‘Blue Card’ to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of safe water hygiene practice.

Any individual working on a restricted operations area – such as service reservoirs, water pumping stations, water treatment works, wells, springs and boreholes or working on the network of water mains and service pipes – must have a National Water Hygiene EUSR registration.

The training and assessment on this scheme is the same for direct employees of water companies and individuals employed by contractors that work on the restricted operations sites – including self-lay organisations working on new developments.

Health Screening

A health screening questionnaire must be completed by all individuals prior to the training and assessment. In this questionnaire, individuals must declare whether they have, or have had in the preceding 12 months, any of these illnesses:

  • Typhoid
  • Paratyphoid
  • Dysentry
  • Persistent diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Jaundice or Hepatitis (A or E)
  • Prolonged unexplained fever

If the individual has, or has had, any of these illnesses, then medical clearance must be obtained before any EUSR registration application can be submitted.

Registration on EUSR

Registration is based on successful completion of the training programme and assessment. Training is delivered through a network of Energy & Utility Skills approved trainers and they all deliver the same training programme and assessment.  The training usually lasts about half a working day and is interactive, with trainer-led activities plus individuals are invited to share and discuss their own experiences with the group.

EUSR registration for National Water Hygiene is for three years from the date of assessment.

Find Out More

If you would like to get trained in this scheme, please see our list of training providers. If you are a trainer and would like to deliver this scheme, please see our guidance in the Approval and Delivery section.

If you have any queries relating to EUSR or the evidence requirements for any of our schemes or programmes, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm via email or tel: 0845 077 99 22.