National Water Hygiene: Course Content


Milo Purcell, Deputy Chief Inspector of the Drinking Water Inspectorate says,

“It is important for anyone working in contact with the water supply, to learn and fully understand their responsibilities to 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.”

The National Water Hygiene training protects the safety of water through good hygiene practices while working on restricted operations. This is defined in the technical guidance notes:

“Work which may involve direct or potential contact with untreated sources of underground water, with partially or fully treated water within water treatment works or with treated water, or any surface of an operational asset (including those temporarily out of use) which will itself be in contact with potable water at any stage in its distribution to the point where it is made available to consumers.”

Subjects covered within the training session include:

Module 1: The importance of water

Asks individuals to reflect on the definition of wholesome water, drawing attention to its importance as a food source and the implications of a world without clean water. It aims to provide the individual with an understanding of the scarcity of clean water and the role that water plays in maintaining a healthy and functioning society.

Module 2: Water as a carrier of disease

Aims to develop an individual’s understanding of how water can be a carrier of disease; exploring the historic cases which established a better understanding of waterborne disease and developing best practice, looking at the various illnesses that can be contracted through the ingestion of contaminated water and the diseases that still prove challenging today.

Module 3: Potential contamination and its consequences

Explores the potential sources of water contamination across all areas of the UK water industry and the consequences should contamination occur.

Module 4: Preventing contamination

Explores the steps that an individual can take to prevent contamination of the clean water supply. Broader and overarching actions that the individual can take to safeguard water quality as well as providing specific examples of working practices that can be adopted in a small number of high-risk scenarios.

Health Screening

A standardised health screening questionnaire must be completed by any individual required to work on restricted operations. This includes those working on the water network, water treatment works, taking water quality samples – anyone that the water company considers could come in contact with treated water.

Answers on the form that suggest the individual may be carrying a water-borne disease will require the individual to be referred to their doctor or occupational health department for checks. The trainer will make the final decision on whether to allow the individual to carry out the training course. The individual must pass the health screening before they can be registered for the National Water Hygiene card and will not be issued a card until both the health screening and the test have been passed.

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: 0121 745 1310.