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Water Testing and Analysis

Picture of water being poured into a glass Water for all

ASSL offers a water testing service to determine whether water meets compositional requirements and is safe to drink or bathe in. We are a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)/DWTS accredited laboratory for both chemical analysis and microbiological examination.

Water is tested for a variety of reasons:

  • to protect public health
  • to ensure grade or quality for use
  • to ensure industrial plant operating parameters
  • to verify maintenance and filtration has been completed
  • to identify source
  • to provide an analytical service for environmental consultants
  • as part of an environmental monitoring program to ensure IPPC compliance.

As part of ASSL's advisory service we can present chemical and/or microbiological examination for water type and use, as well as provide advice on legislation and standards. Our testing services can confirm water contamination from maintenance work; agricultural and private borehole waters are safe to drink by humans or livestock; and individuals can have their household water supplies, private or otherwise, tested to confirm relevant compositional requirements.

Serving industry

Many companies use our advice and analysis to assist their process of monitoring, maintenance works and treatment/purification systems. Clients include:

  • Distilleries
  • Off shore and shipping companies
  • Energy generators
  • Food processors

We can also help with analysis, to IPPC guidelines of heavy metal contaminants, chemical pollutants and microorganisms. This exercise can be expanded to analyse process waters and trade effluents to guide compliance with consent legislation and the standards set by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

Partnering Local Authorities

ASSL has long established partnerships with local authorities with statutory requirements to inspect water quality and hygiene. Tests are carried out to ensure that private water comply with the requirements of legislation. Tests are carried out regularly to determine levels of bacteria in swimming pools, or following water supply installation or maintenance. We offer a testing service to local authorities that covers a range of water sources and uses, including private drinking supplies, swimming pools, boating and fishing ponds and treated water.

Private water

If you are a member of the public who would like mains or non-mains water (including swimming pools) tested to check whether it is suitable for drinking or bathing for your own benefit or as part of a sale or purchase of property. Concerns usually arise from discolouration, taste and odour problems, sediment or particulate matter and metallic contamination. If you have a concern please contact your service provider or Environmental Health Officer who, as part of their investigation, can contact us on your behalf.

Water in Agriculture

Many farmers use bore hole or well water to compliment or substitute mains supply. Our service can analyse and examine samples of these water sources to test for chemicals or microbiological hazards that may be harmful to either humans or livestock.

Water for fun

Recreational water including boating and sailing lakes or fishing water can be tested to ensure it is safe for its purpose or whether it contains harmful components.

Microbiological Examination of Water

Drinking Water

Drinking water is supplied from varied and wide ranging sources. It is very important to ensure that drinking water in not contaminated with micro-organisms. We can determine whether there is possible contamination of water from agents that might cause illness or disease.

Regulations: various regulations exist to control the microbiological safety of water for human consumption:

  • The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Scotland) 2001
  • The Private Water Supplies Regulations (Scotland) 2006
  • The Natural Mineral Water, Spring water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations (Scotland) 2001

We can provide access to these regulations and advise you if required.

Bathing Water

Picture of a swimming pool Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), Pool Managers are required to ensure the health and safety of employees and other who use their pools.

For the health and safety of members of the public, monitoring of the chemical and bacteriological quality of swimming bath waters should be undertaken routinely either at the poolside or by laboratory analysis. A variety of disinfectant chemicals and methods of treatment are employed at swimming pools and ASSL offers an analytical service for operational support in routine, treatment failure and complaint analysis. We can verify the microbiological quality of water, to ensure that it conforms to the published standards.

Standards: Various publications give guidance and advice on standards. The Pool Water Treatment and Advisory Group has published 'Swimming Pool Treatment and Quality Standards', a guide which, defines microbiological criteria for swimming pools. In addtion the Public Heath Laboratory Service has published guidance on hygiene for spa pools and hydrotherapy pools.

ASSL can provide access, microbiological examination and advice in relation to the above regulations.

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