To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) over what time scale he now plans to implement the European Commission drinking water directive;
(2) if he will consult the water authorities before he determines the timetable for implementing the European Commission drinking water directive;
(3) what will be the estimated capital cost of the applications to water authorities of the maximum admissible concentration measurement in the implementation of the European Commission drinking water directive.
The drinking water directive was implemented throughout the United Kingdom in July 1985. In view of the recent change in interpretation of the directive which my right hon. Friend stated in his reply to the hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Roberts) on 2 December at column 915, I am not able to provide costs or time scales. However, I can confirm that all public supplies are perfectly safe to drink; improvements being made to comply with the directive will now principally relate to matters such as the appearance of the water. The Department is consulting the water authorities on these matters.