To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 14 November (WA 150–51), why the number of drinking water inspectors employed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs increased from 18 in 2001 to 25 in 2008; where they operate; and how they interact with water companies. [HL278]
There are two reasons for the increase in drinking water inspectors since 2001: additional duties when new regulations came into force in 2004 and the introduction of competition following the Water Act 2003 which has increased the number of licensed operators. Their operational area is England and Wales. Inspectors interact with water company staff and contractors on a daily basis independently assessing, advising and reporting on all the technical aspects of water supply operations and water testing integral to the provision of safe drinking water to the public.