bir_lit36103341 by lindash


									                                                                  Severn Trent Headquarters
                                                                  2297 Coventry Road
                                                                  Birmingham B26 3PU
Mr M Jones
                                                                  Tel              0121 722 4000
                                                                  Fax              0121 722 4800

                                                                 Direct Line
                                                                                   0121 722 4506
                                                                 Direct Fax
                                                                                   0121 722 4228
                                                                  Your Ref
                                                                  Our Ref

Dear Mr Jones,

Review of our handling of your requests for information.

I refer to your email of 6 September 2009 in which you ask for a review of Severn Trent Plc’s
handling of your FOI request ‘Undeclared & Unlisted chemicals in the water supply’.

For clarity, please note that neither Severn Trent Plc, nor Severn Trent Water Ltd are public
authorities and are therefore not subject to the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
However, Severn Trent Water Ltd typically respond to requests for information under the
terms of the Environmental Information Regulation 2004, although there is some dispute as
to whether the regulations apply.

With regard to the requests you have made to us in recent months, please accept my
apologies for the delays you have experienced.

The website you have used to generate the enquiries feeds into our Customer Relations
function which is wholly inappropriate for these types of requests, so we are taking steps to
resolve this so that there are no further issues.

I have reviewed the responses you have received so far and can understand your frustration
but must point out to you that we are only obliged to provide you with information that we

As you have already been advised, we are not required to monitor chloramine levels in
drinking water, therefore we do not hold the information you wish to receive. Chloramination
is an approved and accepted disinfection method used around the world to ensure water is
bacteriologically safe to drink. To this extent, there is nothing further we can add.
It seems that you have not received a response to your email of 6 August 2009, so I have
captured the following responses:

   1. Why do Severn Trent Water Ltd not list the chemicals that are present in the
      water supplied?

   The Water Quality Summary reports that are produced contain those elements that we
   are required to monitor in compliance with the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations
   2000 and (Amendment) Regulations 2007

   2. What Chemicals are present in the water supplied by STW?

   This changes from area to area and can be accessed on a postcode basis from our

   3. Of the chemicals that are present in the water supplied by STW, what reason do
   STW have for adding those chemicals to the water supply?

   This depends on the type of water being treated. River sources require significantly more
   treatment than ground water sources to ensure that they are wholesome and safe for

   Iron or aluminium salts may be used in the initial cleaning processes, but are removed
   during the treatment process. Both are monitored and reported on in the water quality
   summary reports. The pH of water is corrected and monitored to ensure that it remains
   within stipulated ranges for effective treatment and meets water quality standards when
   distributed to customers.

   Once water has been cleaned we use approved disinfection processes which utilise
   either chlorination or chloramination. The presence of residual disinfectant is monitored
   by the presence of free and total chlorine readings and is reported on in the water quality
   summary reports. Disinfection of water ensures that it is bacteriologically safe to drink.

   Some drinking water supplies are fluoridated at the request of the respective Strategic
   Health Authority. Fluoride is monitored and reported on in the Water Quality summary
   reports. In addition small amounts of phosphate may be added to some drinking water
   supplies to provide a protective coating to pipes to ensure that lead from customer
   owned lead service pipes does not leach into the drinking water on its route from the
   edge of their property to their kitchen tap. Phosphate is monitored and reported on in the
   water quality summary reports.

   4 Does STW add any chemicals the water supply at the request or order of any
   organisation whither government authority or not?

   Please see the response above relating to Strategic Health authorities.

   5. Is it not true that a dangerous chemical such as DDT could be present in the
water supplied by STWA and that this would not show up in your "Water Quality
Summary Report", since you choose only to list the ingredients
carbon/Mercury/Chlorine)- which, by the way, are all present in your water quality
summary report for my area (ZSF15).

 Water Safety Plans are in place for all Severn Trent Water drinking water supplies.
 These document hazards which may be present in water catchment areas, such as
 pesticide use, and detail the control measures in place and treatment required to ensure
 the safety of drinking water supplies. This includes management of drinking water once
 it has left the treatment works and is supplied to customers. Copies of the plans are
 submitted to the Drinking Water Inspectorate in compliance with Regulations.

 The supply to ZSF15 is from a number of groundwater sources which are of excellent
 quality. Please note that in relation to your comment on the water quality summary
 report; Total Organic Carbon is present in trace amounts and is present in all water
 sources; chlorine residual noted is a constituent of the disinfection process used to
 ensure bacteriological safety. However, in the samples for ZSF15 it did not have a
 positive detection, the result reported being <0.012 ug/l which means it was below the
 level of detection of the analytical technique

I trust this now satisfies your requirement.

If you are still unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled, you can
make a complaint to the Office of The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

If you are unhappy with the issues around chloramination, you can pursue this by
referring your complaint to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, Room MO3, 55 Whitehall,
London, SW1A 2EY

Yours sincerely,

Hayley Bowen
Data Protection Officer

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