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Can you tell me about oestrogen in water?

We want to ensure that the water you drink is of the highest possible quality. Research has shown that any traces of oestrogen that may exist in the raw water, i.e. water before it has been through any treatment, are completely removed by conventional water treatment processes. Consequently, the treated water is not tested specifically for this compound.

However, the quality of the drinking water is monitored at every stage from the source right through to the customer's tap. One of the tests that is carried out is known as Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS). This test does not analyse for specific compounds but is a general survey of any synthetic compounds that may be present. Consequently, if there were any oestrogen present in the water supply, it would be detected by this test.

Recent studies by the Drinking Water Inspectorate have found small amounts of Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) (which includes oestrogen) in some rivers. Nearly all break down naturally. European Commission-funded studies have also looked at the capability of conventional treatment to remove EDCs from sewage and water. The results are reassuring and there is no evidence of a risk to human health through drinking water.

If you would like more information on this subject, the Drinking Water Inspectorate website (Government regulator of the Water Industry) has a useful section on current issues of concern. Please click on the following link Drinking Water Inspectorate

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