Water Quality Management Guidance (3rd Edition) 2017


This 39 page publication sets out various parties’ responsibilities and management requirements throughout the water supply chain including public and private supplies. It describes water treatments carried out by water companies and gives technical data on the efficacy of treatments with respect to key microorganisms, how food manufacturers should sample, monitor and assess water quality, carry out any corrective action, and risk assess water usage particularly during a boil water notice.


Water is widely used in the food industry, both directly as a raw material or ingredient and as a cleaning or processing aid. In any of these cases, the water quality must be such that it is not a source of unacceptable contamination due to the presence of pathogenic or spoilage micro-organisms, chemical or foreign body contaminants.

This document provides general guidance to assist chilled food manufacturers with their development of a water quality management policy, and how to carry out water risk assessments including during boil water notices.


  • Responsibility and Management
    • Public Suppliers’ Responsibilities
    • Private Water Supplies
    • Food Business Operators’ Responsibilities
    • International Standards
  • Water Supply to Site
    • Mains (Municipal) Water
    • Non-Mains Water
  • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Treatment by Water Companies
    • Distribution
  • Water Usage and Risk Assessment
  • Monitoring Water Quality
  • Corrective Action
  • Reference material
    • Cryptosporidium
    • DWI acceptable levels
    • Legionella
    • Water sampling procedure
    • Example risk assessment template