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Water Treatment

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Smith of Finsbury Lord Smith of Finsbury Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they will make to ensure the efficient delivery of water purification chemicals from the EU to water companies in the UK in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the EU.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

My department is working closely with the water industry and regulators to prepare for all potential EU withdrawal outcomes.

The water industry is reliant to a large extent on chemicals imported from the EU to ensure water is safe to drink. Often they are supplied on a ‘just in time’ basis. Water companies and officials in my department have been working together to identify the sector’s needs and any steps that should be taken to ensure they continue to be met. Analysis of current supply chains has provided reassurance. The majority of critical chemicals come through ports such as Immingham, which are less likely than Dover to see potential disruption. Water companies are also increasing their on-site stocks of chemicals and are working with suppliers and regulators to increase production rates and storage capacity or look for alternative options for resilience. The Government will further ensure all necessary steps are taken to secure chemicals for the water sector.

As a result of the steps we have taken, my department is confident that we will continue to have safe and plentiful supplies of water in the event of no deal.

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