Chemical and Biological (CB) Risks to Drinking Water


Chemical and Biological (CB) Risks to Drinking Water



Today’s organisational structures, scientific methods and regulatory frameworks concerning drinking water quality are designed for long term decision making and not for immediate response in case of an incident. Therefore, several tools have been recently developed to identify the water quality in the event of an incident. However, there are several factors which influence the performance of these tools and there is no EU standard approach available which sets out parameters for an overall assessment.

Focus of work

Focus of the Thematic Group is water security in terms of responding to deliberate chemical and/or biological acts of contamination of drinking water (as per the definition of security). The purpose of this thematic group is to identify the requirements for harmonization activities for water security response related to CB threats to drinking water, through real-time water quality monitoring systems, early warning systems and related laboratory confirmatory analyses. The work concentrates on three dimensions in particular:

  • The use of innovative techniques (probes, sensors, etc.) and enabling technologies for online measurement of water quality and monitoring of performance requirements in drinking water distribution networks.
  • Rapid identification and quantification of ‘unknown’ chemical and biological contaminations in drinking water (i.e. following an incident) which help event detection as well as to prevent or mitigate damage in water supply systems.
  • To develop European-level guidance to enable water utilities to prepare relevant elements of Water Security Plan, devoted to improving the control of water security.

The work programme - Main deliverables

The current work programme identifies three deliverables:

  • Report on testing technologies, analytical tools and methodologies to quickly identify the nature of chemical or biological contamination in drinking water.
  • Guidance document aimed at water utility operators recommending the requirements for production of a Water Security Plan that would address the security aspects in drinking water supply.
  • Organization of (online) events on the Water Security Plan, the validation and revision thereof, for the dissemination of practical information related to the implementation and operation of water security features, looking forward to standardization, risk assessment and crisis management in water utilities.

Webinar Series on Water Security 2020 New

Improving water security planning and preparation to recovery and remediation from source to customer

The webinar series on Water Security was organized by the Thematic Group on “Chemical and Biological Risks to DW” of the ERNCIP Office. The series aimed to provide the framework of security aspects in drinking water supply and to introduce the key elements of the Water Security Plan (WSecP), bringing together knowledge and experience of high-level experts from the field. The webinar series was meant for utility managers, researchers, policy experts, consultants, authorities, and operators..

Click for more details and material

Deliverables List

Upcoming events

see all events

Latest News

see all news

Related Articles

ERNCIP Webinar Series on Water Security 2020

The webinar series on Water Security was organized by the Thematic Group on “Chemical and Biological Risks to DW” of the ERNCIP Office.

2016 - Water Safety and Security Workshop

12th December 2016, Brussels

JRC and DG HOME co-organised the «Water Safety and Security» workshop at the occasion on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Groundwater Directive. The workshop aimed at improving the coordination of information exchange between policymakers, scientists and practitioners in the area of water safety and security.