Search site

Government Initiatives

Renewable Energy E-Gaming E-Commerce New Residents

Water supplies and treatment.

Tests carried out by Alderney Water for a chemical used in fire-fighting foam have confirmed that the island's supplies are safe to drink.

The testing follows reports that the chemical, known as perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS), has been detected in streams around Guernsey Airport. The contamination is believed to have resulted from fire-fighting activities at the airfield, however health authorities have confirmed that the concentrations found in that island's water supplies do not pose a risk to health.

The same fire-fighting foam previously used in Guernsey has also been stocked in the past at Alderney Airport. However this has now been replaced by a new type of foam, which does not contain PFOS.

Alderney Water was notified of Guernsey's findings in September, and as a precautionary measure has taken samples from various streams and private supplies, as well as the Trigale storage tank.

These tests have confirmed that although PFOS is present in the local water supply, the concentrations are well below the safe level set by the UK's Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

Director of Public Health Dr Stephen Bridgman and Director of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation Val Cameron have confirmed that Alderney Water is safe to drink.

The chemical was detected in raw water in the Bonne Terre catchment area, but within the DWI guidelines. However, to date all raw water supplies to the Battery Quarry have been clear.

All local drinking water is distributed from the Trigale storage tank, tests of which have been within the DWI guidelines.

Operations at Alderney Airport, including fire fighting activities, are the responsibility of Guernsey's Public Services Department. Any queries regarding the foam material should be addressed to the Department's Jim Anderson on 717109.

Alderney Water will continue to monitor local supplies to ensure they continue to comply with all drinking water quality standards. It is in close consultation with Guernsey Water and the Environmental Health Department, to assess whether any remedial work may be required in the Bonne Terre area.

In the meantime it is intended to progress the implementation of the new Filtration Plant, the main purpose of which is to improve water quality, although this may require some enhancement, and the assistance of Guernsey Water is being sought to verify the design prior to proceeding with procurement. Because of these considerations the plant will now be later than originally planned, and in parallel with this therefore it is intended to also progress with Phase 3 of the water development project, the installation of new storage and pumping facilities to replace the outdated system at Trigale.

You may be assured that every care is being taken to ensure the safety of the water supplies and to improve the service and quality.

Issued by: Joanna Parmentier, Marketing & PR Manager, States of Alderney
t. 01481 825536, e. and w.

For further information, please contact:-

States of Guernsey Public Services Department

Jim Anderson
01481 717109
mobile 07781 108325