Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
September 27, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Water safety

BS8680: Key components of a Water Safety Plan

SHP hears from Antony Paskin, Senior Consultant at Water Hygiene Centre on the key stages of a Water Safety Plan including assessing the risks and preparing emergency plans to be ready for all circumstances. 

Antony Paskin, Senior Consultant at Water Hygiene Center

Access to safe and clean water is a fundamental human right and a crucial aspect of public health. To ensure the provision of safe water, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed comprehensive guidelines known as Water Safety Plans (WSPs).

Following this British Standard BS8680 came into being and these plans provide a framework for maintaining and managing water safety in domestic water systems. In this blog, we will explore the essential components outlined in BS8680 that align with the guidance given by the WHO for Water Safety Plans for the delivery of safe and potable water.

System description

A thorough understanding of the water system is essential for developing an effective Water Safety Plan. Describe the entire water system, including the source, treatment processes, distribution network, and end-users. Identify potential hazards and assess the risks associated with each stage of the system to develop appropriate control measures.

Hazard identification and Legionella risk assessment

Conduct a comprehensive Legionella risk assessment to identify potential hazards that may compromise water safety. This includes physical, chemical, radiological and microbiological hazards. Evaluate the likelihood and severity of each hazard, considering factors such as contamination sources, system vulnerabilities, and potential consequences. This analysis will help prioritize control measures.

Control measures

Implement robust control measures to minimise or eliminate identified hazards. These measures may include source protection, appropriate treatment processes, regular maintenance of infrastructure, and routine monitoring of water quality parameters. Develop standard operating procedures for each control measure and ensure they are implemented and monitored effectively.

Monitoring and surveillance

Regular monitoring and surveillance of the water system are vital to detect any deviations from the desired water quality. Establish a monitoring program that includes Legionella sampling and testing at various points in the system. Monitor key parameters as appropriate, such as disinfection levels, turbidity, pH, and microbiological indicators. Implement procedures to respond promptly to any abnormal results.

Management and communication

teamworkEstablish a clear management structure for the Water Safety Plan, assigning appropriate responsibilities to individuals or teams. Ensure that Legionella training is provided to relevant personnel in water safety procedures and maintain up-to-date records of training activities. Develop effective communication strategies to inform and educate stakeholders about water safety measures, including staff, consumers, and regulatory bodies.

Emergency preparedness and response

Water systems are susceptible to emergencies such as chemical spills, natural disasters, or infrastructure failures. Develop a comprehensive emergency plan that outlines procedures for responding to emergencies, including contingency measures, communication protocols, and alternative supply options. Conduct regular drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of the emergency plan.

Documentation and review

Maintain detailed documentation of the WSP, and update the plan to incorporate new findings, changes in regulations, and emerging risks. Ensure that the plan is accessible to all relevant personnel and is readily available for external audits or inspections.


Adopting a Water Safety Plan in line with WHO guidelines and BS8680 is crucial for ensuring the provision of safe and clean water to consumers. By systematically assessing risks, implementing control measures, monitoring water quality, and maintaining effective communication and emergency response procedures, water providers can safeguard the health and well-being of their communities. A comprehensive and well-documented Water Safety Plan is the cornerstone of responsible water management, enabling continuous improvement and a resilient water supply system.

Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

This eBook will guide you through some of the key understandings you need to be able to manage driver safety effectively and, at the end, provide a series of free resources you can access to help you ensure your own driver safety management system is robust, legally compliant and in line with industry-accepted good practice.

Download this eBook from Driving for Better Business and SHP to cover:

  • Why do we need to manage driver safety?
  • Duty of care – a shared responsibility;
  • Setting the rules with a driving for work policy;
  • Managing driver safety;
  • Ensuring safe vehicles;
  • Safe journeys and fitness to drive;
  • Record keeping;
  • Reporting;
  • The business benefits of good practice;
  • Additional resources

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments