The national Water hygiene scheme has been developed at the request of Water UK, the body representing the water supply companies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The blue National Water hygiene card was introduced in January 2006 to replace all water company specific hygiene schemes and removes the need for workers to undergo separate testing, health screening and to carry several separate cards for each water authority.
Any person working on a restricted operations sites such as service reservoirs, pumping stations, treatment works, wells, spring and boreholes and working on the network of water mains and service pipes must be in possession of a National Water Hygiene card. The same training package is delivered to both direct employees of water companies, and all contractors that work on the restricted operations sites including self-lay organisations working on new developments.
A health screen element is carried out to ensure that operatives holding the National Water Hygiene card are not carriers of any waterborne diseases on date of training and are aware of their responsibilities towards the potable water supply. Throughout the training the emphasis will be put on the individual that it is their duty to protect public health. They are responsible for ensuring that they inform their line manager if they come into contact with any disease that has the potential to cause harm.
A National Water Hygiene card lasts for three years from date of training and provides on-site evidence that an individual has demonstrated an appropriate level of knowledge and awareness with regards to hygiene issues. The scheme is not designed to provide any job specific training. It is also a prerequisite for many other EUSR registration schemes.
Registration is based on successful completion of a training course. Upon successful completion a cover note will be issued by the trainer and trainees will be registered on the EUSR. Once the necessary paperwork and payment have been received the National Water Hygiene card will be issued within 28 days. The training session is expected to last for approximately half a working day and comprises a trainer lead presentation, a health screening aspect and a multiple choice test. Trainees will be called upon to share their experiences and thoughts throughout to build on the course material and to identify cases of good and bad practice.