Recent updates on the security and quality of Norwegian drinking water

Published: 2019-11-18

The Norwegian National Broadcaster (NRK) published an article about the status of the Norwegian drinking water quality following the contamination event in Askøy earlier this year and the following interest in Norwegian drinking water and the national governance of water quality:

Sykt godt drikkevann

The Ministry of Health and Care Services also commissioned the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) to assess the status of drinking water throughout Norway after the Askøy incident:

The assessment1 finished in October 2019, and the main findings are that the Norwegian water is safe in the sense that most residences receive water that is safe to drink.

Norwegian drinking water has been presented (internally at least) as the best and safest water in the world. Despite this there has been a few large disease outbreaks from drinking water over the last decade and this article investigates the actual status of Norwegian drinking water.

However, the Norwegian drinking water system lacks piping maintenance, leakage rates are high and pipes are old - posing a potential threat to water quality in the future. In many places contingency plans are lacking, and the training on handling unwanted events is not always sufficient, and may pose a threat to the resilience of the drinking water supply.

It will be necessary to make large infrastructure investments in the coming years to rectify the situation, and we hope that modern sensors, such as BiWAS, can play a role in directing the effort to the areas where it is most effective.

  1. The report is in Norwegian, with an English summary on page 2.