8.2.8 Prepare verification programme
The verification programme is to check that all the components of the water supply system are working properly, and that water of a suitable quality and quantity is being supplied to the population, and therefore that the Water Safety Plan is working. There are three activities that together provide evidence that a Water Safety Plan is working effectively:
- compliance monitoring
- internal and external auditing of operational activities
- assessment of customer satisfaction.
In compliance monitoring, sampling and analysis of the water is undertaken to verify that the water quality standards are being met (complied with). For microbial verification, indicator organisms such as E. coli or faecal coliforms are looked for at representative points in the water supply system. In appropriate cases (say in areas with a Cryptosporidium problem), measurement of the organisms may be necessary. For chemical parameters, direct measurement is carried out, rather than the use of an indicator.
In internal and external auditing, scrutiny of the operational practice is undertaken by an auditor in person to verify that good practice is in place. As the names suggest, internal audits are undertaken by someone from within an organisation and external audits by an independent, objective auditor from outside an organisation. Auditors will, for instance, identify areas where procedures are not being followed, resources are inadequate or training is required for staff.
Assessment of customer satisfaction is the third aspect of verification and this is undertaken by personally meeting with representative consumers to obtain their feedback on the quality of the water delivered to them.