This programme is aimed at testing the capabilities of a laboratory to analyse a completely unknown chemically contaminated drinking water sample on an emergency short-term rapid screening basis.

Participants will be sent an incident scenario, which will detail how the possible chemical contamination may have occurred, together with contaminated drinking water samples, corresponding 'blank' drinking water samples and a sample to be tested for gross alpha and beta radioactivity.

Please note, the 'blank' sample is supplied solely to allow the laboratory to compare the background matrix of the contaminated drinking water. For a laboratory to gain maximum benefit from participation it is absolutely crucial that laboratory staff have no advance warning of the test.

Participants are required to submit responses to the following questions:
  • Is there any significant contamination of the drinking water?
  • If so, what is in the water? and the approximate concentration(s)
  • Do you have any analytical information that you feel would help the water company to decide if this water could be safely used for non-drinking purposes (e.g. bathing, washing, laundry etc.)
  • What methods were used to detect the contaminant(s)?
  • Were any screening tests used? Results must be e-mailed or faxed to Fapas.
The closing date for submission of results is 7 days from the start date for the exercise. Laboratories will be informed by e-mail within 1 day of the closing date of the list of contaminants knowingly added to the test samples.