UK water companies are warning that “further action” is needed to ensure that all systems are properly purifying water.
They are warning of “serious risks” from a lack of testing standards and “continued uncertainty” about the future of the UK’s clean water laws.
Water Quality UK said it had received reports of “non-existant” standards in some systems in England, Wales and Scotland, and it was concerned about the possibility of a shortage of clean water for businesses.
“The UK’s water quality is at risk and our customers and businesses should not be left unprotected by a lack on standards, the government is aware,” the group said.
“Water quality can be tested and certified to ensure the quality of drinking water, but this requires that water is stored in a properly designed and operated system.”
It also said the lack of a single “world standard” for water purifying and filtering was worrying.
“Non-existent” standards UK water industry regulator, the Water Quality Authority, said it was investigating the reports, but that “non exists”.
“Water purification and filtering is an essential and complex service, which requires constant improvement,” a spokesman said.
The regulator said the water industry had been working with regulators in other parts of the world and with customers to come up with a single, worldwide standard.
“We have received a number of reports that non exist,” the spokesman added.
Water companies say they have been given a “significant” amount of information about the lack for years BBC Sport has contacted each of the major water companies in the UK, but they have not received any detailed response from the UK authorities.
A spokeswoman for the British Chambers of Commerce said: “We do not yet have any evidence of a non existent standard.”
She added that water companies were “working to address the issues and have confidence in the system we have in place.”
The regulator has also asked the industry to provide details of the “critical mass” of tests that must be carried out before a water company can be allowed to carry out its business.
However, the spokesperson said: “[We are] not currently able to provide information on the critical mass of water testing that must have taken place before water can be supplied to the industry.”
Water purification standards UK law requires water companies to ensure all systems in the country are properly testing water.
However there is a gap between what is required and what is being tested, the regulator said.
In England, water companies must test the water for contaminants such as nitrates, carbon monoxide and chlorine in the first three hours after the water is added to a filter, and for nitrate in the last 15 minutes.
They must also test the filtration system and other parts before it can be filled, the spokeswoman added.
The UK government said that the UK had an “excellent” water quality, with 95 per cent of people satisfied.
However some experts have criticised the UK government’s response to the problems.
“This government is not doing anything to address these issues,” says Andrew Jones, from the British Water Quality Council.
“I think it’s a little bit of a slap in the face to the public and businesses to see them say there is no water quality problem, but the reality is that water quality problems are quite serious.”
A spokesman for the UK Environment Agency said: “”We continue to see some worrying data from the industry showing significant levels of contaminants in some UK water systems.
“As we are constantly assessing the water quality in our systems and ensuring they are safe for drinking and industrial use, we will continue to provide regular updates to the Public Health England on this issue.”