Assessing operational performance benefits of a Water Safety Plan implemented in Southwestern France
Aims: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended Water Safety Plans (WSPs)
since 2004 as a means to reduce drinking water contamination and risks to human health.
These risk management programs have shown promise across several potential areas of
evaluation, such as economic benefits and regulatory compliance. Since WSPs are largely
carried out by people who interact with water treatment equipment and processes, operational
performance indicators may be key to understanding the mechanisms behind desirable WSP
impacts such as water quality and public health improvement.
Method: This study reports performance measures collected at a WSP implementation
location in southwestern France over several years.
Results: Quantitative assessment of performance measures supported qualitative reports from
utility managers. Results indicate significantly reduced duration of low-chlorine events at one
production facility and a significant decrease in customer complaints related to water quality,
manifesting reported improvements in operational performance and the customer service
Conclusion: The findings demonstrate some success stories and potential areas of future
performance tracking. Cyclical iteration of the WSP can help to achieve continuous quality
improvement. Successfully applied evaluation criteria such as the number of water quality
complaints or alarm resolution time might be useful across other locations.