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The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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PART 3Requirements and criteria for recognition as a natural mineral water

1.  A person seeking to have water recognised as natural mineral water in accordance with paragraph 1 of Part 1 or paragraph 1 of Part 2 of this Schedule, must carry out—

(a)geological and hydrological surveys which include the following particulars—

(i)the exact site of the catchment with an indication of its altitude, on a map with a scale of not more than 1:1,000;

(ii)a detailed geological report on the origin and nature of the terrain;

(iii)the stratigraphy of the hydrogeological layer;

(iv)a description of the catchment operations; and

(v)the demarcation of the area or details of other measures protecting the spring against pollution.

(b)physical, chemical and physico-chemical surveys which must establish—

(i)the rate of flow of the spring;

(ii)the temperature of the water at source and the ambient temperature;

(iii)the relationship between the nature of the terrain and the nature and type of minerals in the water;

(iv)the dry residues at 180ºC and 260ºC;

(v)the electrical conductivity or resistivity, with, the measurement temperature being specified;

(vi)the hydrogen ion concentration (pH);

(vii)the anions and cations;

(viii)the non-ionised elements;

(ix)the trace elements;

(x)the radio-actinological properties at source;

(xi)where appropriate, the relative isotope levels of the constituent elements of water, oxygen (16O –18O) and hydrogen (protium, deuterium, tritium); and

(xii)the toxicity of certain constituent elements of the water, taking account of the limits laid down for each of them.

(c)a microbiological analysis at source which must show—

(i)the absence of parasites and pathogenic micro-organisms;

(ii)quantitative determination of the revivable colony count indicative of faecal contamination, demonstrating an absence of—

(aa)Escherichia coli and other coliforms in 250ml at 37ºC and 44.5ºC,

(bb)faecal streptococci in 250 ml,

(cc)sporulated sulphite-reducing anaerobes in 50ml, and

(dd)Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 250 ml; and

(iii)the revivable total colony count per ml of water—

(aa)at 20 to 22ºC in 72 hours on agar-agar or an agar-gelatine mixture, and

(bb)at 37ºC in 24 hours on agar-agar.

2.—(1) Subject to subparagraph (2), a person seeking to have water recognised as natural mineral water in accordance with paragraph 1 of Part 1 or paragraph 1 of Part 2 of this Schedule, must carry out clinical and pharmacological analyses in accordance with scientifically recognised methods which should be suited to the particular characteristics of the natural mineral water and its effect on the human body, such as diuresis, gastric and intestinal functions, and compensation for mineral deficiencies.

(2) Clinical analyses may, in appropriate cases, take the place of the pharmacological analyses referred to in subparagraph (1), provided that the consistency and concordance of a substantial number of clinical observations enable the same results to be obtained.

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