Before 2010, the Isles of Scilly were exempt from UK environmental legislation. However, Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) have been extended to the islands, so now the Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring and protecting the quality of groundwater on the Isles of Scilly.
The majority of drinking water on the islands comes from groundwater.
It is crucial these sources of groundwater are safeguarded and that the water is of high quality both for environmental reasons and to support safe abstraction for consumption.
The EPR regulations may mean that in future an environmental permit is needed where sewage effluent is discharged to ground soakaways on the islands. This is to ensure that the treatment and discharge of sewage effluent is well managed and does not pose risks to the quality of groundwater.
The reports published by the Environment Agency detail a groundwater quality survey and the delineation of Source Protection Zones.