BS 8550:2010 - Guide for the auditing of water quality sampling – BSI British Standards

BS 8550:2010

Guide for the auditing of water quality sampling

Status : Withdrawn, Superseded   Published : June 2010 Replaced By : BS ISO 5667-24:2016

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BS 8550:2010 Guide for the auditing of water quality sampling

BS 8550 is a key standard for those involved in testing water and making it safe for use.

Why test water?

The sampling and analysis of drinking water supplies is one of the key elements in the protection of public health. Environmental sampling from rivers and other surface waters, sampling of discharges such as treated sewage effluents and trade discharges and sampling of water used for non-potable purposes can also have a significant impact on public health, occupational hygiene and asset durability.

One of the major sources of error in gathering water quality monitoring data can be the sampling process. Poor sampling practices create problems for those interpreting results and can lead to costly and incorrect decisions. Failure to manage factors such as Cryptosporidium levels in drinking water, pneumonia caused by Legionella and heating system corrosion are examples of where failures of quality control/assurance in the sampling process can lead to expensive and potentially life-threatening consequences.

What is BS 8550?

BS 8550 provides an audit protocol to monitor conformity with declared, or assumed, practices in all areas of water quality sampling. Specifically, the standard provides guidance on the systematic assessment of sampling practices and procedures in the field, and assessing conformity with those given in the organization’s sampling manual. It is applicable to the audit of sampling activities from the development of a sampling manual through to the delivery of samples to the laboratory.

BS 8550 applies to the auditing of sampling practices relevant to the management of water stored in containers, such as temporary supply tanks and bottled supplies.

What areas can I use BS 8550 for?

BS 8550 will serve practitioners across the whole range of water quality monitoring areas, for example:
• Wastewaters including discharges to water bodies
• Environmental monitoring
• Potable water supply
• Potable water distribution and use within buildings
• Commercial and industrial uses of water
• Power generation
• Meteorological monitoring.

Who should use BS 8550?

• Water industry (including the environment agency)
• Environmental health officers
• Health and Safety Executive (HSE) specialists
• Water management companies
• Facilities management companies
• Consulting engineers
• Geotechnical engineers
• Hydrogeological consultants
• University departments involved in field studies
• Power generators and other peripheral organizations with a water trade affinity.

Are there any cases that BS 8550 does not apply to?

BS 8550 does not apply for the auditing (or calibration and maintenance) of on-site test equipment or kits.

The following sampling occasions are excluded from both the field and desk-audit procedures set out in this standard:

a) Chemical and microbiological incidents, which are investigated by agencies such as the emergency services, e.g. where an immediate risk to the health of the sampling practitioner/operative is evident

b) Radiochemical sampling of water quality, other than that specified as a routine requirement under the UK Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations, i.e. radiochemical incidents which are investigated by agencies such as the emergency services.

Contents of BS 8550:

Section 1: Background
1 Scope
2 Normative references
3 Terms and definitions
Section 2: General auditing recommendations
4 Multiple audits
5 Auditing objectives
6 Internal audit objectives
7 External audit objectives
8 Identification of the critical factors in the water quality sampling process
9 Risk-based versus judgement-based approaches to auditing
10 Document auditing
Section 3: Auditing practice
11 Real-time audit
12 Design of an audit plan
Section 4: Field assessments
13 Conduct of field assessments
Section 5: The audit
14 Audit methodology
Section 6: Closure meeting
15 Assignment of the audit report and the closure meeting
Section 7: The audit report and statement of findings
16 The audit report and statement of findings
Section 8: Outline flow diagram of audit process
Annex A (informative) Audit forms
Annex B (informative) Suggested procedures for monitoring temperature control
Annex C (informative) Measurement of uncertainty associated with sampling practices
List of figures
Figure 1 – Outline flow diagram of audit process
List of tables
Table C.1 – Example data for chance of observing an error


Other standards for water quality you be interested in:

BS 1427:2009
Guide to on-site test methods for the analysis of waters

BS ISO 5667-11:2009
Water quality. Sampling. Guidance on sampling of groundwaters

BS 7592:2008
Sampling for Legionella bacteria in water systems. Code of practice

Standard NumberBS 8550:2010
TitleGuide for the auditing of water quality sampling
StatusWithdrawn, Superseded
Publication Date30 June 2010
Withdrawn Date30 April 2016
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS EN ISO 5667-1
Informative References(Provided for Information)BS 1427, BS 4778-3.1:1991, BS 10008
Replaced ByBS ISO 5667-24:2016
Draft Superseded By09/30169964 DC
DescriptorsWater, Quality, Water testing, Sampling methods, Samples, Water resources, Potable water, Water pollution, Water supply, Quality auditing, Conformity, Risk assessment, Quality control, Technical documents, Testing organizations
ISBN978 0 580 59976 7
File Size4.706 MB

*To ask about withdrawn titles contact the
Customer Relations, +44 345 086 9001
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