In the United Kingdom, potable water put into supply is required to be 'wholesome'. The term 'wholesome' is interpreted as clear, palatable and safe to drink. About 99% of potable supplies are provided by Regional Water Authorities and Water Companies (for England and Wales), Regional Councils and Island Councils (for Scotland) and the Department of the Environment (NI) (for Northern Ireland). These water authorities draw their raw water from upland surface waters, lowland surface waters (including lakes and rivers) and underground waters. Although each source provides approximately one-third of supply, the proportion varies considerably in different parts of the UK. Consequently the control of potential health risks related to drinking water also varies according to the source of supply. The paper describes briefly the treatment practice for the various sources, including disinfection practice. More specifically the paper describes current UK practice or developments in the control or investigation of plumbosolvency, fluoridation, nitrate, trihalomethanes, other organic micropollutants, sodium, asbestos and tar linings in pipes. The possibilities for the surveillance of the 1% of private supplies are also discussed.