Harrogate spa water turned off while it is tested against EU rules

28 February 2012

HarrogateTourists visiting Harrogate’s Pump Room museum are currently barred from drinking the world-famous sulphur water by EU’s rules.

As a precautionary measure while the water is being tested the water has temporarily been turned off by Harrogate Borough Council.

The strong-smelling water was previously offered in small quantities to museum visitors so that they can better appreciate the experience of ‘taking the waters’ which Victorians believed cured a variety of ailments. On the exterior of the museum is a tap which traditionally allowed Harrogate residents to take the waters. Now the tap has been turned off.

Local MP Andrew Jones is calling for the EU and the Council to look carefully at the relevant regulations with a view to re-instating the spa tradition.

Mr Jones commented:

I cannot believe that this EU regulation was meant to apply to water that is part of a one-off historical experience rather than water one would drink on a daily basis for refreshment. But whether it was or not, it is clearly disproportionate to apply it to an external tap largely there for show and a tiny glass of water used to demonstrate the heritage of our area.

Mr Jones has contacted Harrogate Council asking them to specify the exact regulations which they claim has brought about this ban.

Mr Jones continued:

 I want to know whether this is a genuine EU issue or a matter of officials goldplating some innocuous regulation quite unnecessarily.

Whichever it is, at some level a rethink is needed. It is ridiculous that we stop a harmless tradition that educates people about our spa heritage because of the unintended consequences of a regulation which, in any case, may never have been intended to apply to this situation.

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