Private water supplies

A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a water utility company. The source of the supply may come from:

  • Wells
  • Boreholes
  • Springs
  • Rivers or streams
  • Lakes or ponds
  • Private distribution systems (mains water privately distributed by a second party)

All private water supplies should be registered with the Council as we keep a public register.

Defra consultation on public and private drinking water regulations

Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. The 6 week consultation runs from 12 September to 24 October. For more details and to comment please:

Requirement for water supply risk assessment and sampling

The Private Water Supply regulations 2016 require every relevant supply to have a risk assessment done by the council. Risk assessment helps to find potential hazards to human health and likely failure of national drinking water standards. The risk assessment will involve surveying the supply; source through to point of use to find factors that could contaminate the water supply.

The following list are the requirements for each supply in relation to risk assessment and sampling:

Single private dwellings

Do not require routine monitoring or a risk assessment, unless tenanted. However, a sample or risk assessment can be undertaken on request.

Small domestic supplies

The amount of monitoring will depend on the outcome of the risk assessment. However, it will be a minimum of once every five years. Supplies will be sampled for five basic issues and anything else that results from the risk assessment.

Private distribution systems

Monitoring must be carried out according to the outcome of the risk assessment.

Large supplies or commercial premises

Both check and audit monitoring are required on these supplies, the frequency of which will depend on the volume of water used by the supply and the outcome of the risk assessment:

Check monitoring ensures the wholesomeness of the water.

Audit monitoring determines whether the water supply meets the relevant standards.

Fees for private water supply services

Guide to statutory fees:

Investigation and action in event of a water failure

Any sample that fails to meet the drinking water standards laid out in the Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 will result in the supply being investigated by the Council to determine the reason for this failure.

If you are concerned about potential contamination of your supply please contact your water provider or the Council for advice.

In the event of failure or risk assessment, where a supply is found to be unwholesome or a potential danger to human health, a notice will be served restricting the supply. The notice will be specific for each supply that has a failure of standards. Failure to comply with a notice may result in prosecution in a Magistrates Court.


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