Private Water Supplies

These are supplies of water intended for human consumption that come from a privately owned well, borehole or spring, rather than from the public mains. Under the Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 the council monitors these supplies according to the risk of them causing health problems.

Private distribution networks are mains water supplies which are further distributed by a water company customer to a third party whose land is in separate ownership. These supplies are also assessed and monitored by the council.

Single household supplies

Where a private water supply only serves a single household you can choose whether you would like us to monitor the quality of your water. We offer two types of assessment: we can take a sample and have it tested for bacteria, pH, conductivity and turbidity, and any other chemicals that may be of concern; we can also carry out a risk assessment of your supply to identify any features that could result in contamination occurring, giving you an opportunity to put matters right before a problem results. There are charges for both these services.

Small supplies and private distribution systems

For private water supplies supplying more than one dwelling, and private distribution networks, we are required to monitor the supply and carry out a risk assessment every five years. This will look at factors like where the water comes from, how well the source is protected, any possible source of contamination in the area, the condition of the pipe work, whether there is any treatment on the supply etc. How often we sample the water and the list of things we test it for will depend on the outcome of the risk assessment.

Large supplies

For supplies providing more than 10m3 per day, or used in any commercial or public activity (such as rented properties, food businesses, schools etc.) we are required to carry out a risk assessment, as for small supplies.  These supplies will be sampled at least once a year for a wide range of substances.

New supplies

If you install a new private water supply, or start using one that has been out of use for more than twelve months, it must be tested before use. Please contact Environmental Health to arrange this.

Registering a private water supply

If you have a private water supply that may not be registered with us, or if you have recently moved to a property with a private water supply, please complete and send us the Icon for word New Supplies Questionnaire [25.72KB].  See the Privacy Notices and Cookies page for details of how we will use the information you provide.  Please also let us know if you stop using an existing private water supply.

What if the water quality fails?

If your water does not meet the standards set by the regulations, we will investigate the cause and discuss the options for improvement. These could include protecting the water source from contamination, cleaning storage tanks, or installing disinfection equipment or chemical filters. If necessary a legal notice may be served on the relevant person.

We will restrict the use of any supply which is found to be a potential danger to human health.

Further information

Icon for pdf Click here [283.87KB] for advice on how to keep a private water supply safe.

Environmental Health fees and charges for details of our fees relating to private water supplies.

For further information, or to request sampling of a single household or new supply, please contact Environmental Health on 01799 510482.