Private water supplies

A 'private water supply' is any which is not provided by a water company. The water may come from a spring, well, borehole, pond, river, stream or private distribution system.

Private distribution systems

Water supplied from a water company's mains supply but delivered to secondary buildings by a private distribution network may also be classed as a private water supply.

Our role over private water supplies

We have a duty to assess and periodically monitor the wholesomeness of private water supplies to public buildings, commercial businesses or where the supply serves more than one home.

We also monitor the wholesomeness of private water supplies to dwellings that have their own private water supply if the owner or occupier asks us to.

Where we suspect a private water supply is unwholesome or tests show the water fails to meet quality requirements, we will carry out further investigations.

We charge for providing these services. See our Icon for pdf schedule of fees and charges [69.86KB] for more information.

Risk assessment

We carry out risk assessments to determine whether and under what circumstances unsatisfactory water is likely to be supplied. The risk assessment identifies what improvements might be required. It also helps identify the frequency and type of sampling which should be carried out.


We check and monitor the wholesomeness of water by carrying out sampling in accordance with regulations and the results of our risk assessment. Both bacteriological and chemical parameters are tested to monitor whether the supply complies with standards laid out in regulations.

Our charges for sampling can be found in the schedule of fees and charges.

What happens when a supply does not meet legal water quality standards?

In the first instance, we will advise that the supply constitutes a potential danger to human health. We will also give advice on steps that can be taken to:

  • minimise any immediate danger
  • ensure the water meets statutory standards for drinking water.

Where no action is taken to improve the water supply, we will normally serve a formal notice requiring the duty holder to improve the quality of the water supply.

Further information

If your home or business is served by a private water supply and you would like more information or to arrange a test, or simply wish to check if you are already on our register, please email or call 01932 838383.