A private water supply is any water supply which is not a public water supply provided by a water company such as Southern Water. The source of the supply may be a well, borehole, spring, stream, river, lake or pond. The supply may serve more than one property.
The Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 and the amended 2018 regulations introduced new monitoring duties and require the local authority to carry out a risk assessment on specific areas of the supply.
The council has to monitor private water supplies. The Regulations set out monitoring requirements from which we develop our annual sampling programme:
The Regulations set out procedures we must follow if we consider a private water supply is unwholesome. This includes requirements to:
If a supply needs to be improved, we will liaise informally with supply owner/users to prevent potential dangers to human health. If an informal approach does not achieve this then there are other options open to us in the Regulations, including serving notices.
We are able to make reasonable charges to cover their costs for carrying out their duties up to maximum limits set out in the Regulations. You can view our charges below. We have to complete a risk assessment of each PWS in the first five years after the Regulations came into force. This duty does not apply to supplies to single non-commercial dwellings unless a risk assessment is requested.
If your home or business is served by a private water supply and is not currently registered, or if you have a private water supply that is currently registered and would like to arrange for a sample to be taken, or would like further advice on treatment methods or other private water supply matters, please send a message to the Environmental Health team.
Where a water company supplies water to a boundary of a premises and the person responsible for the premises supplies it onwards to other buildings or properties on the site which have different occupiers, this becomes a private water supply under the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009.
Types of premises where this might occur would include:
Types of premises that are not included are as follows:
This further distribution of water is known as a Private Distribution System and the regulations introduce responsibilities for the person in charge of the distribution.
We are required to identify private distribution systems in the district (by the end of 2014) and to carry out a risk assessment on the pipes, storage tanks etc which join the buildings (before 31 December 2014). Monitoring will then be undertaken to check that measures are in place to ensure the water is safe.
The risk assessment will determine the frequency of monitoring which will take into account the nature of the distribution system, number and types of premises served.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate is developing guidance on private distribution systems which will be available on their website - The Drinking Water Inspectorate website.
Local authorities are permitted to charge for risk assessments up to statutory maximum in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009. Please see below for our charges.
If you would like further information or if you believe you have management responsibility for a Private Distribution System or if you believe your property is served by this type of supply please send a message to the Environmental Health team.
Environmental Health team
If you have an enquiry about environmental health, send a message to the Environmental Health team
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