Private Water Supplies
A private water supply is a supply of water which does not come from a public water supply (from a water company unless it is subsequently supplied by someone else). Private supplies may come from a variety of sources, including wells, springs, boreholes and streams. Regulations on private water supplies in England and Wales were introduced in 1991 and were replaced by new Regulations introduced early in 2010. The new Regulations apply to all who own or use a private water supply. The new Regulations have been introduced to ensure that water from private supplies is wholesome, so that people who drink water or consume food or drinks made from private supplies may do so without risk to their health.
The Health Protection team is responsible for regulating private water supplies used for drinking, cooking, and washing in both domestic and commercial premises when the private water supply is used:
- for more than one house
- for commercial purposes in premises including, food businesses, Bed and Breakfast, dairy farms, rentals, a workplace (where you employ other people)
- in a public building
If the house you and your family live in is the only property supplied by a water source, and only your family drink the water, the local authority will only take a sample if you ask them to. They can charge for this service. If you are a tenant on a private water supply, you can also ask your local authority to investigate your supply if you think there could be a problem.
Last Updated: 16/01/2014