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Private water supplies (regulations 2009)

A private water supply is any which is not provided by a water company.

Private water supplies may serve just one property or several properties through a network of pipes. The most common sources are:

  • Wells
  • Boreholes
  • Springs
  • Rivers or streams
  • Lakes or ponds

Requirement for risk assessment and sampling

Regulations require every relevant supply to undergo a risk assessment conducted by us.  Risk assessment is a proactive approach identifying potential hazards to human health and likely failure of national drinking water standards.  The risk assessment will involve surveying the supply from source through to point of use to identify factors that could lead to contamination.

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

  • Single private dwellings: do not require routine monitoring or a risk assessment. However, a sample or risk assessment can be undertaken on request or we may take a sample if we deem it necessary. Samples and risk assessments undertaken by the Council on the owner's request will be subject to a fee. We must follow up any failures identified from sampling and supply owners will be required to take necessary steps to ensure their water supply is wholesome.
  • 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 parameters and any other parameter that arises 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 to be carried out on these supplies, the frequency 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, the frequency will depend on the amount of water used.

          * Audit monitoring determines whether the water supply meets the relevant standards. The range of tests for this is extensive and the frequency depends on the outcome of the risk assessment and volume of water used.


The following table shows the services we provide including associated fees:




Risk assessment (per assessment)

Hourly rate £52


Single domestic supplies risk assessment (per assessment)

Hourly rate of £52


Water quality assessment

Sampling (each visit)



Investigation of failure



Granting and authorisation



Analysing a sample

Taken under regulation 10



Taken during check monitoring (not exceeding £100)

Dependent on parameters


Taken during audit monitoring (not exceeding £500)

Dependent on parameters


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 2009 will result in the failure being investigated by the Council to determine the reason for this failure.

For more information, see water supply ownership.

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