Private water supplies

A private water supply is any water supply that is not provided by the water authority (i.e. Severn Trent Water). It can be from a well, borehole or spring.

All private water supply owners are responsible for ensuring that the quality of the water they provide is wholesome and meets the same standard as the mains supply.

Private water supply monitoring

Since new legislation around private water supply was introduced in 2009, the council is no longer required to routinely monitor private water supplies serving only one household. You can choose to have your private water supply assessed by the council if you wish, but there will be a charge.

Private water supplies serving more than one household or commercial enterprise must be risk assessed and regularly monitored by the council. This is a chargeable service and the costs are apportioned between users.

Under the new regulations, private water supplies now include private distribution systems, where water initially supplied by Severn Trent is then further distributed by another person, to more than one premises past the point at which responsibility leaves the water company. These will be treated as above.

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 contact us.

Action on unsafe water supplies

If we consider that a private water supply is unwholesome, the regulations state that we must:

  • investigate the cause
  • give the user(s) advice to allow them to minimise the potential of danger
  • liaise with the Health Protection Agency to seek advice on whether there is potential danger to human health
  • inform the private water supplier user(s) if the supply constitutes a potential danger to human health

We must also send an annual report to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, regarding our activities in this area. We’re required to keep a register of all the private water supplies throughout the district, with information about test results. This is available on request.