Private water supplies

What do you need to do when you have a private water supply?

What is a private water supply?

A private water supply is one that is not provided by a licensed water supplier, eg Anglian Water or Thames Water. The water may come from a spring, well, borehole, pond, lake, river or stream.

If you have a private water supply, it must be registered with AVDC.

Private water supply regulations

Local authorities are responsible for regulating all private water supplies intended for human consumption. The aim is to protect public health by making sure that private water supplies meet the same standards as mains water supply.

AVDC must carry out a risk assessment of all private water supplies in the district every 5 years (except those only supply a single dwelling).

For large supplies (providing more than 10 cubic metres a day), check and audit sampling is also required.

Fees and charges 

The regulations allow local authorities to make reasonable charges to recover the costs associated with providing the services outlined above from private supply owners/operators.

The fees for 2016/17 are:

  • check monitoring for one sampling point/location (ie one tap) and risk assessment: £235.00 (each additional sampling point will incur an additional cost of £45.00)
  • check water sampling only for one sampling point/location (i.e. one tap): £156.00 (each additional sampling point will incur an additional cost of £45.00)
  • audit monitoring only - the charge can vary depending on the number of parameters that need to be tested for and the number of sampling points. Maximum fee: £500.00
  • risk assessment only, no water sampling: £132.00

More information

Drinking Water Inspectorate
Drinking Water Inspectorate - FAQs
Private water supply regulations
Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS)
Environment Agency
The provision of alternative supplies in emergency and non emergency situations
Water Supply Borehole Construction and Headworks Guide to Good Practice
World Health Organsiation Guidance on Water Safety Plans
CIEH Guidelines for the provision of temporary drinking water at events
DWI Information Note on Private Distribution Systems

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