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Private Water Supplies

What is a Private Water Supply?

In general terms a private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a water company and it is not a 'mains' supply.  No water rates are paid for these supplies (although the owner of the supply may make a charge). About 1% of the population use water from private supplies, and they are usually located in more remote parts of the country.

A private water supply could serve just one property or it could be a larger supply with a network supplying many properties.

The water may come from a spring, a well, a borehole, a pond or a stream.

Quality standards for water

Good quality water is very important to everyday life to protect public health. The Government has set legal quality standards with which all water used for drinking, washing and cooking or used in businesses which produce food and drink must comply.

The local authority under section 77 of the Water Industry Act 1991 is required to check the quality of all water supplies in their areas, and will carry out limited sampling to ensure standards are maintained.

Further information on quality, classifications of private water supplies and transfering to a water company can be obtained through OFWAT The Office of Water Services.