Environmental health

Private and public water supply

A private water supply is a supply of water that does not come from the public mains supply but from one of a number of different sources, such as boreholes, springs, wells and streams.

Water from private supplies must be wholesome and safe to drink. We are responsible for regulating private water supplies to domestic premises and to commercial premises when used for drinking, cooking, and washing.

Private distribution network

When water is supplied by the mains water supplier to the boundary of a premise and the water is then further distributed by the owner or manager through their own pipe-work, or where the buildings supplied are not owned by the same company, the supply is classed as a private distribution network and becomes a private supply.

What to do if you think you have a private water supply

If you think your premise is supplied by water other than from a mains water suppler or you think you operate a private distribution network, call us 01895 250111 for further information and advice.

What will the council do?

If you have a private water supply, we have a responsibility to test the water and provide you with the results. We may also need to carry out a risk assessment, which may include checks on storage tanks, water treatment (if applicable) and look at environmental hazards that could affect the water supply.

If your house is the only one supplied from the source, we will only carry out a risk assessment at your request and they will charge for the service. Private water supplies to businesses will be routinely tested and a risk assessment carried out within 5 years. We are able to charge for these activities.

Page last updated: 22 Feb 2023