Private Water Supplies

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 came into force on the 1st January 2010 and apply to all private water supplies intended for human consumption.

This means they apply to water for domestic purposes (e.g. drinking, cooking, food preparation and washing) and water used for food-production purposes. These supplies include:

  • Water from a well, borehole or spring, which is supplied from someone other than a water undertaker or licensed water supplier
  • Water supplied by water undertaker or licensed water supplier, which is then further distributed by another person (a "private distribution network")

We are required by the regulations to complete a risk assessment of all private water supplies in the first five years after the regulations come into force, except for a supply to a single non-commercial dwelling (unless a risk assessment is requested).

For small supplies (of less than 10m3/day), the monitoring is based on the conclusions of the risk assessment.

Larger private water supplies (greater than 10m3/day), and any supplies that provide water for commercial activities, will require check and audit monitoring from the first year.

We are also required to keep records of all private water supplies including private distribution systems. Private distribution systems are private water mains which receive a bulk supply from a water company mains supply.

The regulations set out procedures we must follow if we consider a private water supply is unwholesome, including a requirement to investigate the cause and inform the private water supply user/s if the supply constitutes a potential danger to human health and give such user/s advice to allow them to minimise any such potential danger.

We will also need to liaise with the Health Protection Agency to seek advice on whether there is potential danger to human health.

Where a private water supply requires improvement we are being encouraged to liaise informally with private water supplies owner/users to prevent a potential danger to human health. If an informal approach does not achieve this then there are other options open to local authorities in the regulations, including the serving of notices.

We are allowed to make reasonable charges, to cover the cost of carrying out these new duties, up to maximum limits set out in the regulations.

For the Wealden  area, the charges for undertaking the sampling analysis have been set as follows:

  • Full Audit suite £344.50
  • Check suite £30.50
  • Our hourly rate £45.00

However, the actual cost may vary, should it be possible to amend the number of parameters that each supply is tested for.

Should you wish to view the Private Water Supplies Regulations in full, they can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate web site using the link below:

Leaflets giving further information regarding the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 and associated issues can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate web site using the link below:

Contact Rother and Wealden Environmental Health Service

Contact Form: Contact Environmental Health


Telephone: 01323 443555

Fax: 01323 443330

Out of Hours emergencies: 01323 644422

Environmental Health,
Town Hall,
TN39 3JX

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