Private water supplies

Drains and Sewers

The Council has a duty to monitor certain private water supplies.

What is a Private Water Supply?

Any supply which is not provided by a water company such as Thames Water. The water may come from a spring, a well, a bore-hole or a stream.

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 aim to protect health and require the same quality standards as mains water supply.

What the Council does?

The Council has a duty to monitor supplies:

1. used as part of a commercial or public activity

2. serving 50 or more persons per day

Each private water supply is risk assessed to decide the monitoring regime. The risk will depend on the source of supply, the area it is abstracted from and the number of consumers.

There is no duty to risk assess and monitor a supply serving a single dwelling.

What happens if the supply does not meet the standards?

Advice will be given on improvements that can be made. These may include:

  • fencing off a spring chamber to stop animals entering and contaminating the area;
  • creating an exclusion zone for the spreading of fertilizers around the spring or well;
  • the improvement of drainage around to supply; or
  • the replacement of pipe work.

It may be necessary to install a filter to lower the level of a substance. Examples include:

  • Ultra-Violet filters to remove bacteria
  • Reverse Osmosis filters to remove aluminium or nitrate
  • Ion and Manganese filters
  • Cation Exchange filters to remove lead


Private Water Supplies Fees
Audit monitoring£500Additional parameters sampled. Cost variable according to test
Check monitoring£100Check monitoring to ensure that water complies with the standards.
Sample from domestic supply (not single dwelling)£25Supply provides <10m3 /day or <50 people
Sample analysis  
Authorisation£100Application by the owner of a supply for permission to breach a standard temporarily whilst remedial work is carried out
Investigation£100In the event of test failure
Sampling visit£100Charge per visit
Risk Assessment£500