The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 require that the Local Authority monitor all private water supplies in its area in accordance with the size of the supply, its use and any risk assessment that has been carried out. The District Council does not have to routinely monitor supplies to single dwellings unless requested to do so by the home owner.

Running water from a kitchen tap

Supplies are categorised as large, small or single dwellings. Large supplies that serve either over 50 persons, or where the water is used for a commercial activity or to supply a public premises have two types of monitoring. Check monitoring is undertaken frequently for a few important parameters, and audit monitoring that is undertaken infrequently for any other relevant parameters. The frequency of sampling is in relation to the volume of water used and the risk assessment for the supply. Details on how costs are apportioned between different outlets is detailed in our policy [PDF 68KB] on apportioning the costs of sampling.

Small supplies that serve less than 50 persons and are used only for domestic purposes require limited monitoring at least once every 5 years, and more frequently if the risk assessment highlights particular problems until the problems have been addressed and the supply categorised as low risk.

Examples of biological parameters tested are Escherichia coli (E. coli), coliforms, enterococci and Clostridium perfringens. Examples of chemical parameters tested are hydrogen iron (pH), turbidity, aluminium, iron, manganese and arsenic.

The purpose of sampling is to determine compliance with The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016, and to monitor the effectiveness of any treatment or disinfection of the water. Sampling also helps to determine the effectiveness of any control measures on the supply network and that these are working satisfactorily.

Any failures on the supply need to be investigated and if necessary a Notice served on the relevant person requiring prohibition or restriction to ensure the safety of consumers, who will be kept informed and given advice.

Further information on private water supplies is available on the Central Government private water supplies website and from the Drinking Water Inspectorate.