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Find out about private water supplies

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A private water supply is one which is not provided by a water company. Approximately 1% of the population in England and Wales has a private water supply to their homes. Most private water supplies are in rural locations and are from wells, boreholes, springs or streams. The person responsible for the water supply is called "the relevant person" this includes:

  • the owner or occupier of the premises supplied
  • the owner or occupier of the premises where the source of the supply is situated
  • any other person who exercises powers of management or control in relation to that source

Private water supplies can be categorised into the following groups:

  • a 'large' supply is one that supplies on average daily volume of more than 10m3, or 50 persons or more, or where the water is used for a commercial activity or to public premises
  • a 'small' supply includes any private supply that provides less than 10m3 per day to two or more dwellings or less than 50 persons
  • any supply that provides water to a single domestic property is defined as a 'single dwelling' supply

The council will carry out a risk assessment of private water supplies at least every five years. This involves surveying the supply to identify the risks (potential failures of standards and risks to human health) and to take action to control those risks. This risk assessment will also assist in identifying which additional parameters, if any, need to be sampled when testing the water supply.


The Regulations permit Local Authorities to recover the costs in fulfillment of their duties. These duties include carrying out Risk Assessments, investigations, and taking and analysing samples. The Regulations specify these services and the maximum fees that can be charged. 

The new charges for 2023-24 will be updated as soon as possible.


permitted charge

Example charging


Risk assessment


Hourly rate x time

Will depend on size and complexity of supply



Hourly rate x time

Shout not take any longer than an hour



Hourly rate x time
+ any analysis costs

Carried out in the event of test failure, can
be incorporated into a Risk Assessment



Hourly rate x time

Application by the owner of a supply for permission
to breach a standard temporarily whilst remedial work
is carried out

Analysis of domestic



Less than the cost of a full check monitoring

suite to determine basic parameters

Check monitoring
(Commercial supplies)



To determine compliance with basic parameters as
specified in Regs

Audit monitoring
(Commercial supplies)



May be higher if additional parameters are required to
be sampled



To apply for a risk assessment, contact