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A number of properties in the borough use private water supplies, which is a water supply which is not provided by Affinity Water. Most of these supplies are situated in rural parts of the borough, and the source of the supply is generally a well or a borehole, although spring water supplies are not uncommon.
A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by the water authority, i.e. Affinity Water (mains supply). All private water supply owners are responsible for ensuring that the quality of the water they provide is wholesome and meets the same standard as the mains supply.
If you have a water quality issue regarding a mains supply then you need to contact Affinity Water or call 0845 782 3333.
In January 2010 the Regulations regarding Private Water Supplies changed and they apply to all supplies intended for human consumption. This means they apply to all domestic and commercial properties that are served by a private supply.
These supplies include:
- Water from a well or borehole or spring which is supplied from someone other than Affinity Water
- Water supplied by Affinity Water which is then further distributed by another person (i.e. a private distribution system)
We ensure that all private water supply owners are achieving their legal obligations. The Regulations give us clear indication of the monitoring requirements from which we develop our annual sampling program.
The Regulations require:
- Local Authorities to complete a risk assessment of all Private Water Supplies in the first five years, from January 2010 except for supplies to single domestic dwellings, (unless a risk assessment is requested)
- The Regulations allow us to recover our costs for risk assessments, sampling and investigation, please see Fees & Charges
We must send an annual report to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, regarding our activities in this area.
Local authorities are required to keep a register of all the private water supplies in their area, with information about test results. This is available on request.
The Regulations set out procedures that we must follow if we consider a Private Water Supply which is unwholesome This includes the requirements to:
- investigate the cause
- inform the Private Water Supplier user(s) if the supply constitutes a potential danger to human health
- give the user(s) advice to allow them to minimise the potential of danger
- we will 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 encouraged to liaise informally with the Private Water Supply owner/users to prevent potential danger to human health.
Where an informal approach does not achieve this then there are other options open to us including the service of legal notices.
If you have a private water supply that is currently registered and would like to arrange for a sample to be taken, or would like further advice on treatment methods or other private water supply matters, please contact the Environment Health 01707 357242 or email us.
If you believe you own a private water supply in the borough and you are not registered please complete the questionnaire and send it in to us.