Private water supplies
What is a 'private water supply'?
Generally, a private water supply is any water supply not provided by a water company. It is not a "mains" supply.
No water rates are paid for these supplies. However, the person who owns the supply may make a charge. The owner (or person who uses the supply) is responsible for repairing and maintaining it.
There are about 150 private water supplies in the Babergh district, most of which serve only 1 property. There are 115 in the Mid Suffolk district - again, most of which serve 1 property.
Sampling of Private Water Supplies
The Council has a rolling programme to monitor:
- large private water supplies
- small supplies that serve more than one property
Laws controlling the way that local authorities carry this out are included in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016.
These rules set out how often the Council must:
- take a sample of water
- what tests it must carry out and
- how much it can charge for taking the sample and testing the water
Supplies serving single dwellings are not routinely monitored, but can be at the owner's request.
Householders should be aware that if water sampling results reveal a problem, this could mean that the Council will have to serve a notice. This notice would be on the householder; to carry out works that make the water compliant under the regulations.
Risk Assessment of Private Water Supplies
The Council must carry out a risk assessment of all large and/or commercial water supplies every 5 years. This is under the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 (as amended).
The risk assessment will study the source of the water, the treatment used and distribution system. It aims to identify potential causes of contamination, so that they can be dealt with before a problem occurs.
Under the regulations, a risk assessment is not needed for single dwellings. However, they can be requested by the owner if they have any concerns about their water quality.