Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009

The new Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 came into force on 1st January 2010 and apply to all private water supplies and private water distribution systems. Their main purpose is to safeguard human health via the consumption of water supplied to the public. A private water supply may be a well, borehole, spring or stream from which water is drawn to provide potable water for human consumption.

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 require that a local authority must carry out a risk assessment for each private water supply in its jurisdiction by the end of 2015 and every 5 years thereafter. The objective of the risk assessment is to establish whether there is a significant risk of supplying water that would constitute a potential danger to human health. Significant risks may be bacteria entering the water source or substances such as pesticides or nitrate reaching the water source.

Private water supplies supplying a single dwelling and which is not part of a commercial activity are not required to have a risk assessment although if the owner requests a risk assessment then the local authority must carry one out. If the private water supply supplies a single dwelling with an attached commercial activity (e.g. a B&B or a homeowner selling home produce food) then the local authority must carry out a risk assessment.

The local authority is responsible for ensuring sampling is completed according to legislation, therefore if you want another company to take and analyse samples of your private water supply, the local authority will need to approve the sampling company and analysis suite prior to samples being taken.

More information is available from the Drinking Water Inspectorate.