Private Water Supplies

A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a water company and which is not considered to be from a mains supply. Private water supplies can be drawn from a variety of sources including springs, wells, boreholes, ponds, rivers and streams. Private water supplies are, by their nature, prone to contamination from bacteria and substances that can cause waterborne infections and ill effects.

There are currently 41 Private Water Supplies in the borough of Redcar & Cleveland serving approximately 103 properties.

Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009
The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 came in to force on 1st January 2010 and require local authorities to monitor the quality of private water supplies to ensure compliance with the UK drinking water standards.

The Regulations place a duty on local authorities to carry out risk assessments of private water supplies from the water source to the tap in order to identify whether there are any risks to the wholesomeness of the water. Factors such as nearby livestock, wildlife activity, and industrial processes are taken into consideration as part of the risk assessment, along with the condition of the supply network, including the pipework, storage tanks, and the effectiveness of any water treatment present.

Further information can be found at

Sampling of Private Water Supplies
Local authorities carry out sampling of supplies to monitor compliance with drinking water standards. The frequency and type of monitoring is determined by the classification of the supply and the findings of the risk assessment. Samples from private water supplies are normally be taken from the consumers tap and sent to an approved laboratory for analysis. Sampling results are issued within 28 days of the laboratory report being received.

Single Domestic Properties
If a private water supply serves only one private domestic dwelling, it is classed as a single domestic property supply. These supplies will only be sampled and risk assessed at the owners (or the occupiers) request.

Categories of Private Water Supplies
The Regulations divide private water supplies into three main types:

Private Distribution Networks (Regulation 8)
  • Water is supplied by a water undertaker or licensed water supplier and then further distributed by a person other than the water undertaker.
Large Supplies (Regulation 9)
  • Provide an average daily water volume of 10m³ or more, or;
  • Serve 50 or more people, and, or;
  • Serves a commercial activity or public premises (e.g. hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, bed and breakfast or village halls).
Other (Small) Supplies (Regulation 10)
  • Serve two or more properties, and;
  • Provide an average daily water volume of less than 10m³, and;
  • Do not serve a commercial activity or public premises, or;
  • Serve a single domestic dwelling.
Maintaining private water supplies
Private water supplies must be properly maintained to prevent contamination of drinking water.

Wells and boreholes should be suitably covered and protected. Loft or other storage tanks should be checked and cleaned when required. Any treatment systems such as ultra-violet (UV) and reverse osmosis filters should be checked and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions and guidelines.

What happens if a private water supply fails?
Any failures to meet drinking water standards will be investigated by the local authority. Appropriate action must be taken by the relevant person(s) to remedy the cause so that the standard is met.

The regulations allow us to recover the costs of carrying out a risk assessment, sampling and analysis.

The current charges are set out in the attached table.

 icon PWS Fees Summary 2015.pdf (15.36k)
Last modified: 08/04/2015 14:14:33

How to contact us
For further information please contact the Environmental Health (Commercial) Team at:

Environmental Health (Commercial)
Belmont House
Rectory Lane
TS14 7FD
Tel: (01287) 612406

The offices are open:
Monday - Thursday 09.00 - 17.00, Friday 09.00 16:30.
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