Private water supplies

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 controls all private water supplies and private distributions systems. It aims to protect the health of people consuming water from these sources.

A private water supply is any supply of water that is intended for human consumption and domestic purposes, which is not provided by a water company such as Affinity Water. This will generally be a supply water which is taken from a spring, well or borehole.

A private distribution system is where water is supplied from the water company which is then further distributed to the owner of another property. This can include houses built on land sold for development, but where the water supply is still distributed by the original landowner.

Visit the Drinking Water Inspectorate website to find out more about private water supplies and private distribution systems

Risk assessments and sampling tests

The regulations require us to carry out risk assessments every five years and regular sampling of each private water supply. These assess each supply’s microbiological and chemical quality to identify any potential health risks.

We are not required to undertake a risk assessment at single properties unless it is requested to do so by the owner/occupier.

Risk assessments differ according to the type of private water supply. All tests look at the whole supply system from the water source to the tap.

The assessments identify the risks to the quality of the water including:

  • farm animals (livestock)
  • wildlife
  • farming (agricultural) activities
  • sewage storage or treatment within the area
  • geography of the landscape (topography)
  • water treatment
  • condition of the storage tanks, reservoirs and pipe work.


Find out the fees and charges for private water supply risk assessments and sampling