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Private water supplies in Wales

We are responsible for setting regulations, policy and guidance about private water supplies in Wales. A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a water company. Many properties and businesses in rural areas of Wales are not connected to the public water supply system. In these situations, water is drawn from a local source, often a borehole, well or spring.

Private Water Supplies regulations

Private water supplies in Wales are regulated under the Private Water Supplies (Wales) Regulations 2010. These were introduced following a consultation in 2009. Information about the consultation, including our response, is available on the right hand side.

Visit: The Private Water Supplies (Wales) Regulations 2010 (external link, pdf)

Drinking Water Inspectorate

The Drinking Water Inspectorate provides advice to government and local authorities on drinking water including private water supplies and collates information for the Welsh Ministers. They produce an annual report on drinking water quality in Wales. This report includes information on private supplies.

For more information on the Drinking Water Inspectorate visit their website.

Visit: the Drinking Water Inspectorate (external link) 

Local authority role

Local authorities have a duty to monitor private water supplies in their area. They must also undertake risk assessments of each private supply that supplies more than one home or is used for commercial purposes. They must report details of their monitoring to the Drinking Water Inspectorate each year.

Monitoring of private water supplies

Local authorities must carry out risk assessments of all private water supplies (except supplies used for domestic purposes by single homes) in their area by 4 February 2015. The risk assessment is used to identify possible improvements to the water supply and to inform sampling. For private water supplies serving more than 50 people (or 10 cubic metres per day) or used for commercial purposes (such as bed and breakfast, holiday lets or catering premises) the local authority will sample the supply at least once a year. For domestic supplies serving more than one property but less than 50 people sampling will normally be once every five years.

Single property supplies

Unlike other private water supplies, a supply serving a single home is not routinely sampled by local authorities. The owner of the supply may request the local authority to undertake a risk assessment or sample the supply but the local authority can recover its costs.

Further advice

More information on private water supplies is available on a joint UK governments’ web site called Private Water Supplies. The site contains both technical guidance for local authorities and information for owners of private water supplies including a simple to use risk assessment.

Visit : Private Water Supplies (external link)