Private water supplies

Most people have their water supplied by a water company such as Thames Water, often called a mains supply. However some water supplies may come from other sources such as a spring, borehole or well. These are known as private water supplies and are usually found in more rural areas.

The quality of private water supplies can be variable. Some have treatment and are well managed, but others may present a risk to health due to the quality of the water. If you own or use a private supply it is important that you are aware of the quality of the supply and the risks associated with it. Responsibility for regulating private water supplies rests with the local authority.

Regulations on private water supplies introduced in 2016 and amended in 2018 apply to all who own or use a private water supply. The regulations are to ensure that water from private supplies is wholesome, so that people who drink water or consume food or drinks made from private supplies may do so without risk to their health.

Please see the private water supply fact sheet  for more information on private water supplies and what you may need to do.  Professionals managing private water supplies can find detailed information in technical and sampling manuals on the private water supply website.

The national body that governs local authority regulation and ensures the quality of drinking water is the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Please visit their website for more information on water quality and private water supplies.

If you have a concern about mains water provided by a water company, you need to contact the water company direct, their details will be found on your billing information.

If you have a query or concern in respect of a private water supply please contact us using our online form.