Private water supplies - drinking water

A private water supply is, in general terms, any water supply which is not a public water supply provided directly by a water company (Northumbrian Water Limited). The source of the supply may be a well, borehole, spring, stream, river, lake or pond. The supply may serve just one property or several.

General advice on private water supplies can be found at the Drinking waster inspectorate website [external link].

Darlington Borough Council has statutory duties under the provisions of the Water Industry Act 1991, Water Act 2003, and the Private Water Supply Regulations 2009 (England).

The Council is required to carry out a risk assessment of each private water supply in its area to establish whether there is a significant risk of supplying water that may constitute a potential danger to human health and also arrange for private water supplies in their area to be monitored to determine compliance with the drinking water standards. Where a failure of a drinking water standard is reported investigate to determine the cause and take appropriate action to secure that private supply owners rectify any deficiencies identified.

The Council undertakes periodic water sampling from private water supplies to check that they meet statutory drinking water standards specified in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009. A charge is normally made for sampling [pdf document].

The DWI [external link] has a statutory role, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to supervise the work of local authorities and is responsible for reporting on UK compliance with drinking water standards and the requirements of the EU Drinking Water Directive.

The DWI also manages Defra’s research programme on Drinking Water Quality and Health and provides advice to local authorities on the scientific and technical aspects of the implementation of the Private Water Supply Regulations.