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Private water supplies

COVID-19 and Private Water Supplies

The current Government legislation restricts movement in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to comply with that Government advice, Wiltshire Council has decided to postpone sampling and risk assessment visits until the guidance changes.  We will look to reschedule any outstanding samples and risk assessments to later in the calendar year depending on developments going forward.

The advice from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (dwi) is as follows:

It is recommended that in the absence of any monitoring, consumers and other relevant persons of private water supplies should be encouraged to bolster their operational checks and ensure that maintenance is being carried out as required (e.g. replacing UV lamps or monitoring chlorine dose) and that they have sufficient spares of essential equipment to ensure supplies remain wholesome at all times. They should document these actions, and if required present these to Local Authorities to confirm that supplies did not present a risk to health during these exceptional circumstances.

World Health Organisation guidance indicates the risk of contracting Covid-19 from drinking water is low. However, the virus may survive in faecally contaminated water for weeks. This reinforces the importance of protecting the source of your water supply. This involves effectively maintaining and monitoring the infrastructure, and any treatment. Further details can be found on the dwi website.

We are working to develop a form of online risk assessment to enable for this process to continue during these times.

If you have any concerns regarding the safety of your private water supply, please contact the Environment Control and Protection Team on 01722 438185, or email publicprotectionwest@wiltshire.gov.uk.

A private water supply is any supply of water, intended for human consumption, which is not provided by a water company such as Wessex Water, Thames Water or Southern Water. There are around 650 registered private water supplies in Wiltshire.

A private water supply may serve just one property or several properties through a network of pipes and will generally supply water which has been taken from a borehole, well or spring. Private water supplies may also take water from a stream, river, lake or pond. However it is not recommended as the quality of these water sources if more difficult to control and they are more vulnerable to contamination. All private water supplies within Wiltshire must be registered with Wiltshire Council.

Private water supplies are regulated by the  Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 as amended by The Private Water Supplies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

At Wiltshire Council the Environmental Protection Team is responsible for implementing these regulations.

A Icon for pdf safer water pack [1.18MB] is available to help you comply with the requirements and protect the health of the people who use private water supplies.