Private water supplies

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 safer water pack (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window) is available to help you comply with the requirements and protect the health of the people who use private water supplies. 

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 (as amended) regulate all private water supplies and private distributions systems. The regulations aim to protect the health of people consuming water from the supply.

The regulations require that private water supplies meet the same standards as water from a mains water supply.

With the exception of private water supplies to single domestic dwellings the regulations require that the Council risk assesses each supply every five years and carry out periodic sampling of the water to assess its microbiological and chemical quality.

Wiltshire Council must complete a risk assessment and sample a private water supply as soon as possible after we become aware of it. A private water supply must not be bought into use until the Council is satisfied the water does not constitute a potential danger to human health.