You can get a private water supply grant of up to £800 per property from your local council.
You can use it to:
- improve your domestic, or commercial, private water supply
- set up a new private water supply
- set up a domestic distribution system
If you apply, your income and savings won't be taken into account.
Although the maximum amount of grant that your local council can award is £800, they may be able to give you more than this if you can demonstrate hardship.
Each local council has its own policy on hardship. Contact yours for more information.
What private water supply grants can be used for
It is for users and owners of private water supplies to help them make sure the water they use is up to modern standards. For example, replacing lead pipes.
The grant can also cover, or contribute to, the one-off cost of installing treatment to help make sure your drinking water's safe.
It doesn't cover the cost of on-going maintenance and operation of your water supply.
You won't get a grant if the work has already begun, or was finished after you submitted your application.
You can't use the grant to cover the costs of connecting to the public water supply. If you're considering this, contact Scottish Water for more information.
Who can apply
You may be eligible for a grant if:
- your home or business is in Scotland and served by a private water supply
- the private water supply is the main or sole source of water for human consumption purposes to these premises
- your private water supply needs to be improved to bring it up to modern standards.
To see the eligibility requirements in more detail, read Regulation 3(2)(a) of the Private Water Supplies (Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
You aren't eligible for a grant if you:
- are public body or office-holder
- are erecting, or causing to be erected, a building where the provisions of Section 63 of the Water (Scotland) Act 1980 apply (water supply for a new building or house)
- have a connection to a public water supply and a private water supply. Because you have a connection to the public water supply, you already have an improved water supply available
- the proposed work has already begun
- the work was finished before you submitted your application
Or if you have premises which are the subject of:
- a Closing Order under Section 114 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987
- a Demolition Order under Section 115 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987
- a Dangerous Building Notice in terms of Section 30 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003
Or premises that are:
- "dangerous buildings" as defined by Section 29 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003
- empty or unoccupied
- don't meet the 'tolerable standards' in Section 86 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, in relation to "an adequate piped supply of wholesome water".
How to apply
Local councils administer the private water supply grant on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
They can give you information and advice about the grant scheme and help you fill in the application form.
They'll ask you about the cost of the work, so you'll need a quote from a contractor.
Contact your local council's environmental health team for further information.
One of the criteria is that a risk assessment, that includes testing the water, must be carried out on the supply.
Your local council may claim the cost of a risk assessment that's carried out as part of the grant application process from the Scottish Government, instead of directly from private water supply owners and users.
Because grants are tied to risk assessment, if there's a lengthy gap between you submitting your grant application and claiming your payment, your local council may need to review the risk assessment before paying out your grant.
Your local council can charge you if they have to carry out another risk assessment.
Joint applications, which cover all the premises served by a supply, can be submitted by owners or occupiers acting together.
If you share your supply with neighbouring premises, you may want to make a joint application.
In most cases, a joint approach can provide the most effective long term solution to improve your water quality.
If you have a static home on a caravan site
Your local council could award a grant to each static caravan, or limit the grant to approved works which, in their professional opinion, improves the whole supply.
Regulation 3(1) of the 2006 Grant Regulations set out the requirements for eligibility. Tenants can apply too.
Finding a contractor
Your local council may be able to give you a list of contractors or plumbers who carry out this type of work.
You can also check the WaterSafe website for a list of approved plumbers in your area.