Guide

Testing your private water supply

Last updated: 27 February 2018

If a sample fails

If a sample fails, and you are the person responsible for the supply, you must let other owners and users of the supply know about the failure.

You must also share any restrictions your local council has placed on it (e.g. don't drink it, use bottled water instead).

If you are a relevant person, you should let other owners/users of the supply know about the failure, and any restrictions your local council has placed on it (e.g. don't drink it, use bottle water instead).

You should look at your supply and check that all maintenance is up to date.

For example:

  • is the UV lamp switched on?
  • have your filters been changed recently?
  • is the quartz sleeve on the UV lamp clean?
  • are all tanks secure?

Once you have completed any maintenance you can call your local council to re-test the water. Your local council will tell you what to do if a sample fails.

If your water supply is not – or may not be – wholesome, your local council has a duty to serve a notice on you to improve your supply.

This will involve you upgrading your supply so that it's fit for use.

If you're served an improvement notice

If you have a small, non-commercial private supply and tests show that it fails to meet the standards, your local council will work with you to and offer advice.

Your local council can also provide grant funding to upgrade your supply.

If you have a large supply, or provide water to commercial or public premises, and tests show that it fails to meet required standards, your local council can serve an improvement notice.

If you are the relevant person you will have to comply with it.

Your council will work with you and offer advice to help you meet the necessary standards.

What the notice must contain

The notice has to include:

  • the reasons why your local council is sure that your private water supply isn't, wasn't, or isn't likely to be wholesome or sufficient
  • the steps your local council consider are needed to make sure your supply is wholesome and sufficient
  • the time period in which the steps have to be carried out

There must be at least 14 for you to raise objections. And these 14 days should be separate to the amount of time you've been given to carry out the steps.

Your local council will give you support and advice so you can make sure your supply's safe.

Testing your private water supply
If a sample fails