Due to the number of rural homes and small villages within Scotland, there are many homes that use Private Water Supplies as their main source for drinking water and utilities.
For the safety of you, your family and the homes surrounding you, it is important to understand how your private water supply works and what measures should be taken to ensure your water is safe for consumption and free from contaminants.
Today we will explore selecting and fitting your private water supply safely, cleaning and maintaining your water tank, and testing your water.
If you have recently purchased a property in rural Scotland with a private water supply, read on to make sure you are prepared.
What is a private water supply?
In Scotland, a private water supply is any water that is supplied to homes and commercial premises that is not on the mains water grid provided by Scottish Water.
Many rural homes and commercial premises in Scotland will not fall on the path of the water supply delivered by Scottish Water and therefore invest in their own private water tanks to deliver drinking water to their homes and businesses.
Who is responsible for a private water supply?
Due to the rising number of private water supplies, The Water Industry Act 1991 refers to the person(s) responsible for a private water supply as:
- The owner or occupier of the premises supplied
- The owner or occupier of the premises where the source of the supply is situated
- Any other person who exercises powers of management or control in relation to that source
What this means is if you have a private water supply at your home or your personal business premises, then you are responsible for the supply and ensuring it meets all of the relevant safety requirements.
Do I need to register my private water supply?
Yes. Any private water supply must be registered with your local council. This is to ensure you are complying with any health and safety guidance and ensuring your water is safe for consumption and use.
What are my responsibilities regarding my private water supply?
As the owner of a private water supply, your responsibilities include:
- Registering your supply with your local council
- Ensuring any structures or equipment relating to your supply is well maintained and that advice from a water specialist such as PHX Water is sought out and followed where necessary.
- Risk assessing your water supply to check for harmful bacteria such as legionella
- Keeping your supply clean and carrying out disinfection processes routinely
- Working with your local council to allow them to carry out their duties in the protection of public health
- Complying with or appealing any legal notices regarding your supply
- If your supply serves more than 20m3 water per day you need to apply for an abstraction license.
How do I set up a new private water supply?
If you have recently bought a property that cannot be connected to the main Scottish Water grid, you will need to install your own private water supply.
Ensure you begin by speaking with your local council for their advice in finding a water source, what your legal responsibilities are and the risk to you and your families health if the proper measures are not taken.
From here you will need to locate a water source such as a borehole or surface water supply and protect your source using non-hazardous pipes and tanks, whilst also creating a strict maintenance plan.
Installing a new private water supply can be expensive and requires a lot of research. Consider speaking to a water specialist such as PHX Water, who can guide you through the process.
Where can I get non-hazardous equipment for my private water supply?
Our shop in Perth stores a variety of water tanks, UV Filtration systems and replacement parts. We also offer a completely free advice service and our team are extremely knowledgeable and can help recommend the best products for your supply.
You can visit our premises at PHX Water Ltd, Almond Studio, Lawgrove Place, Inveralmond Industrial Estate, Perth, PH1 3QX.
Why do I need to risk assess my private water supply?
Risk assessments are essential in spotting contaminants in your water supply. It can help spot bacteria in the water supply before it is consumed.
Although there is no legal requirement regarding the frequency of your risk assessment, we would recommend a minimum of one year between each assessment.
Can I complete my own legionella risk assessment?
Self-testing kits can be purchased online, however these are not as reliable as a professional in the field such as PHX Water.
PHX Water can perform expert risk assessments to your private water supply in order to identify any contaminants in your supply, or improvements we would suggest you make in order to keep your supply as safe and long lasting as possible.
How else can I keep my private water supply safe?
Any equipment used in your private water supply including pipes, tanks and fittings should be regularly monitored and checked for imperfections and damage that could allow a contamination in the supply.
What should I do if I find something wrong with my private water supply?
It is important to get in touch with a trained professional, such as our technicians at PHX Water, to come out and have a look at your supply. We will be able to confirm any faults and recommend remedial action and preventative measures you can use going forward.
PHX are leading private water supply technicians in Scotland. 90% of first-time clients return to us for remedial works because they trust our expert team to keep their water safe and bacteria free.
Get in touch with a member of our team for expert advice on your private water supply.