Water Quality

There are two types of drinking water that may be supplied to homes - mains water and private water.

Mains Water

Mains water is supplied by the local water authority. The two major water authorities in the Winchester City Council District are Southern Water and Portsmouth Water. If you have any queries relating to mains water, you should contact the relevant water authority, in the first instance. If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction then you can contact the Consumer Council for Water, who is the industry watchdog.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is a government body whose remit is to check that the water companies in England and Wales supply safe drinking water that is acceptable to consumers while meeting the standards set down in law. The DWI is responsible for assessing the quality of drinking water and taking enforcement action, if necessary. They ensure that the water authorities take appropriate action when any water is unfit for human consumption.

Private Water Supplies

A private water supply could serve just one property, or it could be a large supply with a network of pipes supplying water to many properties. It is estimated that around 1% of the population in the UK use water from private supplies. The City Council currently holds a register of just over 150 private water supplies, estimated to serve approximately 2000 residents. Around a third of these supplies are tested by the City Council on a regular basis, in accordance with The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016, to ensure that they meet certain standards. More information on the Regulations can be found on the DWI website a link to the site can be found on the bottom of this page.

If you own or drink water from a private supply and you are unsure whether it has been registered with the City Council, you should check the public register of private water supplies, or you can contact the Environmental Protection Team on 01962 848 350. The register of private water supplies is also shared with other public bodies, such as the Environment Agency to ensure that the water quality of these supplies is not compromised by agricultural activities, new developments, pollution incidents etc. To protect the quality of the drinking water, it is therefore important that the register is kept as up to date as possible.

If you have any concerns regarding your water supply, or would like to have your private water supply tested you should contact us. The exact cost for water sampling and analysis will vary depending on which parameters are to be tested, the link at the bottom of the page gives more details of our charging scheme.

Bathing Waters

As part of the Health and Safety inspection of commercial premises; swimming pools and spa baths are routinely inspected and tested for water quality. These tests and inspections are carried out on a risk-rating basis. If you have any concerns about a particular swimming pool or spa, please contact us. The Environment Agency publish data on the quality of other recreational waters, such as beaches. Information on local bathing waters can also be found at the Solent Water Quality Forum website, whose aim is to improve the quality of all local waters (recreational, coastal and rivers).