Water Quality

A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a Water Company and which is not considered to be a ‘mains’ supply. Private water supplies can be obtained from a variety of sources including springs, wells, boreholes, rivers, streams and lakes. All private water supplies can pose a potential threat to health unless they are adequately protected and treated.

A private water supply could serve just one property, or it could be a large supply with a distribution network supplying water to many properties. There are just over 160 registered private water supplies within Winchester’s district, serving approximately 2000 residents.

  • What we do

    In accordance with the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016, we have a legal responsibility to sample and risk assess all private water supplies to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

    We hold a public register of all private water supplies which is shared with other public bodies (such as the Environment Agency) to ensure that the water quality of these supplies is not affected by activities such as agriculture, new building developments, pollution incidents etc.

    If you wish to amend or update the details of your supply or have a new supply you would like to resister with us you can complete the registration form here (pdf, 50kb) or contact us by email eh@winchester.gov.uk

  • The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)

    The DWI is a government body whose remit is to check that the water companies in England and Wales supply safe drinking water. The DWI is responsible for assessing the quality of drinking water and can take enforcement action, if necessary. They also ensure that the water companies take appropriate action when any water supply is unfit for human consumption.

    The DWI also has a statutory role to act as technical advisors to local authorities in relation to the implementation of the Private Water Supplies Regulations. This includes the provision of technical and scientific advice on all aspects of drinking water quality on private water supplies.

  • Water Sampling
    • Private water supplies which serve up to 50 people for purely domestic use need only be sampled once every 5 years.
    • Larger supplies and those which are used for commercial purposes, including food businesses, holiday lets, tenanted properties etc. must be sampled at least once a year and more regularly if a high volume of water is used.
    • If the supply serves just one domestic dwelling there is no requirement to routinely sample but you can contact us if you would like a sample to be taken.

    Further details regarding the classification of supplies and the sampling requirements can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s (DWI) website.

    In addition to routine sampling of private water supplies we are also required to carry out regular risk assessments of each supply to identify any vulnerabilities and provide advice on how best to protect the water source and supply network from contamination. 

    We will contact you when your routine sample and risk assessment is due. If you would like to arrange for a sample or risk assessment please contact us.

    We do charge a fee for taking a sample and the costs are detailed in the document to the right.