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Water quality

We monitor the quality and safety of private water supplies and recreation water. 

Private water supplies

We monitor private water supplies, which is any water supply provided by someone other than a water undertaker (Affinity Water) or a licensed water supplier. The majority of private water supplies in Dacorum are supplied via a borehole, but they could be from a well or spring.

The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 (the regulations) came into force on 1 January 2010 and apply to all private water supplies intended for human consumption for domestic purposes (for example, drinking, cooking, food preparation and washing) and water used for food production purposes.

It also covers water supplied by Affinity Water or a licensed water supplier, which is then further distributed by another person (known as a 'private distribution network').

Our responsibilities  

We are required to complete a risk assessment of all private water supplies in the first five years after the regulations came into force, except for supplies to a single non-commercial dwelling (unless a risk assessment is requested).

The regulations also require local authorities to monitor private water supplies. 

  • For small supplies (of less than 10m3/day) the monitoring is based on the conclusions of a risk assessment.
  • Larger private water supplies (greater than 10m3/day), and any supplies that provide water for commercial activities, will require a regular check and audit monitoring from the first year.

We are required to:

  • keep records of all private water supplies including private distribution systems, and to submit an annual return to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)
  • follow certain procedures if we consider a private water supply is unwholesome, including a requirement to investigate the cause and inform the private water supply users if the supply constitutes a potential danger to human health and give such users advice to allow them to minimise any such potential danger.
  • work with the Health Protection Agency to seek advice on whether there is potential danger to human health.
  • liaise informally with private water supply owner/users to prevent a potential danger to human health. If an informal approach does not achieve this then there are other options open to us in the regulations, including the serving of notices.

Do we charge for this service?   

The regulations allow us to make reasonable charges to recover the costs associated with providing these services from private supply owners / operators.

More information  

  • The Drinking Water Inspectorate is the national body for ensuring the quality of water. It produces an annual publication ‘How Good is Your Drinking Water’.

If you have a private supply that is currently registered and would like to arrange for a risk assessment or for samples to be taken, please contact us.

Contact us

Scientific Officer: Danielle Newnham
Telephone: 01442 228441
Email: environmental.health@dacorum.gov.uk