Private water supplies

In South Ayrshire a number of premises, both private and commercial, obtain their water from a private supply. A private water supply is one which is not provided by Scottish Water. A private water supply may come from a loch, burn, spring, well, river, pond, borehole or a combination of these. The supply may serve only one property or a number of different properties. In South Ayrshire we have approximately 400 private water supplies serving over 1000 inhabitants and many more visitors.

Private water supplies are, by their nature, very vulnerable to contamination that may cause waterborne infections or other ill effects. Contamination can be bacteriological in nature, from faecal matter such as human sewage or animal droppings, or may arise from chemical sources, such as fertilizer run-off from fields or deterioration of distribution pipe work.

The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 came into force in October 2017 and repealed the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 for large or commercial supplies (these were formerly known as Type A supplies). Smaller non-commercial supplies (Type B supplies) are still governed by the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

Private water supplies can be prone to contamination by harmful bacteria or chemicals etc. Therefore, it makes good sense to have your water tested to ensure the quality is satisfactory.

If your private water supply serves the public, or a commercial operation then you are required by law to have it tested, this includes self- catering property, food businesses, factories, sports centres, hotels, B&Bs, schools and campsites. A register of supplies and sample results is held by Environmental Health. The cost of such sampling is borne by owners of properties served by the supply.

Further information on various aspects of private water supplies can be found on the Scottish Government website.

For further information please contact Environmental Health on 01292 618222 or email: environmental.health@south-ayrshire.gov.uk