Private Water Supply Users During Drought

Some private water supply users in South Ayrshire are experiencing drought and water scarcity. If you are affected by this and your water supply is failing, or has failed, we are working with Scottish Water to provide an emergency supply of water at specified pick up points in the area. Please note that these emergency supplies are for human consumption only. Further details are included below under Animal Welfare on what measures you should take if you have livestock.

You must be on the emergency list to access this provision. If you would like to be added to the list, please email environmental.health@south-ayrshire.gov.uk , advising that your water supply is dry and provide your:

  • email address
  • contact telephone number
  • address
  • details of number of adults/children/any animals on the property
We need these details so that our officers can get in touch with you and let you know if there are any changes. You can also email the address above to check if you are on the emergency list.

If you are on the emergency list, you can collect a supply of water from the below pick up points.

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare legislation places certain responsibilities on those in charge of an animal’s wellbeing – including during times of drought.

You should make sure livestock and other animals are protected from extreme weather and that sufficient food, water and shelter are provided at all times.

If you need to ration water for livestock or other animals, you should meet the following daily minimum needs:

  • milking cows - 38 to 52 litres (l)
  • other cattle - 38 l
  • horses - 20 to 45 l
  • pigs - 4 to 11.5 l
  • poultry (intensive) - 0.5 l

You may need to allow for more water for very young or old animals, or if the temperature or humidity rises.

If you can’t get enough water to your animals, then you should consider transporting the animals to areas where enough water is available, or selling some of your livestock.

You can reduce the amount of water your animals need by:

  • gibing them less feed
  • drying off any animals that are in late stage lactation
  • ending egg production

As a last resort you should consider euthanizing your animals humanely rather than letting them suffer.

More information, help and advice can be found on: www.gov.uk/guidance/keeping-farm-animals-and-horses-in-extreme-weather

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