Private Water Supplies and Testing

Good water quality is important, and every property must have a supply of clean, fresh water.

Public Water Supplies

Water companies (in our area this is South West Water) regularly carry out tests to make sure the public water supply meets required standards. Contact South West Water for further information or complaints.

Private Water Supplies

Good water quality is important for everyday life and every house or company must have a supply of clean, fresh water. A large percentage of the population in our area obtain their water from a private source, meaning from a source other than South West Water. Water can be obtained from a variety of sources from boreholes to springs.

Further technical information can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Water Sampling

There is mandatory annual sampling on certain supplies. These are:

  1. Water provided for any commercial activity (including domestic renting) 
  2. Supplies providing water for two or more domestic properties (this requires sampling every 5 years).

The Council is currently required to carry this out.

Once we are aware of the supplies we will be in touch to arrange a sample visit and a risk assessment visit. The cost of the function will be passed to the person(s) who is/are responsible for the supply. The fee for a sampling visit is £82.68 plus additional cost for the laboratory analysis.

If the supply only serves one domestic dwelling there is no mandatory sampling. However, you can request a sample to be taken.

We can also carry out sampling for other purposes including house sales and can undertake a comprehensive sampling analysis for £184.19.

If the sample is urgent and for an extra fee, we can request the lab for quick report. If you would like to book a private water supply test please use the button below. We will be in touch to arrange a date for to sample to be taken.

Book a Test

Risk Assessments

The Private Water Supply Regulations, 2009, require the local authority to undertake risk assessments of private water supplies every 5 years. 

We appreciate that many people have consumed water from private water supplies for many years with no apparent problems. However, if the suitability of a private water supply has been based on the result of water sampling, this can only establish the quality of the water at the time it was taken. This does not take into account any inadequacies or defects within the collection and distribution system which could allow contamination at other times.  The risk assessment process will:

  • identify potential risks
  • recommend/require improvements to help minimise possible contamination at the point of use
  • identify which of the possible parameters will not need to be tested.


Please see below for the current fees. If the supply only serves one domestic dwelling there is no mandatory sampling. However, you can request a sample to be taken.

Function and notes Fee
Risk Assessment
Set fee for first risk assessment.
Sampling Visit
Does not include analysis cost
In the event of a serious failure
See below

Authorisation - Application by the owner of a supply for permission from the council to continue supplying water of a lower quality temporarily while remedial work is carried out on the supply.