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Water quality standards

Public water supplies

Problems with public water supplies are dealt with by Thames Water. Contact details can be found on the Thames Water website.

Private water supplies

A private water supply is any supply of water which is not provided by a water company such as Thames Water. A private water supply may serve just one property or several properties.

In Swindon, we are responsible for making sure water from private water supplies used for human consumption is safe to drink and use. The legislation used is The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016.

With the exception of private water supplies to single domestic dwellings, the regulations require that the Council risk assesses each supply every five years and carries out periodic sampling of the water to assess its microbiological and chemical quality.

There is a subsidised charge for this process. Single domestic dwellings can be risk assessed and sampled on request.

If necessary, we may serve a legal notice on the appropriate responsible person to ask them to take the necessary steps to address any failures or to make improvements to the supply. Failure to comply with a notice could mean action through the courts.

Drinking Water Inspectorate

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the competent authority for ensuring the Drinking Water Directive requirements are met in England and Wales. 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, including on private water supplies.

Further information and guidance on private water supplies can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate website.

Consumers and managers of an existing private water supply

If you have any further queries about an existing private water supply after visiting the DWI website, contact the Health Compliance Team at Foodhealth&

New or old water supplies brought back into use

As soon as the Council becomes aware of a new private water supply, it cannot put the supply into use until a risk assessment has been completed and the supply has been sampled for chemical and microbiological parameters. In addition, a disused private water supply must not be brought back into use until the Council is satisfied that the supply does not constitute a potential danger to human health. 

If you wish to start using a new private water supply or bring an old one back into use, please contact the Health Compliance Team at Foodhealth&

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