Risk Assessment and Water Quality Testing
Risk assessment and water quality testing
Private Water Supplies (England) regulations requires the Council to carry out a risk assessment at least once every 5 years or any newly registered supply. Risk assessments can be carried out by the Council or by an approved and qualified contractor who has obtained permission from the Council.
The risk assessment involves a site visit where the officer will inspect for any potential contamination risks from the source to the consumer’s tap and ensure your water supply is safe. This will involve assessing the condition of storage tanks, treatment systems, maintenance records and surrounding land use.Risk assessment advice will be provided on prevention measures and remediation or treatment options where relevant. They will also determine if additional parameters need to be monitored and the frequency of sampling.
Private Distribution Systems (Regulation 8)
This is where the water originates from a public water main, which is supplied by a water undertaker or licensed water supplier. The water is than further distributed by a third party who is not a water undertaker or licensed water supplier. These often tend be hospitals, factories or a parcel of land on an estate.
- Risk Assessment – every 5 years
- Water sampling – at least every 5 years or more depending on the outcome of risk assessment.
Landlords, tenants and commercial businesses (Regulation 9)
- Risk assessment – every 5 years
- Water sampling – every year to ensure the supply is safe and complies with the legislation
Private domestic dwellings on shared system or a single private domestic dwelling (Regulation 10)
Private dwelling on a shared system
- Risk assessment – every 5 years
- Water sampling – every 5 years
Single private domestic dwelling
A single private dwelling, untenanted property with no commercial interests does not need to be risk assessed or sampled unless the homeowner requests it.
Testing can be carried out by the Council or by an approved and qualified contractor who has obtained permission from the Council.
The Council sends their samples to Affinity Water. The Council will be notified of any bacteriological failures within the first 48 hours of reaching the laboratory and will notify you immediately to take appropriate steps to protect your health.
Full chemical samples can take up to 6 weeks for the results due to the complex nature of certain parameters.
Parameter test failures
If a parameter fails a test and is considered a potential danger to human health, you will be notified as soon as possible. We may also restrict or prohibit the use of water supply in order to minimise risk to your health.
If you are the designated or responsible person for the supply, you should let other consumers or users of the supply know about the failure and if any restrictions or prohibition have been placed on it by the Council.
The Council will give recommendations to investigate the source of the contamination by a specified deadline. Once the necessary actions have been carried out the Council will re-test the water to check it is compliant with drinking water standards.
If a failed water test or a risk assessment show that a private water supply poses a danger to human health then the Council must serve a Regulation 18 Notice as per the Private Water Supplies Regulations (England) 2016.
The responsible person must comply with the notice and the Council will provide guidance to ensure the supply meets the required standards.
The notice can be appealed to the magistrate’s court within 28 days of the notice being served and anyone who fails to comply with a notice may result in prosecution.
Charges and fees
The Council introduced fees in October 2021
The below table are the charges for the water analysis and risk assessments
|Sampling visit||Reg 10: Small <10m3/d and single domestic dwelling (SDD)|
Reg 8: Private distribution networks
|£40||Charges to commence from 8 October 2022|
|Reg 9: Large and commercial supplies >10m3/d||£60|
|Risk assessment||£47 p/h||Charges to commence from 8 October 2022|
|Investigation||£47 p/h||Charges to commence from 8 October 2022|
|Sample analysis||Reg 9||Lab costs with 50% contribution from the council until 7 October|
|Full charges to be implemented from 8 October 2022|
|Reg 8 & Reg 10 inc single domestic dwelling||Full Lab costs||Charges to commence from 8 October 2021|
Request a risk assessment or water sampling
If you would like you require a risk assessment, contact the Environmental Protection and Drainage team a member of the team will be in contact to arrange a suitable appointment for a site visit.
For further detailed information and guidance is available on the Drinking Water Inspectorates’ (DWI) website including information on fees, parameters, legislation and monitoring.