Private water supplies

A private water supply is one which is not from a mains supply and may come from a:

  • loch
  • burn
  • spring
  • well
  • river
  • pond
  • borehole
  • combination of the above

There are almost 1500 private water supplies serving properties in the Scottish Borders.

Classification of private water supplies

Private water supplies are classified as Type A and Type B:

Type A

  • Large domestic supply
  • Supplies to commercial or public activities.

Type B

  • Supplies serving only domestic premises.

Sampling of private water supplies

  • The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006, lays down the sampling requirements of private water supplies.
  • Sampling is done to check compliance with a wide range of microbes and chemicals which indicate the wholesomeness of the water and whether it is safe to drink.

Sampling of Type A supplies

  • There are approximately 160 Type A supplies in the Scottish Borders and these supplies are routinely sampled and risk assessed as part of our statutory sampling program.
  • The sampling and assessment of Type A supplies incurs a charge which includes the cost of laboratory analysis.

A full breakdown of these charges is given in the table below.The following charges will apply in connection with the monitoring and regulation of private water supplies from 1 April 2014:

Type A supply charges

Sample visit

Charge each time an officer visits a property to take a water sample. Current fee is £70.

Risk assessment preparation

Charge for any preparatory work that an officer has to undertake in relation to a risk assessment of a supply. Current fee is £70.

Risk assessment

Charge when an officer visits a supply and carries out an assessment of the potential health risks associated with the supply. Current fee is £50.

Risk assessment review

Charge on an annual basis where an officer carries out a review of the risk assessment of a supply. Current fee is £25.

Check monitoring analysis

Charge which equates to the fee charged by the laboratory for the parameters sampled under the check monitoring standards. In basic terms, check monitoring is sampling to determine the quality of the water and, where relevant, the effectiveness of treatment. Current fee is £75 (maximum).

Audit monitoring analysis

Charge which equates to the fee charged by the laboratory for the parameters sampled under the audit monitoring standards. In basic terms, audit monitoring is sampling for additional substances that individual supplies may be at risk from (e.g. pesticides), and these substances typically only require to be sampled on one occasion. Current fee is £435 (maximum)

Sampling of type B supplies

  • There is not a statutory requirement to sample Type B supplies routinely.
  • If you require your supply to be sampled please contact environmental health online.
  • The cost of sampling a Type B supply is £98.04.