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Private Water Supplies

A private water supply is any water supply not provided by a water company (such as South East Water) and where the water is used for domestic purposes or as part of certain public or commercial activities.

About 1% of the population of England and Wales use a private water supply, however locally Ashford currently has one small shared supply and a number of single supplies registered within the borough.

Most of these supplies are situated in rural parts of the country. They can originate from a range of sources including springs, wells, boreholes, watercourses and rainwater collection or alternatively from a private distribution system (mains water which is privately distributed by a second party).

Current legislation includes The Water Industry Act 1991, The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 and The Private Water Supplies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. The Regulations apply to private water supplies where the water is intended for human consumption for drinking, cooking, food preparation, washing/bathing or other domestic purposes, or used in any commercial food-production undertaking for the manufacture, processing, preservation or marketing of products or substances intended for human consumption.

The supplier, owners and occupiers of properties on the supply all have responsibilities to ensure the water is wholesome and does not pose a risk to human health.

The Local Authority is responsible for registering, assessing and sampling of supplies within each borough and to ensure the supply complies with the Regulations. All local authority costs are chargeable to the particular supply, with charges including officer time and the cost of sampling and analysis.


All private water supplies must be registered with the council. To register a private water supply please email epcomplaints@ashford.gov.uk.

Further information

Further guidance can be found via the drinking water inspectorate website.

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