The proposed new Private Water Supplies Regulations, in line with a 1998 EU directive, revise the standards for private drinking water supplies.
The key proposals include categorising private water supplies into three groups:
- Single private dwellings
- Small domestic supplies for fewer than 50 people
- Large domestic supplies for more than 50 people or serving commercial premises
Under the new legislation, councils will be required to sample more often and assess the risk of supplies.
Risk assessments will involve surveying the private water supply to minimise the contamination of source water, reduce or remove contaminants by treatment, and prevent contamination during storage and distribution to consumers’ taps.
The proposals aim to make it easier for councils to take action in the event of a problem, but also to resolve issues informally where possible.
The legislation covers authorisations, improvement notices, restriction notices, appeals, and charges.
More information on the consultation can be found on DEFRA’s website at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/water/index.htm, and responses should be sent to email@example.com by November 3.