Shropshire Council

Private water supplies

A private water supply is one that isn't provided by a water company, which in the case of Shropshire is largely Severn Trent. Private supplies can come from a well, borehole or a spring, and are usually found in the more rural areas of the county. The supply often serves just one home, but some supplies serve several. In Shropshire, there are more than 2000 known private water supplies serving approximately 14,000 people.

Safe drinking water is essential to good health. All private water supplies can pose a threat to health unless they're properly protected, maintained and treated. They may become contaminated with bacteria or other substances. You may not be able to tell whether your water is safe, as contamination may not change the smell, taste or colour of the water.

We have a duty to monitor, risk assess and sample private water supplies.

Private Water Supply Regulations 2009

These new regulations came into force on 1 January 2010 and replace the previous 1991 regulations. The regulations classify private water supplies into three categories, excluding those to single domestic dwellings. These are large supplies, other supplies and private distribution systems. The classification of a supply is primarily dependent on the number and type of premises served and the volume of water used. The regulations have also introduced a new requirement for local authorities to monitor private distribution systems.

How do the regulations affect me?

For more information on how the regulations affect different types of properties, take a look at our 'How do private water supplies regulations affect me?' page.


Central government expects local authorities to largely recoup the costs for undertaking these requirements and set down maximum charges. Our fee structure breaks down the cost of the individual components of a site visit.

Further help and advice

For further help and advice on private water supplies or private distribution systems, or to let us know about a new supply being brought into use, please contact us: