Private Water Supply – The Risk Assessment

Our home’s water doesn’t come from the mains. It comes from a spring on a nearby hillside. So I can tell people I only ever bathe in spring water.

Under the house there is a pipe from the spring that feeds a large water storage tank that is attached to filters and a UV lamp. Finally a noisy pump drives the water up to the taps and toilets. It works well, except in a very cold winter (such as 2017-18) when the pipes running down the hill freeze and in a very hot summer (such as 2018) when the spring dries up.

I like not paying water rates though.

When we bought the house, nothing untoward came up in the solicitor’s searches, despite the spring sitting on land that someone else owns. Other potentail problems could have been: the other tanks up the hillside, that collect the water from the spring are hard to find in the brambles and undergrowth; the water pipes go up and over a canal and then pass through yet another person’s land and the one spring feeds three homes. And yet nothing untoward came up in the searches.

One day recently, a letter arrived from the district council with The Private Water Supply Regulations 2018 written in bold as the heading. (I’ve hyperlinked it for you.)

If you click on the link, perhaps, like me, you’ll find the regulations are almost unreadable, it’s like someone has marked the homework of whoever wrote The Private Water Supply Regulation 2016, but then no-one bothered to write up the corrected version. If you have found a readable version of the 2018 regulations, please could you let me know?

The 2018 regulations came into effect in July 2018 and it appears to be these that prompted the council into getting in touch.

The letter from the council gave a date and time for a risk assessment at water supply and said they would be charging us £300 for it.

When I spoke to the other two neighbours who share the water supply, about the letter, neither had received it.

When I talked to the council, they said that as I was lead household, the letter comes to me first. They don’t know why I’m the lead household. They said that letters would be coming out to the neighbours soon. They haven’t.

So the date for the risk assessment was agreed on.

I’ll tell you about what happened in the visit in the next post about our private water supply.