- Category: Pollution
- Last Updated: 07 June 2016
Information and advice on private and mains water supplies, rivers and distribution networks
We use water for drinking, washing, irrigation, sewage disposal, transport and recreation. Demand for water has increased putting pressure on the natural environment. In Ryedale, public drinking water is generally of high quality, though many private supplies fail to meet necessary standards. River water quality in Ryedale is high and both rivers support important wildlife habitats.
- Drinking Water
- Mains Water Supplies
- Private Water Supplies
- Private Distribution Networks
- Rivers and Other Controlled Waters
The drinking water to your property may be directly supplied either from a Mains Water Supply (e.g. Yorkshire Water) or from a Private Water Supply (e.g. borehole, spring etc). Alternatively, you may be supplied with a mains water supply indirectly, (e.g. via a Private Distribution Network) which, along with private water supplies, are regulated under the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009.
If you are the owner of a Private Distribution Network, you will be responsible for the pipework and distribution system serving buildings/structures occupied by third parties (as opposed to Yorkshire Water being responsible).
The majority of houses in the Ryedale District receive a supply of mains water which is provided by Yorkshire Water. Yorkshire Water is responsible for providing clean and wholesome drinking water to the homes they supply and their compliance performance is available on their website.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is responsible for overseeing compliance with mains water drinking quality standards.
The predominantly rural nature of our District means that many properties are unable to benefit from connection to a mains public water supply and rely instead on private supplies. Within the Ryedale District there are approximately 270 separate private water supplies serving both domestic and commercial premises.
What is a Private Water Supply?
A Private Water Supply is one which is not provided by a water company such as Yorkshire Water. Most Private Water Supplies are served by wells, boreholes, springs or streams.
Private water supplies are regulated by Local Authorities under the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009. Local Authorities are required to keep records of all the Private Water Supplies in the area and to send information about these supplies to the Drinking Water Inspectorate annually.
Registering your Private Water Supply
To register your private water supply please fill in the Private Water Supplies Questionnaire and return to Health and Environment.
The Role of the Local Authority and the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009.
The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 came into force on 1 January 2010 and apply to all Private Water Supplies used for human consumption (e.g. water used for domestic purposes and food production purposes). They aim to ensure that all water from private supplies is wholesome so that people using and consuming the water do so without risk to their health. Under the Regulations, local authorities must carry out risk assessments and monitor all private water supplies. Any failures to meet the standards set by the Regulations should be investigated and the local authority must ensure that appropriate action is taken to remedy the cause.
The Regulations group private water supplies into the following categories:
- Large Supplies and supplies to commercial or public premises;
- Small Supplies (non- commercial) - one which supplies an average daily volume of water of less than 10 cubic metres (or supplies fewer than 50 people); and
- Single Dwelling Supplies.
Risk Assessments and Monitoring of Supplies
Under the regulations, the Council must carry out a risk assessment of private water supplies every five years. This involves surveying the supply from the source (e.g. spring or borehole) through the distribution network to the consumers tap. It seeks to identify any significant risks of supplying water that would constitute a potential danger to human health or if there is a risk of non-compliance with any of the standards set by the Regulations.
In addition to carrying out a risk assessment of supplies, local authorities must monitor supplies. Monitoring supplies involves sampling the water at the consumers tap and analysing it for a number of parameters. The frequency and type of monitoring is determined by the Regulations and also by the findings of the risk assessment.
Local authorities can charge for carrying out the risk assessment, monitoring and investigation of supplies. This is based on the visit cost and the laboratory costs of analysing the samples. For further information on these charges please contact Health and Environment or telephone 01653 600666 ext 351 or 257.
Further information on private water supplies and the new regulations can be found on the following leaflets:
Ryedale District Council - Private Water Supplies Regulations (PDF 140k).
Private Distribution Networks are now regulated under The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 and require local authorities to undertake risk assessments and monitor all Private Distribution Networks within their district.
What is a Private Distribution Network?
A Private Distribution Network is where mains water (e.g. water supplied by Yorkshire Water) is supplied to the boundary of a site and then is further distributed around the site through a privately owned and maintained network of pipes to different independent properties/buildings (occupied by third parties). In such cases, the site owner is responsible for the supply to each property/building.
A caravan park is an example of a site which may have a Private Distribution Network. The site owner will be responsible for the pipework, storage tanks etc on the site through which the water is distributed to individual caravans and/or standpipes.
Further information can be found in Private Distribution Networks.
In addition, in October 2011 the Drinking Water Inspectorate produced guidance on Private Distribution Systems and how to identify them.
Registering your Private Distribution Network
To register your Private Distribution Network or to find out if you are responsible for a Private Distribution Network, please contact Health and Environment on 01653 600666 ext 351 or 257.
The Environment Agency is responsible for protecting controlled waters (including water courses) from pollution.
For further information contact Health and Environment on 01653 600 666 ext. 351 and 257