Guide Private Water Supplies

Show all parts of this guide

2. What is a private water supply?

A private water supply is one which is not provided by a water company. Approximately 1% of the population in England and Wales has a private water supply to their homes. Most private water supplies are in rural locations and are from wells, boreholes, springs or streams. In East Devon there more than 1200 of these types of supplies.

Private water supplies are categorised into four groups:

  1. Single private dwellings.
  2. Small domestic supplies supplying fewer than 50 people.
  3. Large domestic supplies supplying over 50 people or serving commercial premises, including food businesses; caravans; bed and breakfasts and holiday lets.
  4. Private distribution systems where mains water is then used to supply a number of properties.

More information can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate website

Contact the Environmental Health Private Water Supplies team on 01395 571572 or email for more information.