Users of a Private Water Supply

The Regulations apply to private water supplies where the water is intended for human consumption. The Regulations define water intended for human consumption as:

  • all water either in its original state or after treatment, intended for drinking, cooking, food preparation or other domestic purposes, regardless of its origin and whether it is supplied from a distribution network, from a tanker, or in bottles or containers;

  • all water used in any food-production undertaking for the manufacture, processing, preservation or marketing of products or substances intended for human consumption;

Therefore if the supply is used solely for irrigation in a garden or to provide water for animals it is not covered by the Regulations and therefore not subject to the monitoring or risk assessment requirements.

The Regulations require all private water supplies intended for human consumption to meet regulatory standards to ensure the water is safe and sufficient at all times. Whilst local authorities undertake a number of statutory duties to this effect they are required to determine for their respective interests all relevant person(s) in relation to the supply.

The majority of private water supplies in England and Wales supply only single dwellings, where the water is used exclusively for domestic purposes. Further information on supplies to single dwellings only can be found here.



Page reviewed: 1 November 2018
Page modified: 1 November 2018

Drinking Water Inspectorate