Regulation 3 Scope

Regulation 3 of the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016, as amended (hereafter referred to as the Regulations) specifies the criteria which determine how the Regulations apply to private water supplies.

A private supply is defined as “a supply of water provided otherwise than a water undertaker”.

The Regulations specify three private supply categories, 8, 9 and 10. We have produced an individual note for each, which you can find on our website.
However, in summary:

  • Regulation 8 supplies are derived from public “mains” supplies (undertakers or licensed suppliers) which are further distributed by third parties to consumers on premises in separate ownership.
  • Regulation 9 supplies are large supplies (more than 10m3/day) and supplies to premises that are used as part of a commercial or public activity, irrespective of the volume consumed. This includes, in some cases, supplies to tenanted properties.
  • Regulation 10 supplies include small shared supplies and those that supply only a single dwelling, where the water is not used as part of a commercial activity, all using less than 10m3/day.

The Regulations apply to private water supplies ONLY where the water is intended for human consumption.

Regulation 3 describes human consumption as: 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.

The term ‘domestic purposes’ is defined in section 218 of the Water Industry Act 1991, as drinking, washing, cooking, central heating and sanitary purposes. The term ‘sanitary purposes’ includes washing/bathing/showering, laundry and toilet flushing.

All water used in food-production, manufacture, processing, preservation or marketing of products or substances intended for human consumption must not affect the wholesomeness of the foodstuff in its finished form.

The Inspectorate has made available on its website a risk assessment tool for supplies that are used exclusively for the purposes of toilet flushing.

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