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Private Water Supplies

As a rural area, many properties in East Lindsey cannot easily connect to the mains supply and a private supply is their only option for water. Private water supplies can range from boreholes to Wells and Springs. In other cases, the availability of groundwater is a cost effective way to obtain water.

The majority of East Lindsey's private water supplies are used for human consumption. Private water supplies can be used for purely domestic purposes such as cooking and washing, or for large scale commercial operations such as farming or breweries.

Farming is an important industry in East Lindsey and this has a potential impact on the quality of private water supplies. Use of pesticides can affect water quality, as can the presence of livestock.

Ensuring clean, safe drinking water is the biggest concern and this is achieved in several ways including protecting the source from contamination and secondary treatment, such as filtration and disinfection.

If you need to install secondary treatment we have provided some fact sheets from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) of what you should be asking your installer. There is also a link provided to the treatment guidance pages on the DWI website

Private Water Supplies Regulations

Private water supplies are regulated by national legislation - the Water Industry Act 1991 and the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 and The Private Water Supplies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations require that all water intended for human consumption must be wholesome and must not constitute a danger to human health.

The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations require local authorities to carry out sampling at all supplies, except those which serve only one domestic property which is owner occupied.

Frequency of Risk Assessments

  • Commercial premises - at least once every five years (or more frequently according to the previous risk rating).
  • Supply serving only one domestic property - Homeowners with a supply to a single domestic property may request a risk assessment from the Council. However, the Council is not required to routinely risk assess or sample from these types of supplies.
  • Supply serving two or more domestic properties - at least once every five years (or more frequently according to the previous risk rating).
Category SupplyEngland
Regulation 9 supplies

Large supplies and those used as part of a commercial or public activity  (including some supplies to tenanted single dwellings)


Regulation 10  supplies

Small supplies, including small shared supplies.


Regulation 8 supplies

Where a public supply is onwardly distributed to non-water company consumers on a secondary premise.


Single domestic properties on a private water supply

If your well or borehole serves only one property, you will be classed as a 'single domestic property' and therefore are not required to have routine sampling by the Council under the new regulations. However, you can contact us to request that we visit to risk assess or sample the supply.

It is also recommend that you have your supply serviced regularly, by a qualified water engineer.

Commercial, public, large and small supplies

These supplies will be required to be sampled on a routine basis as determined by the regulations and in line with the risk assessment rating.

Commercial premises - include hotels, guest houses, restaurants, cafes, B&B's, holiday let accommodation, caravan sites, camp sites, temporary sites such as show grounds and festivals.

Large supplies - includes private water supplies which supply water to domestic properties only, and provide in excess of 10m³ per day of water.

Small supplies - include domestic properties where a private water supply provides less than 10m³ per day, or serves less than 50 persons. This includes all supplies which serve two or more domestic properties.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and if you feel that your water supply should be sampled and risk assessed, please contact the Council to discuss this.

If a meter is not available to estimate how much water is used per day, 0.2m³ is multiplied by the amount of people using the supply. For example, for 12 people using a water supply 12 x 0.2 = 2.4m³ per day.

I have a commercial, public or large premises and I haven't had my water supply tested

If your premises are on a private water supply and you have not been contacted by the Council, it may be that we are not aware of your supply and we would therefore be grateful if you would contact us by email or telephone 01507 613486.

I have a private water supply which serves two or more properties

If you have never received any correspondence from the Council relating to your private water supply, we may not know of its existence and we would therefore be grateful if you would contact us by email or telephone 01507 613486.

Keeping your water supply safe

There are many things you can do to keep your water supply safe. Contamination from a variety of sources can occur potentially at any point throughout a water supply system if it is not robust and adequately protected. The Drinking Water Inspectorate have produced a leaflet outlining the measures you can take to prevent and remediate the main forms of contamination that pose a risk to a private water supply.

Maintaining your water supply

We strongly recommend that private water supplies and their distribution and treatment systems are properly maintained to prevent contamination of drinking water.

Wells and boreholes should be suitably covered and protected. Loft or other storage tanks should be checked and cleaned. Any treatment systems such as ultra-violet (UV) and reverse osmosis or cartridge filters should be checked and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers'  guidelines.

We recommend that the supply and its equipment are serviced regularly by a qualified water engineer.

What to do if you have a problem and you are supplied by a mains water company

All water supply queries and emergencies should be raised directly with the water company that supplies you.

Mains water

If you are having issues with mains water you should initially visit the Anglian Water website or call 0345 791 9155 for assistance. We can provide advice regarding mains water quality however would normally only do so once you have spoken to Anglian Water. You can check how your water company is performing by visiting Discover Water where a comprehensive range of data covering water quality, public health, customer service and environmental aspects of water and sewerage services is available.

Rivers, streams and flooding

If you are concerned about the water quality of a river or stream, or if you require information regarding flooding, please contact your local Environment Agency office on 03708 506506.

Should you wish to report a water pollution incident or potential pollution issue, please contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

Please contact us for further information.