Shropshire Council

Private water supplies

A private water supply is one that isn't provided by a water company, which in the case of Shropshire is largely Severn Trent. Private supplies can come from a well, borehole or a spring, and are usually found in the more rural areas of the county. The supply often serves just one home, but some supplies serve several. In Shropshire, there are more than 2000 known private water supplies serving approximately 14,000 people.

Safe drinking water is essential to good health. All private water supplies can pose a threat to health unless they're properly protected, maintained and treated. They may become contaminated with bacteria or other substances. You may not be able to tell whether your water is safe, as contamination may not change the smell, taste or colour of the water.

We have a duty to monitor, risk assess and sample private water supplies.

Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 (Amended)

These regulations came into force on 11 July 2018 and amend the 2016 regulations. The regulations classify private water supplies into three categories. These are Regulation 9 large supplies, Regulation 10 other supplies and Regulation 8 private distribution systems. The classification of a supply is primarily dependent on the number and type of premises served and the volume of water used.

How do the regulations affect me?

For more information on how the regulations affect different types of properties, take a look at our 'How do private water supplies regulations affect me?' page.


Central government expects local authorities to largely recoup the costs for monitoring, risk assessing and sampling private water supplies. Under the current regulations there are no maximum charges. Shropshire Council has set these current fees.

Further help and advice

For further help and advice on private water supplies or private distribution systems, or to let us know about a new supply being brought into use, please contact us:

Further information can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s website