Water quality

Most water supplies are mains water and are supplied by a water company. In the Taunton Deane area this is either Wessex Water or South-West Water.

The water companies are responsible for monitoring the quality of their supplies and submit annual reports to the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Local Authority in their areas. If you have a complaint about your water quality you should contact the water company, as they may already be aware of the problem.

Private water supplies

A private water supply is any water supply which is not provided by a water company. In rural areas it is often a private water supply which is the sole source of drinking water.

A private water supply may only serve one property or could be a large network of pipes supplying many properties. The water source is often a spring, well, borehole, pond or stream.

About 1 percent of the population are served by a private water supply and within Taunton Deane there are currently 627 known properties using private water supplies and 575 private water supply sources
Good water quality is important for everyday life and every house must have a supply of clean, fresh water for it to be fit to live in. We provide a service for sampling and testing of private water supplies within the Taunton Deane area and monitor the quality of public mains supplies.

The costs for any sampling and assessment will be passed on to the person responsible for the supply. Information about charges can be found in the private water supplies leaflet.

We will contact owners or users of private water supplies to inform them when a water test or risk assessment is due.

We also provide information about temporary drinking water supplies at events.

Laws and regulation

The Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 outline the sampling frequency for different types of supplies, the analysis that is undertaken, costs and the risk assessment of the supply.

The Environmental Protection Team are responsible for testing private water supplies as set out by these regulations.

The Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 are currently being amended and this includes changes to the fees Local Authorities are allowed to charge for services related to private water supplies. The consultation will run for 6 weeks from 12 September to 24 October 2017 and owners of private water supplies are encourage to make their views known on the Defra website.