Information for PWS Owners and Users

I have a private water supply. What does this mean for me?

Private water supplies are drinking water supplies which are not provided by Scottish Water as part of their core function and are the responsibility of the owners and users of the supply. In 2013, there were 20,193 private supplies registered in Scotland. Private water supplies are defined as either:

• Regulated Supplies - supplies serving 50 or more persons, or to commercial or public activities irrespective of size, or

• Exempt Supplies - supplies serving only domestic premises

Private water supplies take water from a wide range of sources. Almost all natural waters require some form of treatment before they are safe to drink. Surface waters, such as lochs and rivers, certainly require treatment as they are potentially contaminated with animal faeces. The minimum treatment needed is disinfection to kill harmful bacteria in the water, but many supplies require additional treatment to clean the water before it can be disinfected effectively.

Your private water supply could make you or your visitors very ill unless you look after it.

For information on the most appropriate treatment for your private supply, you should consult a competent contractor who has proven expertise in dealing with private water supplies. Some FAQs have been written to assist with specific issues. These may be accessed from the menu on the left.

Information on grants for improving private water supplies can be found here.

Information on determining who is a relevant person in relation to a private water supply can be found here.