Private Water Supply Grants - FAQs

Private Water Supply Grants

Grants of up to £800 per property to improve private water supplies (both domestic and commercial) are available from Local Authorities.

If more than one property is supplied from a single source, each of the properties can apply for a separate grant. On most occasions, a joint approach from all owners and occupiers is likely to provide the most effective long term solution to improve water quality. Tenants can also apply for grants.

It is important that improvement works are not carried out before a grant application is approved, as the local authority must agree that the expenditure is necessary.

Private Water Supply Grant - FAQs

  • What is the Private Water Supply Grant?
  • Who is eligible for Private Water Supply Grant?
  • Who is not eligible for Private Water Supply Grant?
  • How to I apply for Private Water Supply Grant?
  • Can I apply jointly with others using the same supply?
  • Can I get more than £800 in Grant?
  • Do I have to have my supply Risk Assessed and Sampled in order to get a Grant?
  • Do I have to pay for Risk Assessment and Sampling when applying for Grant?
  • Is there a time limit between initial Grant application and the claiming of Grant monies?
  • I am a tenant - can I still apply for Grant?
  • Can the Private Water Supply Grant be used for connection to the public supply?
  • Is there Grant available to replace lead pipes?
  • Is every static home on a caravan site eligible for a Grant?
  • How do I find a contractor to carry out the work?
  • I have a connection to the public water supply and a private water supply, can I apply for grant?

    What is the Private Water Supply Grant?

    The Scottish Government introduced a Grant Scheme in 2006 (The Private Water Supplies (Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2006) to assist users and owners of private supplies to bring their supplies up to modern standards. The scheme, which is designed to make a contribution to public health across Scotland, is non-means tested. The maximum grant which may be awarded is £800, however more than this may be given where applicants are able to demonstrate hardship.

    The scheme is intended to assist with the one-off capital cost of installing treatment to help ensure the provision of safe drinking water. It does not cover the on-going maintenance and operation of a private supply which is the responsibility of the user.

    Who is eligible for Private Water Supply Grant?

    You may be eligible for financial assistance if:

    • your home or business is in Scotland and served by a private water supply, both regulated and exempt supplies are eligible for grant;
    • the private water supply is the main or sole source of water for human consumption purposes to these premises; and
    • your private water supply is in need of improvement to bring it up to modern standards.

    Who is not eligible for Private Water Supply Grant?

    • any public body or office-holder;
    • any person erecting or causing to be erected a building which the provisions of Section 63 of the Water (Scotland) Act 1980 apply (water supply for a new building or house);
    • premises which are the subject of:
      1. a Closing Order under Section 114 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987;
      2. a Demolition Order under Section 115 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987; or
      3. a Dangerous Building Notice in terms of Section 30 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.
    • premises which comprise a dangerous building within the meaning of Section 29 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003;
    • empty or unoccupied premises; or
    • premises which do not meet the tolerable standard provided for in Section 80 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, as amended except in so far as that tolerable standard is not met in relation to an adequate piped supply of wholesome water.

    How to I apply for Private Water Supply Grant?

    Local Authorities administer the Private Water Supply Grant on behalf of Scottish Ministers. They can provide information and advice about the Grant Scheme and help when completing the application form. Please contact your Local Authority Environmental Health Team for further information.

    Can I apply jointly with others using the same supply?

    Yes - If you share your supply with a number of neighbouring premises you may wish to consider making a joint application. A joint application can be submitted in respect of all the premises served by the supply, by owners or occupiers acting together. In the majority of cases a joint approach is likely to provide the most effective long term solution to improve your water quality.

    Can I get more than £800 in Grant?

    The Local Authority may pay in excess of £800 where they are satisfied that the eligible person could not, without undue hardship, finance the expense of the approved works without such a grant. Each Local Authority will have their own policy to determine hardship, so please contact your local authority for further information.

    Do I have to have my supply Risk Assessed and Sampled in order to get a Grant?

    Yes – Regulation 3(1) of the 2006 Regulations sets out the requirements for eligibility, and one of these criteria is that there must be a risk assessment carried out on the supply. Sampling the water supply is also essential to carry out a complete risk assessment of the supply.

    Do I have to pay for Risk Assessment and Sampling when applying for Grant?

    Ministers decided to reduce the financial burden of the 2006 Regulations on rural communities and businesses and agreed that they will consider the costs of sampling and risk assessments as having been ‘reasonably incurred’, where they have been incurred by the local authority as part of a grant application. In practice, this means that local authorities may recover these costs from the Scottish Government rather than directly from owners and users. This is clearly set out in our DWQR Information letter PWS 2/2008.

    Is there a time limit between initial Grant application and the claiming of Grant monies?

    No – There is nothing in the regulations that state grant must be claimed or paid out within a certain time period. However, as grant is tied to risk assessment it is recommended that there is at least a review of the risk assessment prior to paying out the grant if the period of time from grant application to the claiming of grant monies is substantial. The local authority will be able to charge for this additional risk assessment as the cost would not be covered by Information letter PWS 2/2008.

    I am a tenant - can I still apply for Grant?

    Yes – Regulation 3(2)(a) of the 2006 Regulations sets out the requirements for eligibility. An eligible person is a person who owns or occupies premises in Scotland in respect of which a private water supply is the sole or main supply of water for human consumption purposes to those premises, and provides or receives a private water supply.

    Can the Private Water Supply Grant be used for connection to the public supply?

    No – There is nothing in the Regulations that state grant monies can be claimed towards costs of connection to the public water supply. If you are considering connecting to the mains please contact Scottish Water. Further information can be found on the Scottish Water website.

    Is there Grant available to replace lead pipes?

    If you have a private water supply you should contact your local authority for advice. Non-means tested grants of up to £800 per property are available from local authorities to improve private water supplies, and this would include the replacement of lead pipes.

    Is every static home on a caravan site eligible for a Grant?

    The relevant local authority could award grant to each static caravan or limit the grant to approved works which, in the local authority's professional judgement, provides a whole supply solution. The regulations are sufficiently flexible to allow either, but in exercising this flexibility the Scottish Government expects the relevant local authority to secure a solution that is both pragmatic and cost effective and co-ordinate any grant application to this effect.

    How do I find a contractor to carry out the work?

    Your Local Authority may be able to provide you with a list of contractors or plumbers who carry out this type of work. You can also check the WaterSafe website for a list of approved plumbers who operate in your area.

    I have a connection to the public water supply and a private water supply, can I apply for grant?

    No – As you have a connection to the public water supply you already have an improved water supply available.

    If any local authority is aware of any supply with a dual connection, they should contact Scottish Water and provide them with the supply details to enable Scottish Water to do a byelaws inspection.