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Private Water Supplies

The Scottish Government provides advice and information for owners and users of private water supplies in Scotland through their information site

In Scotland, private water supplies are defined as those that are not provided by Scottish Water. Approximately 3% of the Scottish population uses a private water supply for drinking water. Many more people encounter private supplies when they stay in holiday accommodation in the more remote parts of Scotland.

There are two types of private water supply (PWS), and the legislation relating to each is different. Larger PWS or those with a commercial activity are defined as Regulated supplies. Smaller PWS that only serve domestic properties are classified as Exempt supplies.

The quality of private water supplies is variable. There are some very good ones that have adequate treatment and are well managed but others undoubtedly present a risk to health due to the quality of the water. Outbreaks of disease that have been attributed to private water supplies have occurred in Scotland. If you own or use a private supply it is important that you are aware of the quality of the supply and the risks associated with it.

DWQR no longer displays a map of private water supplies on its site. Under legislation it is the responsibility of the local authority to maintain a register of private water supplies.

These pages provide comprehensive information and guidance for those responsible for managing and regulating private water supplies.


Private water supplies can present a risk to health if not properly managed.”