Private water supplies

All private water supplies must be registered with the Council. A private water supply is one which is not provided by Scottish Water. This may come from a loch, burn, spring, well, river, pond, borehole or a combination of these.


Private water supplies are subject to specific Scottish regulations:

The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

A supply must be sampled at least annually and risk assessed once every 5 years if it:

  • supplies 50 or more people /  more than 10m3 of water a day
  • forms part of a commercial or public activity
  • is used in a commercial or public activity

We will need to monitor all water supplies which serve the following types of properties:

  • Rented Properties
  • Tied Properties (where a house goes along with a job)
  • Self Catering holiday properties
  • Properties used for making or serving food
  • Hotel / B&B 
  • Village Halls
  • Schools
  • Residential facilities such as care homes and outdoor centres
  • Workplaces / wind farms / animal boarding establishments

The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006

These regulations cover private water supplies to premises with no commercial or public activity and serve fewer than 50 people in total. These are small domestic water supplies, where all the properties are owner occupied. If you are unclear which regulations apply to your supply, please contact us to discuss.

These supplies should be registered but there is no set frequency for a risk assessment or testing to be carried out.  

Register your water supply

Around 3,000 properties are using one of 1,400 private water supplies across the region. We record location and ownership details for these supplies.

Help to improve your supply

The Scottish Government has made available a new information resource for users and owners of private water supplies. Including the owners/users rights and responsibilities and how to improve the quality and safety of private water supplies.

Grants of up to £800 are available if you need help to improve your water supply or for the provision of a new private water supply or domestic distribution system.

Drinking water

Lead in water supplies does not naturally occur in large quantities. Problems can arise when drinking water comes into contact with lead fittings like pipes, tanks, joints, copper pipes and brass tap fittings for substantial periods of time, such as disuse of household water supply when away on holiday. This can result in lead contaminating the water supply in a small number of cases which may have an effect on health.

Call Scottish Water on freephone 0800 0778 778 if you believe there is lead present in your mains water supply. They can take a sample of water from your property to test and will inform you of the results.

Further information

Call 030 33 33 3000 or email to find out more.

Page last updated: 19/04/2023
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