West Berkshire Council

Private Water Supplies

Wells, boreholes, springs, streams, rivers, lakes or ponds used for water supplies on private land

If you get your water supply from a source other than a water company such as Thames Water or South East Water, you're considered to be using a private water supply. In these cases water may be extracted, for example, from a privately-owned well or borehole, or from a river, stream or pond. 

The law relating to private water supplies

Private water supplies in England and Wales are controlled by the Private Water Supply (England) Regulations 2016.

The Environmental Health team are responsible for ensuring the safety of private water supplies across West Berkshire and Wokingham. 

We are required to submit a report of our actions each year to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).  The DWI is the organisation responsible for reassuring the public that water is safe to drink. You can read official DWI guidance on the regulations online.

Risk Assessments and monitoring

Local Authorities must carry out risk assessments of certain categories of private water supplies at least once every five years.  We're also required to monitor supplies by taking and analysing samples.  How often we do this, and the type of sampling we use depends on the outcome of the risk assessment. 

Further information about our responsibilities as a Local Authority is available in the official DWI guidance and on the DWI web site.


There's a fee payable for carrying out a risk assessment and for the sampling and analysis of private water supplies.  How much this will cost is detailed in our pdf icon Fees Summary [7kb] .

Registering a private water supply

If you have a private water supply that may not be registered with us, or if you've recently moved to a property with a private water supply, please complete and send us the pdf icon Private water supplies questionnaire [18kb] .

If you have a supply which needs testing or you need some advice on how to manage your supply please contact us, and we'll do our best to help.

Who To Contact