Private water supplies and distribution systems

A private water supply (PWS) is any water supply which is not provided by a water company. The source of the supply may be a:

  • well
  • borehole
  • spring
  • stream
  • river
  • lake
  • pond
  • rain water

The supply may serve just one property or several properties through a network of pipes. There are currently 71 private water supplies registered with Wycombe District Council.

Registration requirement

If you are the owner of a private water supply you have responsibilities under the Private Water Supply (PWS) Regulations.


These Regulations are in place to ensure that the water supply is wholesome and safe to drink.

You are required to register the supply with the Council.

Please email your completed form to environmentalhealth@wycombe.gov.uk or print and post it to: Environmental Health, Wycombe District Council Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 1BB

Risk assessment

Depending on the type of supply, number of people served by the supply and the volume of water a risk assessment may be required.

The risk assessment examines the supply (including the catchment area, storage tanks, treatment systems and pipework) and the surrounding area to identify any potential or actual contamination risk to it. This process can be expedited if relevant documentation such as installation records, maintenance diaries, supply plan, treatment system schematic, notes of regular system checks, on-site measurements, etc. can be collated and provided to the local authority in advance of their visit or risk assessment. The risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person, which is the local authority or someone approved as competent by the local authority.

If you are a single domestic dwelling you do not require a risk assessment under the regulations although you can request us to undertake one. There is a charge for this.

Sampling and analysis (monitoring)

We offer a service to analyse the water supply to verify actual or potential contaminants, or that the treatment systems are operating satisfactorily. However sampling only shows the water is satisfactory at the time the sample was taken and therefore a satisfactory water sample will not confirm if the water is safe all the time.

Please contact us if you require this service.

Private distribution systems

Private distribution systems are systems where water is supplied by a water undertaker or licensed water supplier and is then further distributed by a person other than a water undertaker or licensed water supplier. These are covered by regulation.

Such systems need to be registered with us and require a risk assessment.

Contact information

  • Telephone: 01494 412 247