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Private Water Supplies

Private Water Supplies

Private water supplies

We are responsible for monitoring private water supplies (any supply that is not from a mains supply) such as from boreholes, wells or springs, within South Cambridgeshire District. We monitor these supplies for bacteria and chemicals. It is our responsibility to make sure that private water supplies are fit for human consumption and domestic purposes such as cooking and washing. If you are concerned about a private water supply or would like more advice then contact us. Please note that although we are responsible for monitoring private water supplies, we are not responsible for providing water to homes with a private water supply.

Risk assessments

Under the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 (as amended)the local authority must carry out a risk assessment of all large and/or commercial supplies at least once every five years. This is an assessment of the water source, water treatment and distribution system to identify potential sources of contamination of the water supply. This means issues can be addressed to greatly reduce water contamination risks to the end user. A risk assessment is not required for single dwellings under the regulations, but it can be requested by the owner.


The local authority has a duty to monitor private water supplies within its area. The sampling frequency and type is dependent on the size and nature of the supply. Large commercial supplies may be sampled several times a year, while small domestic supplies may only be sampled once every five years. Samples from single dwelling supplies are not routinely carried out but can be requested by the owner.


The local authority is permitted to recover its costs for undertaking the risk assessment and sampling. It does not make a profit on its sampling. The council employs the services of an independent sampler who uses suitably accredited (UKAS ISO/IEC 17025) sampling methodology and labs. Maximum charges are laid out in the legislation The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 Schedule 5

Private Water Supply Questionnaire

Please use our private water supply questionnaire to inform us of a new or existing borehole or to update your details. 

Mains Water - If you are currently using a Private Water Supply and would like further information on connecting to a mains supply, please contact Cambridge Water directly.

Perfluorooctane Sulphonate (PFOS)

As reported in the media during February 2022, a chemical called PFOS was found in the Duxford aquifer. This aquifer is a source of drinking water utilised by Cambridge Water who have removed this source from their mains water supply. Further information on Cambridge Water’s response is available online.

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