17 Sep 2015 01:54 PM

Issued on behalf of Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Regulator.

Most private water supplies in Scotland comply with drinking water standards but a significant minority need to make further improvements, according to the latest report from Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR).

Around 3.5 per cent of the Scottish population receive their water from a private water supply rather than from Scottish Water. The care and maintenance of these supplies is the responsibility of the owners and users. Some of these supplies serve hotels, tourist accommodation and other businesses.

In 2014, a total of 44,812 tests were taken from Type A private water supplies – those serving more than 50 people or a commercial activity. Of these, 94 per cent met the required standard. However, 13.4 per cent of samples taken from Type A supplies last year contained the E. coli bacterium, which indicates they are not receiving the appropriate treatment necessary to make the water safe. There has been a marginal improvement on last year’s figure of 13.6 per cent.

Sue Petch the Drinking Water Quality Regulator said:

“It is important that private water supplies are well managed and maintained so that they are safe to drink. There is much that people responsible for a private water supply can do to protect water sources and ensure that there is an appropriate and robust treatment process in place – and although E.coli levels have improved on last year, there is still plenty of opportunity for improvement. I am working with local authorities and other stakeholders to improve awareness and explain how people can take care of their private water supply. I urge everyone with a private water supply to take advantage of the support and advice that can be accessed through their local environmental health department.”

Where tourist accommodation is served by a private water supply, a notice is required to be displayed to make visitors aware. Those wishing to improve their private supply can make use of grant funding provided by the Scottish Government. Anyone seeking advice or financial support can access this by contacting the environmental health department of their local authority.

Notes To Editors

A full copy of Drinking Water Quality in Scotland – Private Water Supplies 2014 is available atwww.dwqr.org.uk