"Significant" numbers of Scotland's private suppliers need to up their quality

Scotland's Drinking Water Quality Regulator has warned that a "significant minority" of private water supplies both of the Border "need to make further improvements."

More than 12.3% of samples taken from Type A supplies to test for the bacterium E. Coli failed to comply with the standard. "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,” said Drinking Water Quality Regulator, Sue Petch.

The Scottish findings echoed those south of the Border where the Drinking Water Inspectorate said private supplies needed a "keen focus". The inspectorate reported that 4.5% of tests on private England failed to meet standards while 6.1% failed in Wales (see here).

Some private supplies undergo "little or no treatment," according to the Scottish quality regulator. Type A supplies are sampled and risk assessed once a year while smaller, Type B supplies, which typically serve a couple of private houses, are sampled at the request of the owner or user.

Some 3.4% of Scotland's population – about 150,000 people – are suppliers water from a private source. In 2015 42,361 tests were made on Type A supplies – those serving more than 50 people or a commercial facility such as a hotel.