COVID-19: Private Water Supplies and Coronavirus
Current Government advice is to adopt social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a consequence, Mendip District Council is postponing routine sampling of private water supplies until such guidance changes. It is hoped that outstanding visits can be rescheduled for later in the year but this does depend on the development of the pandemic.
The majority of private water supplies only require validation sampling by the local authority at consumer taps every 5 years (apart from single domestic dwellings where it is only carried out at the householder's request). Large supplies or those used as part of a commercial or public activity are sampled at least once a year.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate, which is part of the Government Department DEFRA, advocates a risk management approach in line with the World Health Organisation safety planning guidance. As such, water sampling is simply a means of validating that the risk mitigation measures already in place are effective, for example source protection, water treatment systems, appropriate storage etc.
In the absence of monitoring visits at present, consumers and other relevant persons responsible for private water supplies are encouraged to bolster their operational checks and ensure that maintenance is being carried out as required. This may include cleaning filters, replacing UV lamps and cleaning UV sleeves or monitoring chlorine dosage. It is also recommended that sufficient spares of essential equipment are held to ensure supplies remain wholesome at all times. These actions should also be documented so that Mendip District Council can, if required, confirm that the supplies did not present a risk to health during these exceptional circumstances.
For any enquiries or concerns, please use the Water Complaint Form below.