Water Safety Plans were developed and introduced by the World Health Organisation, changing how the risks to water supplies are viewed and managed.

Water Safety Plans adopt a risk assessment and risk management  approach that encompasses all steps in the water supply process, from catchment to consumers tap.  This is achieved by:

  • Water supply system assessment to establish whether the health based targets can be met;
  • Identification of potential sources of contamination and whether they can be controlled;
  • Validation of control methods employed to control hazards;
  • Timely corrective actions to ensure safe water is consistently supplies;
  • Verification of drinking water quality (by sampling) that the Water Safety Plan is being implemented effectively against national standards.

In order to meet the requirement of the EU Council Directive 98/83/EC in relation to private water supplies, the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 - effective since 1st January 2010 - apply to all Private Water Supplies intended for human consumption - such that they apply to water for domestic purposes (e.g. drinking, cooking, food preparation and washing) and water used for food-production purposes.

These supplies include:

  • Water from a well, borehole, spring, stream, river, lake or pond, supplied from someone other than a statutory water undertaker, and is used for drinking, cooking, washing, food preparation or food production; or
  • water supplied by a statutory water undertaker which is then further distributed via a private distribution network to others for human consumption.

Compliance with the Private Water Supply Regulations 2009 involves monitoring of private water supplies in relation to drinking water wholesomeness as specified by the revised standards and other requirements.

Local Authorities are required to complete a risk assessment of all Private Water Supplies in the first five years since the Regulations came into force (with the exception for supplies to single non-commercial dwelling, unless a risk assessment is requested). The respective Local Authority Environmental Health department will implement the Regulations, investigating the cause of unwholesome supplies. Further, the Environmental Health Officer may serve notices requiring remedial action to protect human health and restore the quality of the water supplied.

Tapajos Limited can assess risks to the principal sources of private supplies - namely springs, wells and boreholes (note: streams and rivers can also be assessed, but are used to a lesser extent because of the more variable quality of surface waters compared to groundwaters).

Tapajos carries out each Private Water Supply Risk Assessment consistent with Guidelines, to determine risks at the wellhead and catchment to the wholesomeness of the abstracted water. This includes an assessment of diffuse and point source pollution within the catchment, activities that may jeopardise groundwater quality, the design and condition of the abstraction point and use and maintenance of the supply system. Where available, assessment of water quality samples and tends are also taken into consideration to aid identification of deteriorating groundwater quality.

Tapajos will carry out a Private Water Supply Risk Assessment, consistent with guidance. This involves the following:

  • Desk Study catchment assessment - identification of water use, the catchment and hazards to groundwater quality
  • Field assessment
  • Completion of the Private Water S Risk Assessment Proforma
  • Additional Notes and observations
  • Risk Assessment and Scoring
  • Short Report and Recommendations for action and improvement.
Tapajos has developed a strong track record in the application of the 2009 Private Water Supply Regulations, providing risk assessments consistent with their methodology and proforma. Clients include Local Authorities - working alongside the respective Environment Health Officer (EHO) - and Private Abstractors for a full range and scale of private water supply systems. Trevor Muten has been integral to recent training of Local Authority Environmental Health Officers in the use and methodology of the PWS Risk Assessments.

Contact Tapajos Enquiries or phone   to make arrangements for a Private Water Supply Risk Assessment

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