Private water supplies

All private water supplies must be registered with the Council. A private water supply is one which is not provided by Scottish Water. This may come from a loch, burn, spring, well, river, pond, borehole or a combination of these.


Private water supplies are subject to specific Scottish regulations:

The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 which replace (and partly re-enact with modifications) the provisions of the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 so far as these applied to a 'Type A supply' (now known as a 'Regulated supply').

A supply must be sampled at least annually and risk assessed once every 5 years if it:

  • supplies 50 or more people /  more than 10m3 of water a day
  • forms part of a commercial or public activity
  • is used in a commercial or public activity
  • The Environmental Health Section shall monitor all private water supplies which serve the following types of properties:
  • Rented Properties
  • Tied Properties (where a house goes along with a job)
  • Self Catering holiday properties
  • Properties used for making or serving food
  • Hotel / B&B 
  • Caravan Site/Campsites
  • Village Halls
  • Schools
  • Residential facilities such as care homes and outdoor centres
  • Workplaces / wind farms / animal boarding/riding establishments

The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006

These regulations cover private water supplies to premises with no commercial or public activity and serve fewer than 50 people in total. These are small domestic water supplies. If you are unclear which regulations apply to your supply, please contact us to discuss at

These supplies should be registered with the Council but there is no set frequency for a risk assessment or testing to be carried out.  

Register your water supply

Approximately 60 properties are using one of 21 private water supplies across West Dunbartonshire. We record location and ownership details for these supplies.

To register your supply contact

Help to improve your supply

The Scottish Government has made available a new information resource for users and owners of private water supplies including the owners/users rights and responsibilities and how to improve the quality and safety of private water supplies.

Grant Assistance for Improving Private Supplies

Grants of up to £800 are available from the Council to help you improve your private water supply. This may include the installation of treatment equipment, or for the provision of a new private water supply or domestic distribution system (within the meaning of the 2006 Regulations) but does not include connection of your property to a mains water supply.

The Grant Scheme is non-means tested and you may be eligible for financial assistance if:

  • Your home or business is in the West Dunbartonshire area and served by a private water supply;
  • The private water supply is the main or sole source of water for human consumption purposes to these premises; and
  • Your private water supply is in need of improvement to bring it up to modern standards.

If you share your supply with a number of neighbouring premises, you may wish to consider making a joint application. A joint application can be submitted in respect of all the premises served by the supply, by you and the other owners or occupiers acting together. In the majority of cases, a joint approach is likely to provide the most effective long-term solution to improve your water quality.

The cost of improving a private supply can vary and there will be instances where the supply requires work that exceeds the £800 grant. In such cases, it will be your responsibility to meet the additional costs. We can provide information and advice about the Grant Scheme and help you complete the application form.

You should not start any of the improvement works before your application is approved and we have agreed that the expenditure is necessary. 

There are some exceptions to Grant approval, the most common being:

  • New builds.
  • Houses under Closing Orders, Demolition Orders or a Dangerous Building Notice.
  • Empty or unoccupied premises,
  • Connection to the mains

Further details of these restrictions and others can be supplied upon request.

If you are on a non-commercial supply and you receive a grant, there are no ongoing obligations for sampling or other commitments to the Council.

For initial enquiries regarding the Grant, or any of the information above, please contact us.

Private Water Supplies Charging

List of Charges