Minister launches new On-Line App for Private Water Supplies

Date published: 25 March 2022

A new on-line application to help ensure private water supplies are safe and sufficient has been launched by DAERA Minister Edwin Poots.

A private water supply is one that is not provided by the public water company. In Northern Ireland there are approximately1,200 single dwellings, mainly in rural and remote areas, that get their water from a private supply such as a borehole or natural spring.

Welcoming the development of the on-line application, Minister Poots said: “The importance of safe drinking water is critical for human health, for business and the economy.

“A lot of single supplies are in rural areas and it is important that we meet the need of our rural communities to ensure they know how to protect their water supply to ensure it is both safe and sufficient.

“I would encourage people to use the App to find out how they can take action themselves to protect their water supply from contamination,” he added.

The new development allows owners and users of single private water supplies to obtain advice on water quality. They will be asked to answer questions specific to their private water supply and obtain recommendations based on the information they provide.

It will raise the awareness of the risks associated with using a single private well, the sufficiency of the water supply, the protection surrounding the well and the location of the well in relation to activities which can pose a risk of contamination to the water supply such as septic tanks and storage of fuel and pesticides. It will then provide recommendations on corrective action to improve water quality.

The new Single Private Well web application was developed in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s Drinking Water Inspectorate and DAERA Digital Services Division. The Single Private Well Assessment can be accessed the DAERA website.

Further advice and guidance is also available directly from the Drinking Water Inspectorate via e-mail or telephone 028 90569282.

Notes to editors: 

  1. In Northern Ireland less than one per cent of water comes from private water supplies. The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) monitors private water supplies to ensure they meet standards set within the regulations.
  2. The DWI holds a register of all known private water supplies in Northern Ireland that come under the Private Water Supplies Regulations. The regulations apply to private supplies that serve more than one household for purely domestic purposes, or are used in commercial food and drink production.
  3. Private water supplies to a single private dwelling are not required to be monitored by the DWI.
  4. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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