Water scarcity and Highland Council support for users of private water supplies

28 May 2020

The Highland Council’s Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination.

A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection. These supplies are usually in rural areas and currently there are 2,550 private water supplies registered in the Highlands.

Highland residents are being warned that, following below-average rainfall, some private water supplies within the region could run low and that significant rainfall will be required to replenish water levels. Officers are advising that if your water supply is untreated or you cannot at this time maintain your water treatment system, that you boil your water before drinking, cooking and brushing teeth as a precautionary public health measure.

The Highland Council in partnership with Scottish Water and the Scottish Government, can today announce that an Emergency Water Scarcity Scheme has been set up to assist persons in obtaining safe drinking water during the challenging emergency period.  As part of the scheme, the Council can supply and deliver bottled water at no cost, to domestic private water supply users who are eligible under the scheme. This assistance is in addition to the Council’s current grant funding scheme that can offer a grant of up to £800 to undertake longer term improvements to a private water supply system.

Highland Council Senior Environmental Health Officer, Patricia Sheldon, said:

“We have recently received a number of calls from vulnerable persons and families concerned about their water supplies so it’s very reassuring that with the help of the Scottish Government, the Council can provide support to communities and individuals who are experiencing problems with their domestic private water supplies at this time.

“It’s important that we all look to use our water wisely, particularly if your water comes from a private water supply.  The Council is assisting where we can, and I would encourage anyone who has concerns about their private supply to get in touch with us so that we can discuss short term solutions to their water consumption needs and to think about longer term solutions to improve their water systems.”

If you are served by a private water supply and need assistance under the scheme, please contact the Environmental Health team by email envhealth@highland.gov.uk or phoning 01349 886603.

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