Yorkshire Water| is generally responsible for the water in the supply pipes that form the public main in Calderdale. In the Walsden area a small number of properties with OL14 6T, 6U, 6X and 7U postcodes may receive their water from United Utilities|. This public supply of water is also called 'treated', 'chlorinated', 'mains' and 'town' water. However some houses both inside and outside these zones are not served by Yorkshire Water or United Utilities but by private water supplies.
Enquiries and complaints about Yorkshire Water
Reports on the quality of mains water in the different water supply zones can be read on the company's web sites. Complaints about the quality or pressure of that water should first be made directly to the company. Calderdale Council can deal with certain complaints but we will usually invite Yorkshire Water to investigate first.
Property owners may be responsible for sections of pipe that connect their property to the main, as well as for internal plumbing fittings. It may be that the pipes or fittings are affecting the water quality and Calderdale Council may require the owner of a property to carry out work to resolve a problem.
'Spring' or 'private' supplies
About 1800 properties in Calderdale obtain water from local springs, wells, boreholes and streams. Some of these properties are within a Yorkshire Water or United Utilities WSZ (water supply zone) and may be able to connect to the mains.
Private water supplies are often poorly protected against contamination. The condition of pipes and tanks through which the water flows and the nature and use of the land can lead to contamination of the water. Some private supplies are contaminated throughout the year, others after a period of wet weather which washes contamination into the supply. The quantity of water available can also be seasonally affected.
The law requires a sufficient quantity of wholesome water to be available for drinking and sanitation needs for most situations e.g. domestic purposes|. Often this must be from a conveniently located tap inside a building. This is so even though some people choose to drink bottled water. The owners and occupiers of premises served by the water supply, and any person who manages or controls the water source, can be held responsible for the supply. There may be further specific requirements upon food businesses, which should consult the Food Standards Agency|. Where disinfection (for example ultraviolet treatment) apparatus is installed it is the duty of the owner or occupier of the premises served, or the person who manages the water source, to ensure that its effectiveness is maintained and verified.
The law requires Calderdale Council to carry out risk assessments on supplies serving more than one property on a five yearly basis. We must also test the water from these supplies on a twice yearly, annual or five yearly basis or at other times as the need arises. Otherwise risk assessments and testing can be requested. Charges will apply in each case. The Council also has to keep certain records about supplies and the properties they serve.
Helpful free advice on protecting spring water supplies from contamination can be found at:
- 'A Brief Guide to Drinking Water Safety Plans' is available to download from the Drinking Water Inspectorate at Guidance and codes of practice|
- Private Water Supplies|
- Private Water Supply|.
or by contacting the Council's Environmental Health Service. We can also provide a list of people that we know of who install water treatment or who sink boreholes. Details of other contractors may be sought on the internet or in a telephone directory.
If your private water supply fails you can seek Emergency water supplies.