Water supplies

Charges for private water supply testing

Calderdale Council carries out duties under the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016.

They include the risk assessment of water supplies, the taking of and the analysis of water samples, and the investigation into the reasons why the results of some tests breach the regulatory standards.

What are the charges?

Initially charges can compose up to 3 elements

The extent of testing (and hence the total cost) reflects the size and use of each supply.

In some cases it will be necessary to undertake enforcement action to improve the quality of the water. Any costs incurred by the Council to bring this about are not included in the advice given here but will also be recovered.

All charges may be revised from time to time but will not exceed the maximum allowed by the Regulations. The Regulations set out the maximum charges that can be levied. In some cases the actual costs to Calderdale Council already exceed these maximum charges and so the costs we recharge are capped.

Charges for risk assessments
Risk assessmentMaximum charge allowed by regulationsCharge levied in Calderdale
Initial risk assessment to all supplies, including, if requested, supplies to single private dwellings£500£400
Risk assessment updates
£500£nil

Water sampling and laboratory analysis charges

The following charges summarise the costs of visiting to take a sample and laboratory analysis, and reflect the frequency and extent of the samples taken. These charges are in addition to risk assessment charges.

Sampling visit chargeMaximum charge allowed by regulationsCharge levied in Calderdale
One charge applied to any number of samples taken from one supply, during one visit to that supply.£100£100

Regulation 10 supplies: Typical water analysis charge for Single Private Dwelling Supplies and Small Private Supplies, including the cost of carriage to the laboratoryMaximum charge allowed by regulationsCharge levied in Calderdale

All samples for these supplies must be tested for

  • Conductivity
  • Enterococci
  • Escherichia coli (E.coli)
  • Hydrogen ion concentration (pH)
  • Turbidity
£25£25 (current actual charge £25.54 including cost of carriage to laboratory, capped at £25)

Some samples will be additionally tested for one or more of the following

  • Total coliforms £3.51
  • Clostridium perfringens £7.79
  • Arsenic £7.01
  • Lead £9.34
  • Nitrate and nitrite £4.67
Total fee for mandatory and any additional samples necessary is capped at £25 for each set of tests carried out.Total fee for mandatory and any additional samples necessary is capped at £25 for each set of tests carried out.
These supplies provide less than 10m3 (cubic metres) of water a day. Typically such supplies provide for a demand of less than 50 people. The number of people is based on bed-spaces and partly occupied dwellings are assumed to be fully occupied in the calculation.  No water from the supply can be used in a commercial activity or be supplied to public premises.
Regulation 9: Typical water analysis charges for Large Domestic supplies and supplies to Commercial and Public Premises, including the cost of carriage to the laboratory ('check monitoring' and 'audit monitoring')Maximum charge allowed by regulationsCharge levied in Calderdale

'Check' monitoring for borehole waters

  • Ammonium
  • Coliform bacteria
  • Colony counts
  • Colour
  • Conductivity
  • Escheria Coli
  • Hydrogen ion concentration
  • Odour
  • Taste
  • Turbidity
£100£38.02

Or 'check' monitoring for surface waters or supplies influenced by surface waters

  • Aluminium
  • Ammonium
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Coliform bacteria
  • Colony counts
  • Colour
  • Conductivity
  • Escheria Coli
  • Hydrogen ion concentration
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Odour
  • Taste
  • Turbidity
£100£52.83

PLUS Some samples additionally tested during ‘Check’ monitoring for other parameters, examples include

  • Arsenic £7.01
  • Copper £2.34
  • Lead £9.34
  • Enterococci £8.19
  • Nitrate and Nitrite £4.67
 As individually priced, Total fee for all check monitoring capped at £100

Samples taken for ‘Audit’ monitoring purposes

  • Aluminium £2.34
  • Clostridium perfringens £7.79
  • Iron £2.34
  • Manganese £2.34
£500As individually priced. Total fee for all audit monitoring capped at £500

Large Domestic supplies provide at least 10m3 (cubic metres) of water a day. Typically such supplies provide for a demand of 50 or more people. The number of people is based on bed-spaces and partly occupied dwellings are assumed to be fully occupied in the calculation.

‘Commercial Activity’ includes holiday home, fee paid child-minder, leisure facilities. Supplies of water to a tenanted property will be deemed a commercial activity where

1. The landlord or owner of a property offers accommodation to paying tenants, where without a private water supply the property could not be so let AND

2. The tenant does not have full responsibility for the whole water supply, as agreed as part of the tenancy agreement. For example the tenant may not have rights of access over land to get water, or full rights to carry out repairs and improvements to control the quality of the water. AND

3. There is a commercial element to the tenancy. This excludes social housing and not-for-profit arrangements and situations where the tenancy is not the primary commercial arrangement such as a tied cottage or long-term agricultural let.

The government's current position is that certain dairy milking parlours are not treated as commercial premises.

Charges for further investigations

These charges are in addition to risk assessment charges and water sampling and analysis charges.

Further investigationsMaximum charge allowed by regulationsCharge levied in Calderdale

Taking a sample solely to confirm or clarify the results of a previous test.

(Note if a sample is taken to confirm the outcome of remedial works the charges to be levied are as listed in ‘Water Sampling and Analysis Charges’ above)

No visit charge - only analysis and carriage charges leviedNo visit charge - only analysis and carriage charges levied
Investigations into the failure of a sample£100£100
Granting authorisations to temporarily exceed regulatory standards£100 per authorisation£100 per authorisation

Who should pay the charges?

Any person requesting any service is liable for the cost. In these cases VAT will be added to the charge. Otherwise fees are payable by the ‘relevant person’, as defined in regulation 2 of the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 and no VAT is charged. Relevant persons are

If more than 1 person is liable to meet these costs the Council will consider any written agreement that is brought to its attention that sets out who may be responsible for paying the charges. Such documents might include a tenancy agreement or deed, or other written agreement eg that of a local ‘Water Board’. The Council is NOT obliged to ask if such agreements exist, and only if they are brought to the Council's attention will they be taken into account. Otherwise the Council will apportion all charges between relevant persons as it sees fit.

How are costs apportioned when supplies serve both dwellings and commercial premises?

Some Regulation 9 supplies to commercial / public premises will also supply a small number of dwellings, and were there not a commercial or public use made of the water the supply would have been classified as a Regulation 10 supply (i.e. a ‘small private supply’). In such cases the Council will not levy higher charges in respect of those dwellings where water is not used as part of a commercial or public activity than it would had the supply been classed as a Regulation 10 supply. This is because ‘small private supplies’ are subject to a less extensive sampling regime. The commercial or public user(s) will therefore be apportioned more of the total charge.

This concession may affect Regulation 9 supplies serving from 2 up to typically 12 - 13 dwellings, as long as the total number of bed-spaces does not exceed 50. [12 houses each with one double and two single bedrooms equates to 48 bed spaces]. At 50 bed spaces the supply would be classed as a 'large domestic supply'. Regulation 9 supplies that are large domestic supplies are not affected by this concession, being subject to the same regime as commercial / public-use supplies.

Regulation 9 supplies are sampled at least annually, while Regulation 10 supplies are usually sampled 5-yearly. Where the concession applies to residents on a Regulation 9 supply then charges will be apportioned as above in 'year 1', but only the commercial / public users of the water will be charged for the additional tests etc. required by Regulation 9 in each of 'years 2-5'.

Where a commercial / public-use supply of any size exists and both a commercial / public and domestic use is made of the water at a single property (eg a cafe where the proprietor lives on the premises) then the domestic use at that property is ignored.

The example below explains the difference in the apportionment of charges levied for a new Regulation 10 small domestic surface spring water supply serving 7 dwellings, and that for a new Regulation 9 supply comprising 6 dwellings and a cafe, where the cafe owner lives above the shop. (The example does not extend to costs of further investigations, which will be apportioned as the Council sees fit)

Type of assessmentRisk assessment for 7 dwellings (‘small private supply’)Risk assessment for 6 dwellings and a cafe (‘commercial supply’)
Initial Risk Assessment
(all charges arise in Year 1 of a 5 year period)
Subsequent 5-yearly risk assessment updates free of charge
£400£400
Charge per individual dwelling£400 ÷ 7 properties = £57.14£57.14

Water sampling / analysisWater sampling regime for 7 dwellings;
(‘small private supply’ tested 5-yearly)
Water sampling regime for 6 dwellings and a cafe (‘commercial supply’ tested annually)
Total cost of Water Sampling Visit charge
One visit charge is applied to any number of samples taken from one supply, during one visit to that supply.
£100£100
Visit charge per property (year 1)
£100 ÷ 7 dwellings = £14.29
(charged in Year 1 of 5-year period)
£14.29 (charged in Year 1 of 5-year period)
Visit charge to cafe (years 2 to 5)
(‘check’ and ‘audit’ monitoring undertaken at the same time)

£100.00

Typical water analysis charge (charge includes monitoring for enterococci)£25Check monitoring £61.02 (£52.83 plus additional charge of £8.19 for monitoring enterococci) plus audit monitoring £14.81 carried out at same time. Total £75.83.
Water analysis charge per property (year 1)
£25 ÷ 7 properties = £3.57
(charged in Year 1 of 5-year period)
£3.57 (charged in Year 1) £54.41 charged to cafe in year 1 (£75.83 - 6 X £3.57 = £54.41)
Water analysis charge to cafe (years 2 to 5)
(Check and Audit monitoring undertaken at the same time)
£75.83

In the above example the typical charge to each property on a new 7 dwelling supply is £75.00, comprising £57.14 risk assessment, £14.29 sampling visit charge and £3.57 water analysis charge. This is payable in year 1 of every 5 year period.

For a ‘commercial supply’ of 6 dwellings and 1 cafe, the cafe is charged £125.84 in Year 1 (comprising £57.14 risk assessment, £14.29 sampling visit charge and £54.41 water analysis charge) and an annual charge in each of Years 2 to 5 of £175.83 (£100.00 visit charge plus £75.83 water analysis). Each of the 6 dwellings on the supply is charged £75.00 in Year 1 only.

The above example is for illustrative purposes only. Actual charges will reflect the extent of the sampling regime necessary. Prices may be revised at any time, subject to limits placed by the Regulations.

Last Updated: 05/08/2016