Private Water Supplies

Emergency Drinking Water Provision

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, has described current water levels in parts of Moray as 'significant scarcity'. Due to the ongoing dry weather many properties with Private Water Supplies are experiencing water shortages and some have dried up completely.  Please keep using water wisely.

Scottish Government funding will be made available to Local Authorities and Scottish Water to ensure that emergency supplies of drinking water are provided to communities where their private water supplies have run dry.

Scottish Water are providing bottled drinking water for those whose private supply is running dry, at no cost. This would normally be something that we would expect owners to source themselves, but these are not normal circumstances. We are prioritising requests from those more vulnerable in the first instance. If you need help, please contact the council by emailing or phoning 01343 563088 (during office hours). The Environmental Health Service will respond as quickly as possible to your enquiry.

Long term, the service is providing advice on looking at future solutions such as support to help connect to the mains. If that is not possible, improvements to the current source or forming a new supply can be considered. Grants may be available for some of this work.

There are over 800 private water supplies in Moray serving approximately 4825 properties.

There is some useful advice online here:

Water Pick Up Times

Please note that Water will not be issued without a valid voucher issued by Environmental Health.

Moray Council Annexe Building, Elgin         Mon to Fri 8am to 5pm

Speyside Community Centre, Aberlour        Mon to Fri 1pm to 9pm

(From 14 August 2018)                                Sat 10am to 4pm


General Information

There are over 800 Private Water Supplies in Moray serving over 2000 properties, both domestic and commercial.

These supplies come from springs, wells, boreholes, burns or lochs and unlike public supplies are generally not treated to remove contamination.

The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) Scotland Regulations 2017, The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and The Private Water Supplies (Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 are currently in force.

Details on these regulations and general advice on private water supplies can be found on External website logo


The Environmental Health Section takes samples and carries out Risk Assessments in accordance with the regulations. Supplies serving commercial or public activities, or more than 50 persons (Type A) are sampled annually as part of a programme for a wide range of parameters. There is a charge for this and the level of charge will depend upon the exact range of parameters for which the sample requires to be analysed. These will be determined following risk assessment, the main purpose of which is to identify the points on the supply where contamination is most likely, to ensure that Private Water Supplies are potable (drinking quality).

Supplies serving less than 50 persons for domestic use (Type B) will generally only be sampled on request for a restricted range of parameters and a charge is made for this service.


100% grants to an upper limit of £800 per household are available to improve the quality of the supply.

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

  • Your home or business is in the Moray Council 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 hugely 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 supply a grant application form which we will assist you to complete.

You should not start any of the improvement works before your application is approved and we have agreed that the expenditure is necessary. A risk assessment of your supply will be carried out by a member of staff from the Environmental Health Section to establish the details of improvements required to conform to the Private Water Supplies (Regulations) 2006. The cost of risk assessment (and any associated sampling during the risk assessment) will be borne by the Scottish Government provided a grant application is submitted.

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.

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

Lead in Drinking Water

In Scotland, lead does not occur naturally in significant concentrations in our water supplies. The problem arises when drinking water comes into contact with lead supply pipes, lead tanks, lead solder joints on copper pipes, or inferior quality brass fittings and taps, particularly for longer periods (e.g. overnight/ weekends / holidays periods). This can result in high lead levels in the drinking water supply.  Information on the health effects of exposure to lead can be found on the NHS Inform website. External website logo

Companies who may advise you regarding Private Water Supplies

This list is neither approved nor complete. The Moray Council gives no assurance that a Company listed below is either qualified or competent to carry out any private water supply work:

Contacts List (PDF)

Contact Us

Environmental Health
The Moray Council
Council Office
High Street, Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 543451


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