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Private water supplies

​A private water supply is one that is not provided by a water company, such as a well, borehole or a spring.

They are found in the more rural areas of South Gloucestershire. The supply often serves just one home, but some supplies serve several.

What can contaminate a private supply

Micro-organisms (bacteria and viruses) are mainly a risk to supplies in farming areas where animals are grazed or manure is spread, particularly during heavy rainfall. Cesspits or septic tanks are also common causes of water pollution.

Chemicals used in agriculture or forestry like pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers can contaminate supplies. Chemicals can also be found in discharges from industrial or commercial premises. Chemicals which occur naturally – like iron or manganese, may affect the colour and taste of water, but are not usually harmful.

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