​​​​​​​Private water supplies - Emergency assistance scheme

Further to The Highland Council’s advice to private water supplies users on 10th July, the Scottish Government has now implemented an emergency assistance scheme given the severe drought conditions. The Council will work with our community partners to assist vulnerable people on private water supplies.

The emergency supply is for domestic use and will be prioritised by the Council to those of greatest need. Water will be provided by Scottish Water or the Council where emergency assistance is required.

Private water supply owners experiencing difficulties may make their own arrangements for assistance through a private contractor or by purchasing bottled water supplies from local retailers. They can now also contact the Council’s Environmental Health team for advice and to seek emergency assistance to secure alternative supplies.

Environmental Health will prioritise the requests for emergency assistance from individual users of private water supplies based on the numbers and vulnerabilities of the people affected. They will also provide advice to users of these supplies on managing these supplies during the current dry conditions and on possible improvements that can be made to the supply for long term improvement.

When a request for emergency assistance has been made, Environmental Health will work with Scottish Water to put in place a solution, utilising the best available resources from both parties. There are pressures on resources and it may be necessary in the immediate short term for the customer, if they have transport, to buy bottled water, or fill suitable containers (if they have them) from an alternative supply.

The Council urges everyone whether connected to the public or a private supply to use water wisely in the coming weeks to ease the pressure facing the water network and to help conserve water supplies. Owners of holiday cottages on private supplies should advise guests of the need to conserve water.

With the exception of sealed bottled drinking water - when using temporary water supplies, people are advised to boil water taken from bowsers or storage containers for their drinking water.

The emergency assistance arrangements reflect the current situation and will be reviewed as the summer progresses and will end once water scarcity situations are returned to normal conditions.

Requests for emergency assistance in the Highlands can be made by calling 01349 886603 or emailing env.health@highland.gov.uk

18 Jul 2018
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