Buying a House with a Private water supply such as a Borehole or Spring

Many properties in rural areas do not have mains water due to lack of access and often draw their water from a borehole or water spring. Whenever a property with a private water supply is being purchased/sold it’s worthwhile a potential buyer carrying out a detailed report and testing of the supply prior to purchasing. This private water supply report can determine the quality and functionality of the water supply ensuring you avoid unnecessary problems in the future. As private water supplies are flagged up on an increasing number of property searches, mortgage lenders often insist that the water is tested for wholesomeness before releasing funds. On many occasions the treatment will need to be upgraded by the vendor before the sale can go through.

Case study

Springbore Ltd recently carried out a home buyer’s survey in North Yorkshire on a property that was up for sale with its own borehole water supply. We were asked by the potential buyer to assess the installation and check the borehole water quality. We carried out water sampling of the raw and treated water. These samples were sent to a UKAS accredited laboratory for analysis.

The results showed mineral levels within the recommended drinking water standards but failures on some bacteria. The borehole water filter equipment was working but required further equipment to maintain a safe water supply, namely a pre-filter and UV unit for bacteria control. The water filter control valves were also old and the pressure vessel had lost most of it’s air charge so it was recommended that these were also changed

We produced a written water quality report highlighting all the potential issues and suggested works that would supply drinkable water to the property. We quoted for the works required and this enabled the buyer to negotiate a reduced price for the property.

Filtration Remedial Works

Once the sale had gone through we were instructed by the new owner to update the filtration equipment to make it compliant with the current private water supply regulations ensuring that the water supply was safe.
Replacing the old water filter control valves with modern electronic valves.
Replacing the failed pressure vessel with a diaphragm type complete with 5 year warranty.
Servicing the existing water filtration equipment to ensure iron and manganese levels were controlled.
Installing a pre filter and UV steriliser to provide bacterial control.
Provided a warranty and maintenance schedule.

Checklist when buying a property with a Private Water Supply

What sort of supply is it? – Borehole? – Spring? – Well? –Stream?
Has it been regularly and properly maintained?
Is there any periodic routine maintenance required (filter/strainer changes/cleaning, tank cleaning, pipe flushing etc.)?
Is the supply solely for this property or is it a shared supply. What rights do you have to any shared supply and how are the costs divided – maintenance/consumables/electricity etc.
Does the supply have the correct water treatment in place (Filtration, particle filters, UV steriliser etc.)?
Has the water supply ever been interrupted or run dry? Does the water quality change with the weather – after heavy rain or drought?
Do the owners have a diagram detailing where any underground pipe or cables are run, water catchment areas and tanks, control equipment
Do the owners have a recent water analysis carried out by their local council to prove the water is in compliance with the drinking water standards?

If you’re looking at buying a property with a private water supply and would like some advice or to arrange a home buyers survey then feel free to contact us.

Borehole Water Supply