General Info & Problems
What is a Private Water Supply?
Most households in the UK are supplied by water from a public water utility company such as United Utilities, Yorkshire Water etc.. A private water supply is a supply NOT provided by one of these companies.
Water in a private water supply comes from a borehole, spring, well, stream or lake. Most water that comes from a source other than a borehole is properly called a “surface derived” source. For example, sometimes what appears to be a spring is really the outlet for field drains. In other cases shallow wells are really getting water from just below the soil surface and so can easily be contaminated.
Some springs will have their source deep under ground but they will be vulnerable to the ingress of surface water and therefore they would also be classified as a surface derived source. In the UK, springs that are not vulnerable to the ingress of surface water are very rare.
All surface derived sources (including most springs) will normally require some form of water treatment before they would be suitable for use in the home or as part of a production process.
Borehole water is less vulnerable to the ingress of “fresh” surface water, reducing the risk of contamination. However, approximately 50% of all boreholes fail to meet microbiological standards at some point through the year. In addition, many boreholes contain naturally occurring contaminants such as iron, manganese or “hardness” that will stain clothes, fixtures, fittings and sanitary ware or will make the water unpleasant to drink.
The risk of a borehole containing pathogens such as E.coli, Coliforms, Cryptosporidium and Giardia at some time during the year is moderate to high. It is therefore advisable to disinfect a borehole supply. The disinfection system of choice for most owners of private water supplies in the UK is Ultra Violet disinfection.
How much does a borehole cost?
We have been drinking the water from our spring for many years without any problems with illness, why should i get the water treated?
I don't want my spring water tasting like town water. Does filtering water alter its taste?
When people complain about the taste of “town water” they are normally referring to the taste imparted by chlorine (the same chemical used to treat swimming pools) used by the water companies. Chlorine is very rarely used to treat spring or borehole water, the system of choice being UV Disinfection. UV gets rid of all harmful bacteria without altering the taste of the water or removing any of its healthy minerals.
Why should we treat our spring water if we only drink bottled water?
We have received a letter from the Council saying that we have coliforms in the water, what does it mean?
New Private Water Supply Regulations – pdf »
– what do they mean for owners and consumers?
I have some concerns regarding your free of charge site survey: why would a company do this free of charge??? Are Springhill government funded/subsidised... Or is there a hidden catch?
The truth is, we do offer this service and there is no catch. We do not work for any other agency and we do not pass on any of your information to anyone else.
Before we can make any recommendations, we like to know the full picture. The easiest way to do this is for us to get in the car and visit site. Of course, being a business, we hope that you may spend money with us at some stage but I can assure you our first approach is as engineers. We want to understand the problem and identify the best solution for you. If its work that we can do, we would send you a quotation and then leave it with you to decide what you wanted to do.
What are the risks associated with drinking un-filtered spring water?
What is UV?
UV Disinfection is the approved method for getting rid of harmful bacteria from borehole, stream or spring water. UV will not alter the taste of your water or remove any of its healthy minerals.
Should I have a UV Buddy installed
Increasingly, Environmental Health Officers are notifying commercial customers that their UV systems need a fail to safe facility. This means that should the UV fail for any reason, for example a power outage, the UV system will cut off the flow of water and sound an alarm (audio and/or visual). In some cases, the EHO’s also recommend that telemetry is added to the system if equipment is installed in a remote area. The telemetry module on the UV sends a warning message to one or more mobile phones should a fault occur.
My daughter’s hair keeps turning a bluey / green, why?
Water that comes from a spring is likely to have passed over organic matter that makes it acidic. This type of water will attack copper pipe, causing leaks and blue staining of fixtures and fittings. The leached copper will also stain light coloured hair. pH Correction adjusts the pH of your water to a level where it is no longer a problem.
The copper pipes keep rotting away and causing leaks, why?
See the point above relating to Acidic water.
When washing clothes in the washing machine, the whites come out with orange staining, why?
This type of problem normally occurs on borehole supplies and is a clear indicator that the water contains high levels of iron or manganese. The water entering the house may look perfectly clear, however, once air is introduced into the water e.g. through agitation in a washing machine or dishwasher, the iron precipitates and leaves behind an orange or brown stain. Iron can be particularly problematic on farms where the sanitization fluids used to clean equipment cause the iron to precipitate, leaving unsightly stains on what is otherwise sterile equipment.
Costs & Solutions
How much does filtration cost?
Having installed over 7,000 systems in 15 years, we have discovered that no two supplies are the same. This means that the methods of treating a supply can vary widely dependent on the water quality and the amount of water used. However, as a basic guideline a typical family home fed by a spring might need a pH corrector, UV and pre-filter. An approximate price for this equipment would be £800 plus installation and VAT.
Borehole water containing high levels of iron and manganese might need a more sophisticated backwashing system. An approximate price for an iron reduction filter would be £1,200 plus installation and VAT.
What are the maintenance costs?
The cost of maintenance is dependent on the type of equipment installed. However, as a rough guideline, the cost of maintaining a pH corrector, UV and filter will be £100 a year (assuming the customer carries out the work). The cost of maintaining a typical borehole filter system (iron reduction, UV and pre-filter) will cost around £225.00 a year.
Will the price of our property be affected if we don’t get the water sorted?
In the letter that some Councils send to households that have failed their test, the EHO’s (Environmental Health Officers) include the following paragraph “Enforcement action may be taken where the (Private Water Supply) Regulations are breached. We also alert prospective purchasers during searches prior to buying property to any danger or lack of serviced treatment equipment”. So yes, the price of your property will be affected if you don’t do something about your water.
Do Springhill service Shakesby Iron reduction equipment?
Do Springhill service equipment supplied by Marshall Pumps / Cleanstream?
Yes. We are very familiar with the type of equipment installed by Marshall Pumps / Cleanstream. We fully guarantee our work and our rates are highly competitive.
Do Springhill service equipment supplied by Dales Water?
Do Springhill service equipment supplied by Waterline?
Do Springhill service equipment supplied by Springbore?
Yes. Although we rarely encounter equipment installed by Springbore we are familiar with the range of products this company promote. Springhill are a well established business with 8 full time engineers and a team of support staff. We provide a 24 hour response service throughout the North of England.
We use another company to service our equipment, why should we change to Springhill?
When asked why should we switch to Springhill, we simply say “Our prices tend to be lower, we do a better job than most of our competitors and we are quick to respond if a problem occurs”.
We love running our own company and we continue to build the business in the old fashioned way: by exchanging goods and services, effectively and at a profit to the mutual and lasting satisfaction of both buyer and seller.
GUARANTEED BEST PRICES
Visit our warehouse in Mytholmroyd near Halifax, ring 01422 833121 or send us an email. We will beat any genuine quotation for equipment (UV Disinfection units, UV bulbs, quartz sleeves, UV ballasts, Iron water filters, pH correctors, booster pumps, borehole pumps, pressure vessels, arsenic reduction, fluoride reduction, lead reduction, sediment filters and water pipes & fittings etc.). Equipment can be installed or provided on a supply only basis and we are happy to discuss DIY installations and service procedures with our customers.