Monitoring drinking water quality

Mains water is supplied by Southern Water and they carry out extensive monitoring to ensure that is safe to drink. 

We do not monitor mains drinking water but Southern Water share the results of their monitoring with us, and alert us if there's an incident that may affect the quality of mains water supplies. For more information please see the:

In the interests of public health we do monitor drinking water which is not provided and regulated by Southern Water. This includes private water supplies (from boreholes and wells) and water supplies on ships, which may be stored for long periods of time.

Private water supplies

Under the Private Water Supply Regulations 2009 we have a duty to monitor any private water supplies that serve two or more properties. 

  • Adur: There are currently three private water supplies in Adur; two are located on farms and one at a residence. They are all boreholes and supply a total of 20 properties.
  • Worthing: There are no private water supplies in Worthing. 

Water is sampled according to the size of the private water supply and its risk rating. Samples are analysed by the Health Protection Agency, checking for the presence of any potentially harmful bacteria, metals or chemicals and assessing taste and odour.

For further information please see: 

Details on private water sampling fees can be found in the:

Water supplies on ships

Bacteria can form in water supplies on ships when it has been stored for too long in the tanks.

We can conduct sampling on board vessels berthed at Shoreham Harbour at the request of shipping agents. This is usually done as part of a ship sanitation inspection (see below). Testing is also sometimes required if a number of a ship's crew have become ill and the water supply needs to be investigated. 

Samples taken are tested at the Environmental Microbiology Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath.

If high levels of potentially harmful bacteria are found it is recommended that the water tanks are emptied and the system is flushed through before being refilled with fresh water.

Water sampling fees and changes can be found in the:

Ship sanitation inspections

The Public Health & Regulation Team offer a ship sanitation inspection service to monitor and control the health risks posed by ships, their cargoes and crews. The service involves boarding and inspecting ships and examining food preparation facilities. If the inspection reveals no evidence of a risk to public health, a ship sanitation certificate will be issued. This service is subject to staff availability.

Ship sanitation inspection charges can be found in the:

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Page last updated: 30 July 2021

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