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During a period of water scarcity Highland Council supporting Strathspey and Badenoch users of private water supplies with its Environmental Health Team advising users to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water

By Ian Duncan

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Water shortage issues may affect private supplies.
Water shortage issues may affect private supplies.

Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising users of private water supplies to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water.

There have been dry groundwater and lower river levels reported in some areas of the Highlands, which may have an impact on some surface derived private water supplies.

There are more than 2500 private water supplies in the Highlands serving a population of more than 30,000. These supplies are located in rural areas where treated mains water connections are not available.

Officers are advising consumers to use their water wisely and take time to check your private water supply system for any water leaks or risks of contamination.

Senior environmental health officer Patricia Sheldon said: "In recent weeks, officers have received reports of some private water supplies that are experiencing exceptionally dry conditions.

"We are advising users to check their supplies and think about ways to reduce their water usage so as to conserve their drinking water. Also consider what you’ll do if you run out of water and think about stocking up on bottled water. If you run a business that relies on a private water supply you should consider how a lack of water will affect your trade.

"Whilst the council is not responsible for the maintenance of a private water supply or required to provide water, a lack of safe drinking water is a significant public health concern. It is for this reason that the Scottish Government has announced a local authority funded emergency scheme for the supply of bottled water for drinking water.

"Bottled water is available to domestic households where their private water supply has run dry and where users are unable to make alternative arrangements. If you feel you may need assistance or have some concerns about your private water supply, please get in touch with environmental health on 01349 886603 or email envhealth@highland.gov.uk and officers will try to assist."

In addition to the emergency bottled water, the council is also able to offer a grant of up to £800 per property to undertake improvements to the supply and water quality. Further information on the grant and eligibility criteria can be found on the council website or by contacting Environmental Health on 01349 886603.

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