Water quality

The Environmental Management Team carry out regular sampling and monitoring of water used within the Chichester District, which includes:

  • The risk assessment and monitoring of Private Water Supplies and Private Distribution Systems.
  • Providing advice regarding problems with mains water supplies.
  • Monitoring and publishing links to the bathing water quality sampling results for the three main EU designated bathing beaches in the district.
  • Monitoring and publishing the water quality sampling results from Chichester Harbour.
  • Publishing details of Storm Water Effluent Discharges from the water treatment works and sewer overflows that discharge to the Harbour.

In addition, monitoring of water from a bottled water processing plant is regularly undertaken by the Health Protection Team.

Drinking water

Drinking water to residential or commercial premises may either be supplied by a mains supply, a private distribution system or a private water supply, such as a borehole or spring.

Most properties in the district are served with water via a mains supply, which is provided by a water company. Some rural properties however, get their water from a Private Water Supply such as a spring or well.

Mains water

There are three water companies that supply mains water to the majority of the properties in the Chichester District. These are listed below with contact information:

  • Portsmouth Water Ltd.
    General Enquiries: 023 9249 9888
    Emergency (24 hour service): 023 9247 7999
     
  • Southern Water 
    General Enquiries: 0330 303068
    Emergency: 0330 303068
     
  • South East Water PLC
    General Enquiries: 0333 000 0002
    Emergency (24 hour service): 0333 000 0365

If you have any concern about the quality of your mains water you should, in the first instance contact your water supplier who will investigate your query. If after any investigation you are still concerned about the water quality, you can contact the council who can offer advice, and where appropriate investigate the problem.

Where you are concerned about other issues regarding your water supplier you should contact the Office of Water Services (OFWAT). OFWAT are the economic regulator for the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales.

Private distribution systems

There are many Private Distribution Systems in the Chichester District, where mains water is provided to properties though a privately owned and maintained network of pipes.

Under the Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 the District Council have a duty to risk assess and monitor all Private Distribution Systems.  If you are a consumer of water from a Private Distribution System and you have any queries about the quality of your water you should contact the council's Environmental Health Department.

Private water supplies

There are currently about 70 Private Water Supplies in the Chichester District serving approximately 1,500 properties.

These Private Water Supplies are fed from water extracted from natural springs, wells or boreholes. Some serve individual properties but many supply water to more than one property and in some cases this include quite a significant supply network to a large number of properties.

Under the Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 the District Council have a duty to risk assess and monitor the quality of the water from all Private Water Supplies that provide water to two or more properties. The owners and consumers of Private Water Supplies that only serve single properties can request also request a risk assessment and monitoring.

The District Council charges the owners of supplies for carrying out risk assessments, sampling visits and investigations. We also pass on sample analysis costs.  (Please refer to the related documents for further information on charges).

The District Council monitors the quality of water supplied by sampling for certain parameters specified in the legislation and for any additional chemical or bacteriological parameters, that are identified as potential contaminants of any given supply as a result of the risk assessment process.

How often we monitor, depends on the size of the supply (in terms of daily volume of water or commercial use) and the result of the risk assessment. Risk Assessments are useful in identifying potential improvements to supplies that will reduce the risk of contamination. Where supply owners rectify defects or put other control measures in place to minimise the risk, the frequency of monitoring may reduce (to the legal minimum level). In general, large domestic or commercial supplies will be monitored 2-4 times per year. Small domestic supplies will generally be monitored once every 5 years, although monitoring frequencies may increase if the risk assessment shows there is a risk of contamination of the water. Single domestic supplies are only monitored at the request of the owner/consumer of the supply.

The council charge for monitoring services. If an officer is required to come and take a sample from a premises, there is a visit cost of £100. We also pass on the cost of the laboratory analysis, at cost, to the supply owner, up to a maximum of £500 for large and/or commercial supplies or up to £25 for small domestic supplies.

It is the responsibility of the owner of a Private Water Supply to ensure that the supply is protected against any potential source of contamination. Where a failure in the quality is detected by the council, the owner will be required to take whatever action is necessary to ensure compliance with the required standards.

If you are a consumer of water from a Private Water Supply and you have any queries about the quality of the water you should contact the council.

The District Council may charge owners of supplies for other services provided under Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016.  For example, where we have to undertake investigations following failures of water quality or wholesomeness monitoring.  These charges and the ones detailed above are outlined in Annex 1 - Charges under PWS Regulations 2016

Bottled water

There is a bottled water processor within the Chichester District that produces Natural Mineral Water.

The Health Protection Team monitor the quality of the water being bottled. This is a requirement under the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003.

Name:
Water Quality
Address:
Chichester District Council
East Pallant House
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1TY
United Kingdom
Telephone:
01243 534598

Recreational waters

Chichester district is located in a beautiful area of the south coast, which boasts an extensive area of coastline consisting of beaches and inland waters. There are three EU Designated Bathing Beaches and Chichester Harbour is very popular for sailing and other recreational activities.

The council is very aware of the importance of good water quality in these areas and together with other agencies carry out water quality monitoring.

Latest bathing water sampling results

The bathing water quality results are updated weekly, during the bathing season (May - September).

Bathing waters

The council in conjunction with the Environment Agency monitors the quality of the seawater along the coastline during the bathing season. The quality of the water has been consistently good. The three main beaches, West Wittering, Bracklesham Bay and East Beach, Selsey have been awarded the Solent Water Quality Award in recognition of their consistently good water quality.

Chichester Harbour Recreational Waters

Chichester Harbour is one of the most intensively used recreational waters in the UK. It is used by a large number of small boats and is extensively used for sail training. There is also considerable harvesting of shellfish within the harbour.

Therefore, the council, in conjunction with the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, monitor the quality of the water within the Chichester Harbour. Although there are no regulatory standards for such waters, the council use the EU Bathing Water Standards as a guide. These standards can be readily interpreted by harbour users. However, these can only be viewed as an indicator of potential pollution levels as the standards can only officially be applied to EU designated bathing waters.

There are a huge number of factors that can affect the bacteriological quality of the water in the harbour; rain, temperature, sunlight, height of swell and the state of the tide.

There are several possible sources of pollution including diffuse runoff (that may include the faeces of livestock, wild animals and birds) from the land surrounding the harbour and its many tributaries. There can also be "Storm Water Discharges" from the Southern Water Waste Treatment Works and related sewer overflows. These discharges consist of sewage effluent mixed with rain water and can occur following periods of extended or heavy rain. Notifications of "Storm Water Discharges" are published on this page.

Generally the quality of the water in the harbour is excellent, but water quality can be compromised after periods of extended or heavy rain (especially if a "Storm Water Discharge" is in progress), low tides also reduce the dilution factor applied to any of the contamination sources.

Southern Water notify Chichester District Council's Environmental Management Team when their telemetry alerts them to a discharge. We then upload news of the discharge here on the website.

Swimming pools

The Environmental Management Team investigate complaints about the quality of swimming pool water in pools open to the general public.  This includes seasonal outdoor pools and indoor pools open all year at a variety of premises such as sports centres, hotels, holiday camps and schools.

Where necessary advice is given to the pool operator regarding water treatment. In cases where gross contamination is found instructions are given for the pool to be closed to the public until such times as further sampling indicates it is safe to use again.