Charges on the cards for tap water tests

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<Digimax V700 / Kenox V10 / Digimax V10 >

THE council is considering charging householders with private water supplies for the tests it has to carry out.

Currently, Calderdale Council picks up the entire bill and shares it among all council tax payers.

But it will soon have to undertake new duties as part of the Private Water Supply Regulations introduced by the Government in 2009.

The regulations demand risk assessments of supplies every five years and rigorous tests.

It is estimated that the new duties will cost the council more than £30,000 per year.

In a response to the current financial climate, the council is considering a system to cover the costs by placing a specific charge on those who receive the service.

There are some 1,550 households with private water supplies, mainly in the more rural areas of Calderdale.

It is not intended to apply the new charge to single properties in receipt of their own private water supply but only to groups of two or more homes which share a supply as well as commercial premises with a private supply.

Mark Thompson, the council’s head of housing and the environment, said: “We are consulting with all the affected households on the principle of the charge and the details of how any charge might be made.

“The results of the consultation will then be reported to the cabinet to help it make an informed decision”.