Private Distribution Systems

Private Distribution Systems (PDS) are mains water supplies that are not totally the responsibility of the water undertaker (e.g. Affinity Water) because the mains water supply is onwardly distributed by a second party. Classification is complex, however where a PDS is determined within the area, it primarily becomes the responsibility of the Council for safety enforcement.

In the simplest terms, the following is required for a PDS:

  • A mains water supply
  • Multiple buildings
  • A 3rd party being supplied with water

At sites with multiple buildings, if the buildings are all owned and occupied by the same organisation, it is not a PDS as there would not be any supply to a 3rd party.  Examples of potential sites include industrial estates, business parks, college campuses, caravan parks and campsites.

The first stage for the Council to complete is to identify the potential sites and work together with the water undertaker to compare records. It may be necessary for questionnaires to be sent to these sites in order to obtain further information.  When an outcome has been reached, the relevant person for each PDS will be contacted.

At a minimum of every five years each PDS needs to be risk assessed and monitored, however it is possible that this would be more frequent depending on the outcome of the initial risk assessment.  The cost of risk assessing and monitoring is charged to the relevant person on a cost recovery basis and no profit is made by the Council.