Water supplies

Water scarcity (updated June 8, 2023)

With the current dry weather and advice from Scottish Water encouraging wise water use by the public, Midlothian Council is reminding owners of private Water Supplies (PWS) to take similar steps and report any concerns they have about water levels or quality to our Environmental Health team.

Private water supply users are encouraged to:

  • ensure your supply is secure, with no leaks
  • consider moving livestock to an alternative supply
  • take timed showers as opposed to baths
  • ensure washing machine and dishwasher are fully loaded
  • harvest rainwater for gardening use
  • contact neighbours, to discuss your contingency plan

The latest weekly water situation report published by SEPA shows that water levels in Midlothian have not reached an Amber Level of ‘moderate scarcity’, but continue to be in the “green” early warning category due to persistent dry ground conditions and low surface water flows. However it should be noted that Groundwater levels are falling as normal for the summer but so far remain within the normal range for the time of year.

Further tips on using water wisely can be found at https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/your-home/save-water

If any domestic private water supply users in Midlothian do have supply problems, they are encouraged to contact the Team  as soon as possible for advice by emailing environmentalhealth@midlothian.gov.uk

or phoning 0131 271 3345.  In an emergency situation we may be able to supply free bottled water for drinking only.

Updates on water supplies from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) can be found on their website: https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/water-scarcity/

Private water supply

A private water supply (rather than a 'mains' supply) can come from sources including:

  • boreholes
  • springs
  • burns
  • ponds
  • wells

Private water supplies are vulnerable to contamination that may cause infections or other ill effects.

Lead in water

In Scotland, large amounts of lead do not exist naturally in our water supplies. However there can be high lead levels when drinking water comes into contact with:

  • lead supply pipes
  • lead tanks
  • lead solder joints on copper pipes
  • inferior quality brass fittings and taps

particularly for longer periods, for example, overnight, weekends or holidays periods.

Health risks

Exposure to high levels of lead can be harmful to health especially for unborn babies and young children.

Visit NHS Inform for more information on lead poisoning

Arrange a water supply test

Mains water supply test

Call the Scottish Water Helpline to organise for a water sample to be taken from your property, free of charge:

  • 0800 077 8778

Private water supply test in Midlothian

Contact us if your are concerned with the quality of the water or think you may have high lead levels.

We will arrange to have your water tested, for a small charge, and can advise on reducing lead levels if necessary.

Improvement grants for private water supplies

Applications can be made by:

  • owner occupiers
  • landlords
  • tenants

Grants of up to £800 per property are available and in some circumstances additional funding may also be available.

We cannot issue grants for works which have already started or been completed.

For more information please contact us.