5 Takeaways from the Housing Forum
Private water supplies was the topic covered at the first ever SLE National Housing Forum. The Forum is a way for members to come together round the table and share experiences, problems and practical solutions to housing-related problems.
Marcelina Hamilton, our Policy Adviser and co-ordinator of the Forum gives us her top five takeaways from the meeting.
1. The (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 assume that the council will take one sample per year per supply. Many local authorities do not have the resource to facilitate this. Therefore, it is imperative landlords keep good maintenance records.
2. According to Perth and Kinross Council who attended the Forum, 30% of water tests fail. A third of these failed tests are due to bacteria. Members who live in the Perth and Kinross area must be pro-active in ensuring that their water supply meets the required standards. This will likely start with them understanding what is required of them as owners or landlords. From there, they should research into the advice and support which is available to them, as well as any potential options open to them as they make necessary improvements.
3. The lead standard is to come down from 10 micrograms per litre to 5 in 2024. Unfortunately, digging up and replacing lead pipes is an expensive process, but one which undoubtedly must happen in many instances in order to make water supplies compliant with this new standard.
4. The Scottish Government intends to comply with the incoming new EU directive – this will be more onerous than the 2017 regulations. This will capture every private water supply that serves more than one property. While we are unsure at this stage of what this new directive will say, we will keep our membership updated as information becomes available.
5. Some people may be surprised to learn that connecting to the mains is not a particularly costly process (average £800/£900 connection charge). However, it can be a time consuming and onerous process. Members who wish to find out more may wish to read Scottish Water’s processes for establishing a new connection or to contact HighWater Scotland to see what solutions they can offer.
The next National Housing Forum will take place in the spring. Spaces are limited and must be booked online, so please check our website regularly for the event date or register your interest with Marcelina Hamilton.