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Wise Water Use and water scarcity advice for Private Water Supplies

Wise Water Use and water scarcity advice for Private Water Supplies
20 July 2021

With the current dry weather and advice from Scottish Water encouraging wise water use by the public, Orkney Islands 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 OIC’s Environmental Health team.

There is a total of 242 private water supplies in Orkney, of which 208 are 'domestic' (serving individual households) and 34 are 'regulated' (serving commercial properties such as B+Bs, self-catering, etc and places open to the public, such as community halls).

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 Orkney continues to be at Amber Level ‘moderate scarcity’, 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

It’s important to stress no problems with private water supplies in Orkney have been reported to Environmental Health at present but if any private water users in Orkney do start to have supply problems, they are encouraged to contact the Council's Environmental Health team as soon as possible for advice by email, or phone 01856 873535 Ext 2801.

Updates on water supplies can be found on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) website.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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