Winters Coming!

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Autumn is the time of year when we should be looking at our Private Water Supplies and carrying out a bit of preventative maintenance. Are the pipes properly insulated? Are there leaks that need attention? Do my filters need changing? … Continue reading

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A bit o’ muck waint’ hurt?

  1. However peer reviewed research tells us that children under 12 must not drink untreated ‘spring’ or stream water as they are 6 times more likely to suffer diahorea or vomiting than those drinking town water. If in doubt, fit a UV and pre-filter.A bit of muck won't hurt?
Posted in Borehole, iron reduction, Misc, ph correction, private water supplies, private water supply, Spring supply, UV disinfection, Water filter, Water Treatment | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Limestone and Sandstone

Here is a picture recently taken at Fountains Abbey. The right side of the wall is made of Limestone and right hand side is made of Sandstone.

The relevance is, if water passes over the Limestone it will pick up calcium and magnesium, making the water hard. Water passing over the Sandstone is probably going to be soft, acidic and may turn water brown / black.

Not a lot of people know that 🙂

Limestone and Sandstone

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Should i get my Spring Water tested?

We are often asked about water testing. I have enclosed a typical response in the hope that some people will find it helpful.

“With regard to your spring, if it is a true spring then it may not require filtration. However, true springs are very rare and most springs can best be described as surface derived sources. Even if the water comes from deep underground (which is unlikely) it may be mixed with surface water.
Bacteria can live in water for up to 3 months. So, the question is, can your ‘spring’ water get into your drinking tap within 3 months. Assuming the answer is yes, then from a risk assessment point of view you can assume that the water will fail to meet the standards for microbiological contamination. With regard to testing, research tells us that the quality of a surface derived source is determined by the prevailing weather conditions. This in effect means you could test in the morning and get a microbiological pass and test in the evening and get a fail.
However, one contaminant in water tends to remain the same throughout the year and that is pH. Anything below 7 means that your water is likely to cause corrosion of your copper pipes and hot water cylinder and lead to green / blue staining of fixtures and fittings.
Both microbiological contamination and pH are easily treated. We would however recommend a free of charge site survey before we provide a quotation as the type of equipment will vary according to water usage, space available and the overall quality of the water.”

Child wearing blue rain boots jumping into a puddle

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A growing business

A big thank you to all of our customers and suppliers. Set up in 2003 we are proud of our continual growth and positive feedback. Please visit our web site and view the media page for more information relating to what we do. Your feedback is always welcome.

In the rain

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Six good reasons to filter spring, stream, well or borehole water



Pictured above, Cryptosporidium.

“Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins and keeps skin healthy.” UK National Health Service guidelines.

1 Filtering your spring or borehole water will encourage you and your family to drink more water.

Filtered water is nicer to drink than unfiltered water, why else would people buy so much bottled water or spend so much on jug filters.

Most people who drink water from a spring or borehole supply comment on how beautiful it tastes. However, some waters derived from these private water supplies can have an unpleasant taste or odour. This may be due to iron, hydrogen sulphide, peat or several other contaminants.

Passing water through appropriate filters can greatly improve the taste of your water, encouraging you and your family to drink more water.

2. Filtered water is safer.

Water from a private water supply is totally natural. That is, it contains whatever pathogens that might be lurking in the environment that surrounds the source of the supply. In years gone-by that might have been cholera, typhoid or dysentery. Today it’s more likely to be Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Campylobacter or E.coli – pathogens that might not be as life threatening as the “the bloody flux”, but still, not very pleasant

Treating your water with a properly sized and maintained UV purifier will make your water safe to drink.

3. Filtered water is cleaner.

There are very few private water supplies (springs, boreholes, wells or streams) that do not contain particulates. This becomes clear when filters are installed as they start block up, sometimes very quickly, dependent on the prevailing weather conditions

As a general guideline, if your water changes colour after heavy rain, then it is highly probable that surface water is getting into the supply. These contaminants may not always be harmful to health but they are likely to make your water discoloured – and who wants to take a bath in water that looks like tea?

Passing water through appropriate filters will clean your water and make it look wholesome and clean.

4. Filtering your water puts you in control.

Filtering water as it enters your house offers a fine level of control over the quality of your drinking, cooking and bathing water. If you have any doubts about the quality of your water, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

Properly sized and maintained filters will greatly improve the quality of your drinking water ensuring that it is consistently wholesome.

5. Filtered water is more convenient than bottled water.

If your water is filtered and you change the filters according to the manufacturers instructions, its one less thing to worry about when you go shopping. “Do I need to buy bottled water? No—I have beautiful filtered water at home, on tap.”

6. Filtered water is cheaper than bottled or jug filtered water.

In the long run, it’s probably cheaper to filter drinking water than buy bottled water and it’s kinder to the environment. If you’re looking to save money in 2013, quitting the bottled water habit and choosing to filter your drinking water is a step in the right direction – every little bit helps, so they say.

Final note.

If you decide water filtration is not for you, I suggest that you do not drink untreated spring, borehole, well or stream water unless you boil it first.


Posted in Borehole, iron reduction, private water supplies, private water supply, Spring supply, UV disinfection, Water filter, Water Treatment, Water Well | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Has anyone died from drinking spring or borehole water in the UK.

Photo child n parent Private Water Supplies photo springhill

Shown below is a Question and Answer session conducted in a public health on-line discussion group. I thought this might be of interest to our readers.

Geoff Question: I remember attending a training session presented by David Clapham. In this presentation, I believe I heard David say that – drinking water from private water supplies in the UK, can and does, kill people.

Am I remembering this correctly?

Answer from David Clapham (Principal Associate RH Environmental): I don’t think so Geoff.

It makes people ill, of that there is no doubt. And there have been several outbreaks associated with the potentially deadly E. coli O157. But I don’t know of any recorded cases of deaths from PWS in the UK and can’t remember seeing any in any papers I have read. But they may be there and I have missed them.

Any updates from other members???

Best wishes

Answer from Keith Osborn (Independent Scientific Advisor):

Like David, I can’t recall any deaths in recent history associated with a private supply in the UK. As most of us know, that’s not because of the high standard of design, construction and operation of these supplies but rather because neither the animal nor the human populations are excreting the pathogens that routinely kill. If you go back to the 1920s and the 1930s, typhoid was still an issue in this country and people were dying because they had consumed poorly treated public supplies, most famously at Croydon in 1937 when there were 297 primary cases and 43 deaths during a single incident. Fifty years later, the Director of the then Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre and his colleagues reported that during the period 1921-1930 there were 4 waterborne typhoid outbreaks in which 459 people were reported ill and 50 died. From 1931-1940, there were 3 outbreaks with 686 made sick and more than 77 deaths. (Galbraith, N., Barrett, N., and Stanwell-Smith, R. (1987). Water and disease after Croydon: A review of water-borne and water-associated disease in the UK 1937-86. Journal of the Institution of Water and Environmental Management 1, 7-21.) Their table summarising waterborne outbreaks did not report any deaths after this time, although a small number may have occurred up until 1950. The risk is small, but it hasn’t gone away completely.

Answer from David Humphrey (Env Health Officer): Wondered whether you had seen this?

Answer from Geoff Nemec: Thank you guys for your answers. As we know, it’s a fine line we tread when we try to explain the risks associated with private water supplies to users and owners. To maintain credibility it’s important to not overstate the risks, so, it’s good to have this important point clarified by the pro’s.

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Chartered member of the Society of the Environment


Proud to announce my listing as a chartered environmentalist. Link above. Thanks to my fellow directors at Springhill for supporting my application.

To visit the Society of the Environment web site click the link below

Chartered member of the Society of the Environment

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Part 3. This Green and Pleasant Land. Drilling a borehole in the UK.

In this video, Geoff Nemec films the team at National Water Wells drilling a borehole in the South Pennine hills.

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Private Water Supplies media page


Private Water Supplies media page including podcasts, videos and articles.

Springhill Water Services private water supplies media page. Articles, podcasts and videos produced by Geoff Nemec MSc, CIWEM, CEnv

Posted in Booster pump, Borehole, iron reduction, Misc, ph correction, private water supplies, private water supply, Spring supply, UV disinfection, Water filter, Water Treatment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment