Water testing

Testing does not make water safe and it can be costly. Before contacting a laboratory you are advised to obtain appropriate advice as follows:

Mains water
If you have concerns about the quality of your tap water, you should first approach your water supplier and explain the problem to them. Companies will normally take a sample in response to a complaint from a consumer depending on the nature of the complaint.

Additionally, your water supply company tests water daily in your area and will give you the results free of charge on request. This is also available on many water company websites.

If you are unhappy with the actions taken by your water company in response to any drinking water quality complaint, the Drinking Water Inspectorate can be asked to review the complaint handling performance of the company. The Drinking Water Inspectorate does not have the facilities to take or test water on behalf of consumers. The inspectorate may, on occasion, commission water sampling if there is a clear concern for the wider public interest.

Private water supplies
Your local authority will provide advice on any testing and arrange for this to be carried out on your behalf.


A list of laboratories that carry out water testing can be found here.


Page reviewed: 6 September 2018
Page modified: 6 September 2018

Drinking Water Inspectorate