The Scottish Government’s water regulator is urging those who need to improve private supplies to take advantage of grant funding which is now available.

Drinking Water Quality Regulator, Sue Petch, said: "Where tourist accommodation is served by a private water supply, a notice is required to be displayed to make visitors aware.

“Those wishing to improve their private supply can make use of grant funding provided by the Scottish Government. Anyone seeking advice or financial support can access this by contacting the environmental health department of their local authority."

According to a new national report most private water supplies in Scotland comply with drinking water standards but a significant minority need to make further improvements.

Around 3.4 per cent of the Scottish population receive their water from a private water supply rather than from Scottish Water. The care and maintenance of these supplies is the responsibility of the owners and users. Some of these supplies serve hotels, tourist accommodation and other businesses.

In 2015, a total of 42,361 tests were taken from Type A private water supplies – those serving more than 50 people or a commercial activity. Of these, 95 per cent met the required standard. However, 12.3 per cent of samples taken from Type A supplies for E. coli last year did not comply with the standard, which indicates they are not receiving the appropriate treatment necessary to make the water safe. There has been a small improvement on last year’s figure of 13.4 per cent.

The Regulator added: “It is important that private water supplies are well managed and maintained so that they are safe to drink. There is much that people responsible for a private water supply can do to protect water sources and ensure that there is an appropriate and robust treatment process in place – and although E. coli levels have improved on last year, there is still plenty of opportunity for improvement.

“I am working with local authorities and other stakeholders to improve awareness and explain how people can take care of their private water supply. I urge everyone with a private water supply to take advantage of the support and advice that can be accessed through their local environmental health department.”