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Planning your development

Housing development in our region can affect the levels of nitrogen and phosphate in the wastewater we treat.

Strict permits from our regulators govern nutrient removal. So, we must consider the impact that any local development will have on our ability to operate to our expected standards.

For more information, please read our position statement for nitrates in the Solent.

If you're a member of the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and want to understand how we respond to planning consultations and how this relates to our obligations as a water and sewerage company, please read through our briefing note for LPA’s on Infrastructure Provision.

To prevent environmental harm and safeguard the special water environment in Chichester Harbour, we have worked with the Environment Agency to provide a joint position statement on managing new development in the Apuldram catchment. We prepared this statement with the involvement of the Chichester Water Quality Group.

We assess planning policy consultations, including Local Plans, by taking into account our guiding principles. These are in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. You can find out more by reading our Local Plans Guiding Principles.

Natural England has issued guidance on achieving nutrient-neutral development in the Stour region. This is to reduce the impact of additional nutrients arising from new homes. Following the guidance, we have prepared a positon statement on nitrates in the Stour.

In the Sussex North water resource zone we have identified a risk to optimising the operation of our existing groundwater abstraction at Hardham. This risk comes from the uncertainty about how much additional supply would be delivered given the environmental impact on groundwater abstraction.

To help understand this uncertainty and what it means for new developments, we have prepared a position statement for the Sussex North Water Supply Zone.

Due to the potential odour nuisance from Waste Water Treatment Works, no sensitive development should be located within the 1.5 OdU odour contour of the WWTW.

Developers will need to employ a specialist consultant to carry out an Odour Assessment. This assessment will need to be to a specification that has been agreed in advance with ourselves to identify the 1.5 OdU contour. To discuss and agree on the Scope of the odour assessment please contact us.

You can also find details of our odour assessment charges here.

If you're building within a source protection zone, you’ll need to ensure you protect the public underground water supply sources. You can do this by contacting the Environment Agency and ourselves to discuss your proposals.

Water Regulations

Owners and occupiers of premises and anyone who installs plumbing systems or water fittings have a legal duty to ensure that their water systems comply with the Regulations.

Poorly installed plumbing that causes contamination of the water supply could lead to prosecution and fines. Also, the potentially considerable cost of restoring the water system so that it is fit for drinking purposes.

We are responsible for the enforcement of the Regulations in our water supply area. We'll conduct random inspections of new and existing installations to check that the regulations are being applied.

It is a criminal offence to knowingly breach the Regulations and offenders may face prosecution.

Complying with the Regulations prevents drinking water from becoming contaminated with water designed for other uses such as central heating, washing machines, dishwashers and industrial processes.

Where a breach of the Regulations is found, we require it to be remedied as soon as practicable, subject to the severity of risk. If it poses a risk to health, the supply to the premises may be disconnected immediately.

Retailer Portal Help Guide

This may be because the SPID is not registered under Southern Water. Please check you have the correct wholesaler. Or, it may be that the SPID has not been registered in our internal systems. Please complete our retailer portal issues form.

We'll send all emails, including notifications, to the email address registered on 
your Schedule 2 documents.

Yes, you will receive notification within 24 working hours of us receiving your submitted form. This notification will let you know whether your request has been accepted or rejected, or if we need more information.

We will send an email notification if we need any further action to complete a request, i.e. accept a quote.

Please quote the case number. 

The submitted folder shows all requests submitted by that retailer.

Currently, Southern Water can only accept individual requests through the retailer portal.

Once you have your WSSL, please contact Ben Day (Retailer Relationship Manager) at Ben.Day@southernwater.co.uk to begin the onboarding process.

We tailor both report and meeting frequency depending on the needs of the retailer and the number of SPIDS registered and/or service requests generated by that retailer.

We follow the RWG Good Practice Guidelines for notifying retailers of incidents and unplanned events. You can find these on the MOSL website. 

Retailers can submit a general query using Market Form F/01.

We are offering gap site incentive payments from April 2021.

We do not currently offer a non-household meter reading service.

Retailers operating in our area can appoint an accredited entity to undertake temporary disconnections for non-payment and meter exchange activities.

We do. Find out more about our Alternate Eligible Credit Support arrangements.

Retailer Trade effluent

You'll need to submit an application on the Bilateral Hub as a G2A or G2B process. The application forms can be found on the MOSL website.

The completed form must be signed by the authorised signatory of the applying company and attached to the service request.

Please refer to our current Wholesale statement of principles and charges.

Trade effluent is covered in sections:

  • Section 2, Part 3 for primary charges
  • Section 4, Part 12 for non-primary charges

Please contact us if you have any further queries.

Recovery of incurred costs

Including:

  • The recovery of extraordinary costs incurred by Southern Water due to an event caused by your customer. This includes but isn't limited to damage to our assets or increased operational costs

  • The recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water through pre-emptive measures. We'll undertake these to minimise the impact on our assets in anticipation of a breach (or breaches) of your trade effluent consent
Formal sampling charge

The recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water in respect of formal sampling undertaken in accordance with our policies and procedures, due to failing to comply with your customer's consent.

 

Type

Charge

Recovery of incurred costs

Determined on an individual incident basis

Formal sampling charge (7am - 6pm)

£255.00 per sample

Formal sampling charge (6pm - 7am)

£480.00 per sample

 

As per the G4 process, when all sample analysis is completed and verified the results are sent to the trade effluent customer by email. The results are also made available to their retailer through our retailer portal.

Retailers will be sent an email notifying them when results are added.

You can find the results under Section 5: Trade Effluent - G Forms – TE monitoring and search by SPID.

Consent conditions may require flow measuring equipment such as a private meter to be provided, maintained and records kept. The cost of installing and maintaining such equipment will be the responsibility of the discharger.

Assessment of flow by other means such as private water meters or process meters may also be used by trade effluent dischargers. This can aid with calculation, accuracy of billing, and improved monitoring.

Any flow measuring equipment and installation used for trade effluent billing should be to MCERTS standard.

Yes. You'll need to register private meters used to calculate trade effluent bills in the market.

Please notify us that your customer has installed, exchanged, or has an issue with a private meter with a G01 which will be submitted on the Bilateral Hub. Please complete this form and attach to the G01 enquiry.  Please refer to the Market Operational Codes (Schedule 1 Part 3) under B12, B13 and B14 to view the processes that you may need to follow.

We will issue a trade effluent consent for discharges greater than six months duration. If you have an existing consent and want to move location within our region, you will need to apply for a new consent before the move.

A temporary consent will be valid for six months, after which the consent will automatically end. A temporary consent cannot be extended. Should a temporary discharge extend beyond six months, the retailer must submit a new temporary consent application.

Examples of temporary discharges are:

  • Land remediation
  • Ground dewatering
  • Building site discharges
  • Pipework cleaning and flushing

We may issue a temporary trade effluent consent for multiple sites, called multi-site temporary consent. To qualify for this consent, the discharges must be of very low risk to us. We'll assess this at the time of application.

The consent will contain a number of conditions including those that control the quality and quantity of the discharge. Most consents will contain numeric limits for one or more of the parameters listed below.

Volume

Expressed in cubic meters per 24-hour period, the volume is limited and assessed on an individual basis. This prevents overloading of the receiving treatment works.

Discharge flowrate

Expressed in litres per second, the discharge flowrate is limited and assessed on an individual basis to prevent sewer flooding.

pH

The standard range of pH in our region is 6 to 10. Extremes of pH can create unsafe working environments, affect the biological treatment systems in the receiving treatment works and damage the sewer network.

Temperature

We limit this to a maximum of 43°C at the point of discharge to the sewer. This is to protect the staff working in our sewers, minimise odours and reduce the risk of explosive atmospheres.

Ammonia

Ammonia is classified as toxic and dangerous for the environment. It is highly toxic to aquatic animals and can cause unsafe sewer atmospheres.

Ammonia is found in sewage, mostly in human urine and some household cleaning products. Some industrial effluents, especially from mining, crude oil processing, metal finishing, pharmaceutical production or food processing facilities, may also contain ammonia. This parameter may also be used for charging purposes.

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

COD is a measurement of the oxygen required to oxidise soluble and particulate organic matter in water. When effluents with high COD levels are discharged into the environment, there will be a reaction of the dissolved oxygen available, potentially causing losses in the ecosystem. COD levels are limited to prevent overloading of the wastewater treatment processes and ensure there is no detrimental impact on the environment.

Soluble organic compounds, residual food waste, sugar, and emulsified oils are common sources of COD. This parameter may also be used for charging purposes.

Suspended solids

This is controlled to ensure there are no blockages in the sewer and reduce treatment and transportation costs. This parameter may also be used for charging purposes.

Fat, oil and grease

Also known as FOG, this is controlled to prevent blockages in our sewers. It can also cause operational difficulties at pumping stations and treatment works. Some of the most common sources include restaurants, pubs, food processing facilities, automobile service shops and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Sulphate

Sulphate can cause corrosion of concrete sewers and the production of odours.

Sulphate is naturally present in surface water and groundwater as water moves through soil and rock formations that contain sulphate minerals. Many industrial wastewaters, particularly those associated with mining and mineral processing, can contain high concentrations of sulphate.

Metals

This includes metals such as copper, lead, nickel, zinc, chromium, cadmium, antimony, tin, silver, etc. The presence of metals can inhibit biological treatment processes and may accumulate in the environment. An Environmental Impact Assessment is required.

The most common sources of metals in trade effluent are from metal finishing and electroplating activities, mining activities or textile industries.

Since 1 April 2017, the business retail water market has been open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations with premises that qualify.

These ‘non-household’ customers are likely to be eligible if their premises are:

  • Used mainly for business
  • Supplied from a wholly or mainly English-based water company

Licensed retailers now buy wholesale water services – the physical supply of water and the removal of wastewater – from the regional water companies, who continue to supply your water, treat your wastewater and maintain the water and wastewater pipe networks.

The retailers package these water services with other services and compete for customers.

Customers are free to choose their retailer by looking at who has the best deal for them. If you don’t have a retailer yet, you can find a retailer now.

Every business premises has a unique Supply Point Identifier (SPID number) to identify the water and/or sewerage supplies at the property. You can find a copy of your water and sewerage SPID on your bills. Or, you can learn your SPID by contacting your retailer and providing your premises address.

In some cases, you may not have an existing SPID and a SPID will be specifically created for your site on issuing of a trade effluent consent.

Yes, in some circumstances. If, after our consultation assessments, the proposed trade effluent is unsuitable for discharge into the sewer, we will refuse the consent. We’ll inform you at the earliest opportunity of the exact reasons for the refusal.

Under Section 122 of the Water Industry Act 1991, you have the right to appeal when the sewerage undertaker refuses to grant consent.

Yes. It is a criminal offence under section 121 of the Water Industry Act to breach any consent condition set on your trade effluent consent. Doing so may result in enforcement action taken against your company and, in some cases, prosecution.

Enforcement actions will vary from case to case. This will be mostly determined by the frequency and severity of the breach.

The Trade Effluent inspector will engage with a Network Protection and Enforcement officer, should the breach trigger an escalation to a higher level of enforcement. Enforcement methods that may be used during this process include:

Breach letters:
A breach letter is always issued when a consent breach is detected – these can include sample breaches and/or non-sample breaches. The letter will ask you to investigate the circumstances associated with the failure and confirm what measures are being taken to prevent a reoccurrence. You'll need to provide a written explanation within 14 days of the issuing of the letter.

Action plan:
In some cases, before proceeding with further escalation, your company may receive an action plan.
The object of this is to give you the opportunity to detail the actions that you intend to take to bring your company’s discharge back to within the sample limits or non-sample conditions of the consent and to ensure that it remains within those limits in the future. This should allow us to track the progression of these actions and receive regular updates.

Formal Sampling:
This may be initiated if a requested Action Plan is not completed or does not deliver required compliance. If the sample breach is severe then formal sampling may be initiated at the same time, or instead of an action plan. Should the results show that your trade effluent discharge continues to be in breach of consent limits then formal action, which may include prosecution, will be taken.

Formal Caution:
In cases where a prosecution is not considered to be the most appropriate course of action, the issue of a formal caution will be considered. This is the written acceptance by your company that you have committed an offence. This may be used where a prosecution could properly have been brought.
Prosecution:

Any breach of consent conditions constitutes a criminal offence and this may lead to prosecution.

No. Trade Effluent should only be discharged to a foul or combined sewer.

A surface water sewer goes directly into a watercourse. As such, it should only collect uncontaminated rainwater run-off. Discharging wastewater into a surface water sewer can cause serious environmental pollution.

No. Your trade effluent consent will remain active unless you are no longer discharging trade effluent into our sewers, or you close your premises. In that case, you will need to submit a termination request to end your consent and all the charges associated with this. You will need to contact the Southern Water Trade Effluent team or your retailer to submit this request.

We can also terminate a consent if we have enough evidence that a trade effluent discharge has ceased. We will notify your retailer at the earliest opportunity.

Yes. We have the right to enter your site at any reasonable time to take a sample of your trade effluent.

Under Section 171 of the Water Industry Act 1991, any person designated by a sewerage undertaker shall have a right to enter any premises at all reasonable hours for the purpose of taking action or carrying out any works (i.e. collection of trade effluent samples or enforcement action when Southern Water believes a discharge is harming our assets or the environment).

If your company temporarily ceases its operations or temporarily stops discharging trade effluent, you should notify your retailer. Following agreement by Southern Water and the retailer, the consent can be put on a discontinuation status. The trade effluent charges payable for the agreed duration of the discontinuation shall be trade effluent standing charges only (no volumetric charges).

Discontinuation of the trade effluent consent will apply from the first day of the following month.

You must notify us straight away and apply for the changes through your retailer. This includes variation of current consent limits, change of legal company name or any change in the legal identity of the company. A termination request will be submitted if you are no longer discharging trade effluent into our sewers.

Please contact us at trade.effluent@southernwater.co.uk if you would like to request public register details (details of consented trade effluent discharges and premises within the Southern Water catchment).

Business Trade Effluent - Meters

When we own the meter, we are responsible for the meter maintenance and set-up, including the initial and final meter reads. The retailer is then responsible for all the meter readings on a regular cyclic basis. Private meter maintenance and installation is the responsibility of the customer. You'll need to provide regular reads to your retailer for billing purposes and the wholesaler for compliance and monitoring. You should report any changes to your private meter to your retailer as soon as possible.

You can get a private trade effluent meter installed to improve the accuracy of the trade effluent volume calculation for both monitoring and charging purposes. You'll be responsible for installing and maintaining the equipment. If you're installing a new meter, replacing an existing meter or think you might have a faulty private meter, please contact your retailer.

Business Trade Effluent - Monitoring

Yes. We routinely inspect and sample trade effluent discharges in order to:

  • Check compliance against consent conditions
  • Determine the volume and strength of the effluent for charging purposes
  • Assess the volumes and strengths of trade effluent being discharged to see what effect they may have on our assets

For any samples taken by Southern Water, you will receive correspondence by email confirming your sample results. If you'd like to receive the original analysis certificate from the laboratory, you'll need to notify your retailer (this will be subject to an annual charge). All sample analyses will also be provided to your retailer.

For each trade effluent consent, the number of samples we'll take will be determined by the risk assigned to the trade effluent. This can vary from zero to 48 samples per year.

Factors considered when calculating the risk of a trade effluent discharge:

  • Consented suspended solids limit
  • Processes generation of the trade effluent
  • Capacity of the receiving treatment works
  • Maximum permitted volume to be discharged (m3/day)
  • Compliance history
  • Presence of priority or/and accumulative substance
  • Consented chemical oxygen demand (COD) limit

Yes. Your consent will be reviewed on a regular basis. The review frequency will depend on the risk associated with the discharge. This can vary from ‘every 10 years’ for low-risk discharges to ‘yearly’ for high-risk discharges.

The review process may result in the need to vary one or more of the conditions contained within your existing consent. If we discover that we have not been notified of a change, we may request you to formally apply for this via your retailer (an application fee may be applied).

As part of the conditions within the consent, you are expected to notify us of any changes, as you could be in breach of your trade effluent consent.

As part of the consent, you are required to provide a sampling point so that we can take samples of trade effluent for control and charging purposes.

The sample point must offer safe and reasonable access to us at all times. It must also provide a sample of the trade effluent discharged to the public sewer without domestic sewage contamination.

Water Industry Act 1991, section 121: Conditions of the consent – ‘The provision and maintenance of such an inspection chamber or manhole as will enable a person readily to take samples, at any time, of what is passing into the sewer from the trade premises’.

Yes. We may use sample analysis (provided by the retailer or its customer) for the purposes of consent monitoring or calculating trade effluent charges by agreement with the retailer. All such sample analyses must be carried out by a UKAS accredited laboratory and be taken from the previously agreed sample point. 

We may incorporate self-monitoring requirements into trade effluent consents.

We encourage customers to set up self-monitoring programmes, as they can help with the early detection of problems.

Both the occupier of the premises and Southern Water have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure that any visiting Southern Water employees can safely carry out their duties.

Our employees will act with due care for their own health and safety and observe any site-specific health and safety arrangements.

Business Trade Effluent - Charges

Your retailer will provide your billing services, not Southern Water.

For queries about your bill or charges, please contact your retailer. They may also be able to advise you on how to save water, spend less, and get other benefits.

You will often be charged based on the volume and the strength of the trade effluent discharged. Charges may be calculated using the Mogden formula. This considers the difference between your trade effluent and average domestic sewage with regard to chemical oxygen demand, solids and, in some cases, ammonia.

High concentrations of these parameters are likely to cause higher bills due to the need to transport, treat and dispose of the effluent.

The volume of the trade effluent taken as having been discharged will, for billing purposes, be the volume:

  • Recorded on a meter installed on the effluent discharge pipe
  • Assessed from the volume of water supplied recorded on a meter or meters installed on the water supply
  • Calculated by Southern Water

By reference to, but not limited to:

  • Meters that are sub-meters to a main meter
  • The estimated volume where Southern Water determines that a meter reading may not be suitable for the purposes of calculating charges. This may be due to an occurrence such as leaks or mechanical failure of the meter
  • Standard allowances
  • Customer-specific allowances determined by Southern Water
  • Rainfall
  • Conceited volume

Calculation of a representative COD settles, suspended solids pH7 and ammonia concentrations.

1. Standard strength

For specific types of discharge, a standard strength will be used to calculate the unit charge. These strengths are fixed by the company for each charging year and are based on its analysis of the particular type of discharge.

2. Agreed strength

The company may decide that the standard sampling is not appropriate for assessing the strength of a trade effluent discharge for billing purposes. In such cases, the company will agree with the customer and their retailer on an appropriate agreed strength.

3. Actual strength

The calculation of COD settled, suspended solids pH7 and ammonia for billing purposes will be calculated by one of the following:

  • A 12-month rolling average
  • A three-month rolling average
  • A one-month average

Your retailer will bill all trade effluent services apart from the non-standard charges below. Southern Water will charge you directly for these and you'll receive these invoices separately.

Recovery of incurred costs

  • The recovery of extraordinary costs incurred by Southern Water due to an event caused by you. This includes, but is not limited to, damage to our assets or increased operational costs
  • The recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water in respect of pre-emptive measures undertaken by us to minimise the impact on our assets. This will be in case we anticipate a breach or breach of your trade effluent consent

Formal sampling charge

The recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water in respect of formal sampling undertaken in accordance with our policies and procedures, due to the failure to comply with your consent.

Charges

Type

 

 

Charge

Recovery of incurred costs

 

 

Determined on an individual incident basis

Formal sampling charge (7am - 6pm)

 

 

£265.00 per sample

Formal sampling charge (6pm - 7am)

 

 

£499.00 per sample

 

Our Regions

We operate 367 wastewater treatment sites, more than 3,000 pumping stations, and a network of almost 40,000km of sewers.

We are. Since privatisation, £10 billion has been spent to increase the volume of wastewater that is fully treated before being release back into the environment (previously only approximately 50% treated to around 95% today). This has helped improve the quality of our bathing waters from only 28% meeting public health standards pre-privatisation, to 88% now rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. The 5% that's released is usually during heavy or prolonged rainfall and is heavily diluted with rainwater. We’re working hard to reduce that figure.

We haven’t paid our shareholders any dividends since 2017. Instead, all profits are being invested back into the business.

We’re investing £2bn between 2020 and 2025. Most of this is going towards improving our environmental performance and our network assets.

This is a system that contains both foul water and rainwater runoff. These are treated together at a wastewater treatment site. Foul water from homes or businesses includes water from toilets, sinks, washing machines etc. Rainwater runoff comes from roofs, driveways, roads and other paved areas.

Since the 1960s, sewer systems in the UK have been built with separate pipes for foul and surface water. The foul sewer takes wastewater for treatment, while the surface water pipe releases rainwater back into the environment.

There are over 100,000km of combined sewers still in existence in the UK. We have no legal powers to prevent new connections from being made to existing combined sewers.

There are around 15,000 storm overflows in England and approximately 1,000 in our region. How often they release into rivers and seas varies widely. This can range from infrequent (less than 10 spills per annum) to frequent (greater than 100 spills per annum).

We have sensors and alarms installed on 98% of our storm overflow sites which alert us to any activity, and this will be 100% by 2025.

Our interactive map Beachbuoy shows near real-time storm overflow activity in our coastal areas. Beachbuoy can tell you if a release may affect bathing waters and you can subscribe for notifications about releases in specific areas. 

Our Beachbuoy release table also records both current and historical storm overflow activity. As well as this, we publish our flows and spills data annually.

Learn more about Beachbuoy

A storm overflow is permitted by the regulator and occurs when the system becomes overwhelmed with excess water. 

In rare incidences, an emergency overflow is triggered when there has been a technical fault or a blockage in the system. Beachbuoy shows both storm and emergency overflows in our coastal areas.

Most storm releases are heavily diluted wastewater – up to 95% is rainwater. Storm overflows are not controlled manually, they work automatically to release excess water.

These releases are permitted by law and we report all spills to the Environment Agency. Our industry is heavily regulated by the Environment Agency, which sets the permits for storm overflows.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan in August 2022. This sets the target for the water industry to eliminate storm overflows by 2050 (except for unusually heavy rainfall).

We welcome this plan and are already leading the way with some of the targets outlined. For example, where other water companies are aiming to hit the average number of spills per outfall per year by 2025, we're already doing this.

We’re confident that we’ll not only meet Government targets but that we’ll likely exceed them.

During heavy or prolonged rainfall, the network would become overwhelmed in several areas – or catchments as we call them. With nowhere for the wastewater to go, it would back up into people's homes and onto roads. This would cause major flooding and pollution for the community.

Before privatisation, only 28% of bathing waters in the UK met the minimum public health standards. Today, the situation has vastly improved. The Environment Agency recognises 79 of the 84 bathing waters in our area as either good or excellent. We’re keen to continue playing our part in supporting water quality across our region.

Although storm releases are heavily diluted, they can impact water quality. The impact of a storm release can vary based on the location of the release, the amount released, how long it was released for, and the tides when discharged. 

Each outfall/permit is designed to consider the dilution factor, sensitivity, and amenity of the watercourse. We alert local authorities when there is a release.

We can advise when there has been a release, but this decision is for the local authority that manages the beach and is responsible for public health. 

A release rarely results in a beach closure due to the locations of our outfalls, the length of time they’re used, and the amount discharged.

Although storm overflows can have an impact on water quality, there are many other contributing factors including agricultural run-off, seabird and animal matter and marine activity.    

Because of these other factors, Southern Water can’t advise about water quality and whether it’s safe to swim. We can only make predictions about water quality impact caused by storm overflow releases and report them on Beachbuoy. The decision to close a beach is made by the local authority.

We have no statutory rights to prevent new connections on our network. We can only make recommendations to local authority planning teams.

We haven’t paid any external dividends to our shareholders since 2017 to ensure we’re investing as much as possible in our network. When we’ve received fines, these have been paid to the Treasury from our shareholders; no customer money is used to pay any fines due.

Further to this, customer bills have been discounted below the market rate for several years due to poor past performance. We understand the burden the rising cost of living is having on our customers and as such we have a range of support options. These include maintaining our social tariff discount at 45% and more than doubling the extent of our support, increasing the value of our Hardship Fund from £250,000 annually to £1.25 million.

Commercial

Trade effluent is any liquid waste (effluent) discharged into our sewers from a business or industrial process.

This includes any wastewater derived from a production process or from washing down or cooling activities, including wastes from public-funded activities such as municipal landfills.

This can be best described as anything other than domestic sewage (toilet, bath or sink waste) or uncontaminated surface water and roof drainage (rainwater).

You will need to submit the application on the Bilateral Hub as a G2A or G2B process.

The completed form must be signed by the authorised signatory of the applying company and be attached the service request in the bilateral hub.

Southern Water will charge your customer directly for the following non-standard charges: please refer to our current Wholesale statement of principles and charges.

Trade effluent is covered in sections:

  • Section 2, Part 5 for primary charges
  • Section 3, Part 4 for non-primary charges

Alternatively please contact us for any queries, details below.

Recovery of incurred costs

Including:

  • the recovery of extraordinary costs incurred by Southern Water due to an event caused by your customer. This includes, but is not limited to, damage to our assets or increased operational costs
  • the recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water in respect of pre-emptive measures undertaken by us to minimise the impact on our assets in anticipation of a breach or breaches of your trade effluent consent

Formal sampling charge

The recovery of costs incurred by Southern Water in respect of formal sampling undertaken in accordance with our policies and procedures, due to the failure to comply with your customers consent.

 

Type

Charge

Recovery of incurred costs

Determined on an individual incident basis

Formal sampling charge (7am - 6pm)

£255.00 per sample

Formal sampling charge (6pm - 7am)

£480.00 per sample

As per the G4 process, when all sample analysis is completed and verified the results are sent to the trade effluent customer by email and the results are made available to their retailer through our retailer portal.

Retailers will be sent an email notifying them when results are added.

You can find the results under Section 5: Trade Effluent - G Forms – TE monitoring and search by SPID.

Consent conditions may require flow measuring equipment such as a private trade effluent meter to be provided, maintained and records kept. The cost of installing and maintaining such equipment will be the responsibility of the discharger.

Assessment of flow by other means such as private water meters or process meters may also be used by trade effluent dischargers to aid calculation and accuracy of billing, as well as providing improved monitoring of their processes.

Any flow measuring equipment and installation used for trade effluent billing should be to MCERTS standard.

Yes. Any private meter used to calculate trade effluent bills should be registered in the market.

To notify us that your customer has installed, exchanged or has an issue with a private meter please submit a BO1 form. Please refer to the Market Operational Codes (Schedule 1 Part 3) under B12, B13 and B14 to view the processes that may need to be followed.

Flooding and leaks

Firstly, you should turn off your stop tap and open all taps to drain the system quickly. If it's a burst pipe, turn off your boiler as well. Use towels to soak up or block off any escaping water.

If the leak or bust pipe is close to any electrical fittings, switch them off at the mains.

Contact an approved plumber as soon as possible and turn off the taps once the pipework is repaired to avoid further flooding.

If the flooding has caused damage to your property, we advise you to contact your insurance company as well.

Most meters are found in the public footpath outside your house or in your front garden. They are located in an underground box which is usually under a metal or plastic cover.

Sometimes it will be covered with a large cast iron cover, which you should not lift. Occasionally meters are located inside the house next to the stop tap, which is often under the kitchen sink.

We will offer assistance for customers who are on our social tariffs, on our Priority Services Register or on certain means-tested benefits. The exact help will be determined by the length and position of the supply pipe, please call us on 0330 303 0277.

We recommend you contact a reputable plumber or ground worker to make repairs. Using a WRAS-approved plumber means you can be assured of a standard of workmanship and materials.

If you decide to undertake repairs yourself we can offer advice on types of fittings and where to source them.

Learn more about installing new plumbing systems

If you're paying metered charges, we'll correct both water supply and wastewater charges to reflect the extra amount of water recorded because of the leak, once it has been repaired.

We normally re-calculate your metered charges based on your past water use. Where there is no record of your previous water use, we'll base the adjustment on the average use of a property of a similar type.

For metered customers, we'll adjust charges back to the previous bill.

For customers who have not previously received a bill then the re-calculated charges will be back-dated to the beginning of the financial year.

There'll be no correction of charges if any of the following applies:

  • Another leak occurs after a correction for an earlier leak
  • You (or someone else living with you) caused the leak by acting negligently
  • You knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, that there was a leak and you failed to repair it or tell us about it
  • The leak occurred because of faulty pipes or fittings inside your home
  • You did not repair the leak within a reasonable period.

Notification of adjustment

If we can, we will tell you what the adjustment is over the phone. However, we will also send you a letter confirming that we've adjusted your bill within a week of us taking the second reading from you.

Please note that we cannot give leak allowances if the leak was because of a faulty pipe or fitting inside your home.

If you've had a leak that has been repaired, we may be able to give you a leak allowance.

If another water company supplies your water, they will provide consumption and allowance details to us and we will mirror their allowance. This can take up to two months.

Please take a meter reading immediately after the repair is fixed. Your contractor can do this for you. We need the reading to process any leak allowances.

Two weeks after your repair has been fixed please read the meter again. We'll contact you for this reading which helps us to compare your normal consumption with that during the leak.

Notification of adjustment

If we can, we'll tell you what the adjustment is over the phone. However, we'll also send you a letter confirming that we've adjusted your bill within a week of us taking the second reading from you.

Please note that we can't give leak allowances if the leak was because of a faulty pipe or fitting inside your home.

A dripping tap can waste a lot of water – up to 10,000 litres per year. That’s more than a full bathtub each week. Yet most dripping taps just need a new washer, which can be simple to fix.

Fix your dripping tap:

  1. Turn off the mains water supply at the stop tap.
  2. Turn the dripping tap on full.
  3. Unscrew the cover and loosen the hexagon using a spanner.
  4. Remove the whole tap top.
  5. Lift out the jumper plate and use pliers to unscrew the nut. Remove the old washer.
  6. Fit the new washer.
  7. Re-assemble the tap.
  8. Turn the water on again.

Need a plumber?

If you're having trouble fixing your tap – or have a bigger task at hand – you may want the help of a reputable plumber. Make sure to hire a trusted plumber who is qualified to meet the regulations for working safely with drinking water.

Find an approved plumber

Push-button toilets commonly have undetected leaks. A leaky loo can waste up to 400 litres of water a day, which could increase your bills – so it can pay to know if your loo is leaking.

A higher-than-expected bill is often the first sign you’re using more water than normal. And while there may be an obvious reason for the increase, such as recent building work at home or a new addition to the family, it could also signal a leak in your loo.

How to check if you have a leaky loo:

Wait 15 minutes after the last toilet flush, then dry the back of the toilet pan with toilet tissue. Place a dry sheet of toilet tissue at the back of the pan.

Wash your hands and leave for three hours, if possible, without using the toilet. When you return, check the condition of the tissue:

  • If the toilet tissue stays dry – good news, you don’t have a leak.
  • If the toilet tissue is a little crooked or wet – you may have a small leak. Use this process regularly to check that it is not getting any worse (and costing you more money).
  • If the toilet tissue has broken up and has moved in the water below – the leak is significant and you'll need to get this fixed by a plumber.

Find an approved plumber

How we fix leaks

A temporary reinstatement is a temporary and safe fix for the area affected by flooding. The temporary reinstatement may not use the same material as before so may appear different.

This will be rectified when a permanent reinstatement is completed.

To complete a permanent reinstatement we need to use specialist equipment and be sure the ground has settled after the fix. This could take up to four months.

All reinstatement material is new and therefore has not undergone ageing or weathering like the original material.

We endeavour to match as close as possible to the existing material in order to minimise colour differences.

Any reinstatement left in the interim by the repair team is temporary, to make sure that the site is safe.

The reinstatement team who will then carry out the permanent reinstatement will ensure that the patch is left neat and tidy. Both the temporary and permanent reinstatements will comply with the standards set by the local Highways Authority.

The wet material excavated during repairs contains chalk and clay which may result in temporary staining. Our teams sweep and wash all sites and any staining will fade in due course.

We try to leave all paving slabs in the vicinity of the works. Where this is not possible, we'll take them back to the depot for safekeeping.

We always try to reuse existing slabs. However, on occasion, the slabs may be damaged during the initial excavation and will need to be replaced.

Where possible, we’ll exchange like for like and we'll remove and recycle any damaged slabs.

Unless privately owned, all pavements, roads and kerbs are the responsibility of the local Highways Authority. We carry out all our work with their full knowledge and agreement.

Leaks on water mains can be slow and gradual or erupt very quickly with visible water flooding.

If the water leak is in your garden then there's probably a fault on your supply pipe – which you're responsible for.

Where possible, immediately turn the water off at your stop tap. If this isn't possible, we'll arrange for someone to attend as a priority. We offer up to one hour of free detection work to help locate the leak on your private supply pipe.

For more information read our Code of Practice on water leaks. This details our responsibilities for the ownership of supply pipes and eligibility for repair.

Contact our customer call centre on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate) and we'll arrange for someone to visit your home.

Surface water drainage

Surface water is rainwater that runs off hard surfaces such as:

  • roofs
  • driveways
  • paths and other paved areas
  • Water that runs into roadside drains, for example after using a hose or washing your car.

This water usually ends up in a public sewer.

As part of our wastewater charges (that’s all the water that ends up in your drains and is made up of used tap and loo water, and run-off rainwater), we include a standing charge for disposing of surface water.

You only need to pay this charge if your property is connected to a public sewer. That applies to most homes – especially those built in the last 40 years.

The small annual fee (£25.90 for homeowners) covers the cost of taking away and treating this water.

Homes that aren’t connected to a public sewer have something called a soakaway instead. It’s a large underground pit filled with gravel within the boundary of your property (about 10-15 feet away from the foundations of the house). Run-off rainwater is piped into it.

If surface water runs into your soakaway rather than a public drain, then you can claim a rebate from us – dating back to April 1, 2015.

Rainwater that drains from highways ends up in public sewers, which we have to then process. As we all benefit from our road network – and as long as your property is connected to a public sewer – then we’ll also add a charge to your bill for highway drainage.

You can find out more about highway drainage charges on the Ofwat website.

Account & Billing

You receive two bills because the water and wastewater services to your property are supplied by two different companies. The water company that supplies your water will provide us with all the information we need to bill your metered wastewater charges.

Your water company will provide us with the meter details and we'll base our charges on the readings provided.

We can't meter the water that returns to the sewer for treatment because not all the water you use returns to the sewer. We've assessed the typical percentage return as 92.5% and so we bill based on a 'standard return to sewer' of this amount. This means that for every 100 cubic metres supplied, we'll bill for 92.5 cubic metre.

Please contact the company that supplies your water. If there are any problems with the meter that requires a change to your bill, we will be notified automatically.

Water Saving Advice

From 31 March 2023, we're only taking home visit referrals via our Customer Services and Affordability teams to target customers using a lot of water. We're reaching out to everyone who we supply with both water and waste services, and who also has a water meter. If you're eligible, we'll email or write to you to arrange an appointment.

Our partner RPS Environmental Management Ltd with its sub-contractor Aqualogic carry out all home visits. All engineers have ID cards displaying all three company logos. Please ask to see their ID before allowing anyone into your property.

  • Showerheads: Aqualogic Aquair Imber showerhead (hand-held); EcoPulse Pure pulse Eco-shower; Shower regulators (Neoperl) or Flowpoint – all of which can save you up to 30 litres for a four-minute shower. ShowerBob can also save eight litres for a four-minute shower.
  • Tandrup Kitchen tap, ball-jointed (two spray functions) – can save nine litres, per minute.
  • Tap aerators (including Mikado) – saves four to eight litres, per minute.
  • Kitchen tap Mini ecobooster aerator – default water-saving mode is 4lpm, saving four to eight litres, per minute.
  • Southern Water Hippo bag – saves 1.2 litres per flush (average 13 litres, per household, per day).
  • Babydam – can save up to 28 litres, per day (average).
  • Service valve adjustments – can save four litres, per minute.
  • Waterbutts (200 litre) (supplied and fitted at home visit only) – can save one to three litres, per day (average).
  • Hose spray gun 5 function (and connector) – can save up to nine litres per day (average).
  • Outside tap jacket – supplied, no water savings.

Every year, our region is home to more people using the same amount of water. If we keep using it at our current rate, demand for water will overtake the amount we???re able to supply ??? and there???s only so much we can take from our environment.

To conserve this precious resource, we???ve committed to reduce leakage and we???re looking at new ways to reuse water. But we need your help too.

We want to help our customers reduce how much water they use to 100 litres per person, per day by 2040 ??? we call this Target 100. We???re committed to helping you get there, while we work hard to reduce leakage by 40% in the same timeframe.

Water Supply

We're committed to using the least amount of water possible. Before flushing, we calculate what we're going to need for each section of pipework. This means we always use the smallest amount of water to clean effectively.

You should only use washing machines and dishwashers if your water supply is running clear. This can help avoid any unwanted staining or residue.

Most of the water we supply is hard, as it comes from underground chalk aquifers with high levels of calcium.

We don't soften water before it reaches your taps – there's no UK or European standard for the hardness of drinking water.

  • Soft water contains less than 100mg of calcium carbonate per litre.
  • Moderately hard water contains between 100 and 200mg of calcium carbonate per litre.
  • Hard water contains between 200 and 300mg of calcium carbonate per litre.

Very hard water contains more than 300mg of calcium carbonate per litre.

Yes. Most water softeners work by adding sodium which can significantly raise the levels of sodium in your body. This can especially be harmful for premature babies and people on low-sodium diets. 

If you do wish to install a softener, it's very important to remember not to soften water that feeds into the kitchen tap that you use for cooking or drinking.

Lead isn’t normally present in raw, untreated water sources (rivers, lakes, reservoirs). Significant concentrations can be found in drinking water if lead service (communication and supply) pipes, or copper pipes with lead solder joints and occasionally domestic water fittings, have been used in the domestic plumbing system.

The maximum Prescribed Concentration or Value (PCV) for lead is 10 microgrammes per litre (10ugPb/l). We must meet a strict standard on the level of lead in drinking water.

The health risks associated with exposure to lead are well known. Lead is a harmful toxic heavy metal; its toxicity most frequently results from ingestion (drinking or eating) or inhalation. 

Short-term exposure to high levels of lead can cause a metallic taste and symptoms of abdominal pain, sickness, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, and kidney and liver damage.

Long-term exposure may cause headaches, irritability, tiredness, and muscle fatigue. It can also affect brain development in the unborn and children up to 10 years old. Those who are pregnant and young children are therefore more at risk from lead than adults, although lead poisoning in adults can lead to serious illness.

Lead is a cumulative toxin. This means that concentrations of lead within the body, especially in the teeth, bones and some internal organs, can build up over time. It is therefore sensible to ensure that exposures to lead are kept to a minimum.

Read the Public Health England guidance for more information on the effects of lead.

If there is a level of lead in your drinking water (determined by sampling and analysis) it is most likely to be due to the service pipes to your property. Service pipes are the pipes that carry water from the water main in your street to your property. The service pipe is made up of two parts – the communication pipe and the supply pipe.

Southern Water is responsible for the water main in your street and the communication pipe up to, and including, the stopcock at the boundary of your property. The property owner is normally responsible for the supply pipe from the stopcock into the property and all the indoor plumbing. When we replace the communication pipe, we'll also offer to replace 10 metres of supply pipe, free of charge.

When replacing lead plumbing, the permanent solution is to replace all lead pipework with pipes made from safer materials. Remember:

  • Copper and lead pipes should never used together.
  • Lead solder shouldn't be used on copper pipes for drinking water.

If alternative, non-metallic pipework is used, electrical earthing should be checked by a qualified electrician.

The way we disinfect drinking water is to add tightly controlled amounts of chlorine at our water supply works. A small amount of chlorine remains in the water after treatment. This ‘residual’ amount of chlorine ensures that the water stays bacteriologically safe as it passes through the distribution mains. 

In very long distribution networks, we sometimes add chlorine at strategic points. This helps us ensure there is enough throughout the whole length of the system. We call this 'boosting'. These residual amounts of chlorine are also monitored at the water supply works, service reservoirs and customer taps using field monitoring kits.

Residual levels of chlorine are harmless to domestic pets but can affect fish and amphibians such as frogs and turtles. Fish kept in aquariums or ponds are also extremely sensitive to chlorine.

When you’re filling or topping up aquariums, you should try to remove the chlorine before water comes into contact with the fish. Aquatic and pet shops can offer suitable products and advice to do this.

If your house suddenly has low water pressure at certain times of day, it could be because it's a period of high demand. This can result in water pressure being high at night (a stronger flow through your taps) when few people are using it and lower during certain times when lots of people are using it.

If there is little or no water running from your tap then there may have been a burst water main in your area. Turn off the taps and contact us for more information.

If we're carrying out work on our network which would interrupt your water supply for more than four hours, we will let you know at least 48 hours in advance, usually by letter or card.

If you have any additional needs, such as kidney patients on home dialysis, you can join our confidential Priority Services Register and we'll make sure you have bottled water in the event of an interruption to water supplies.

This can be down to a few factors. Your water pressure can depend on the local geography, whereabouts your home is in relation to our service reservoir or water tower, and how much higher (in terms of ground level) either of these is in relation to your home. Did you know, for instance, that homes at the top of a hill will receive water at a lower pressure than those at the bottom?

The pressure within our pipes varies across the day and we use control devices installed on our pipes to stabilise pressures. This normally involves lowering pressures at night, when demand is low and pressures are generally at their highest. However, it can also involve increasing pressures during times when demand is high and pressures are normally at their lowest. We continually monitor pressure.

If you are in a part of our supply network where we are introducing pressure management for the first time, you may notice a change in the pressure you receive.

This shouldn't mean that you will receive less water, although you may need to turn your taps on further or it will take a little longer to fill a bath or washing machine.

In the unlikely event that our management of pressure stops you from receiving a consistent water supply, we'll investigate, increasing pressure when applicable, and work with you to resolve any problems.

However, the majority of customers in areas where we're managing water pressure will not be significantly affected and it is likely that they may not even notice the change.

We manage pressures across our supply network in accordance with our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) which emphasises our commitment to our domestic customers, detailing the minimum standards of service you can expect.

Spluttering taps, irregular water flow and vibrating pipes may indicate that there are air bubbles present.

Air usually gets trapped at high points in your water supply system, and to force this out, you have to temporarily increase the force of the water flowing through the pipes. The high volume of water created by turning on all of your taps causes a rush of water through your pipes that carries the air bubbles out.

How to clear an airlock:

  1. Check the main water supply valve (stop tap) to make sure that the water in your house is turned on.
  2. Move through your house and turn on every hot and cold water tap, beginning with the tap closest to the main water supply valve. Work your way to the furthest tap.
  3. Flush all toilets and run the water in all appliances or fixtures that use a water connection. For example, fill a cup with water from the refrigerator dispenser and run the dishwasher and washing machine through a rinse cycle.
  4. Let the water flow for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it begins to flow normally at every tap, without any spluttering or banging.
  5. Go back to the last tap you opened, farthest away from the main valve, and turn off the water. At each toilet, turn off the tap that is closest to the main valve first, then flush the toilet. Wait about two minutes before closing the next taps.
  6. Continue turning off taps. Work your way back to the first taps you opened until you’ve turned the water off at all taps and fixtures. This should get rid of the air pockets.
  7. Contact a plumber to inspect your pipes if clearing the air from the lines doesn’t stop the problem. You may be dealing with water hammer or improperly sized pipes.

Tip

Loud thumps or bumps or prolonged noises and vibrations are usually caused by air in your pipes. If noise or sputtering occurs when you close a water valve or an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine switches cycles, it's more likely to be a pressure surge than air in the pipes.

If you are an employer, you will have a duty of care to your employees and anyone visiting your premises. The management of your water system also falls under the COSSH Regulations and Health Safety at Work Act.

If water usage has changed then the Risk Assessment is likely to be invalid for the current situation. The good news is that your Legionella Risk Assessor will already have a good understanding of your building and should be able prescribe a temporary scheme of control to recover the situation.

BSEN 806-5 Specification for installations inside buildings conveying water for human consumption – operation and maintenance. This standard provides specific requirements for the operation and maintenance of installations inside buildings. Section 6 of this document provides details on operation, section 12 provides details on maintenance, Annex A provides details on frequency for inspection and maintenance and Annex B provides details on inspection and maintenance procedures.

BS 8558 Guide to the design, installation, testing and maintenance of services supplying water for domestic use within buildings and their curtilages.

Guidance on BSEN 806. This standard provides additional guidance on best practice and section 6 provides details on water quality checks for stored water.

Legionella Code of Practice is freely available along with information on water safety plans for buildings.

You should be cautious and seek professional advice on re-commissioning your water system.

Find a water hygiene expert

This all depends on the size and complexity of your building's water system and whether any parts of the system have been in use. It's always best to get expert advice specifically for your water system but to give an idea of what's involved:

  • A small water system which perhaps just has a male and female toilet and kitchen with a simple combination boiler providing hot water may require just a thorough and safe flush of all parts of the water system and cleaning and descaling of outlets.
  • A larger building may have cold water tanks, more complex hot water plants and water-recirculating systems. These more complex buildings will require a risk assessment and a recovery scheme of control prescribed by an expert.

Certain things on water systems pose risks and require routine checks and maintenance. For example, water tanks, hot water storage vessels, hot water circulating systems, showers, thermostatic mixer taps and valves, expansion vessels and the design of the water system and pipework itself. The HSE guidance helps explain what you need to do.

We suggest flushing your hot and cold outlets one more time and if the water quality seems ok then it's probably fine. If you haven't got one, it's a good idea to arrange for a Legionella Risk Assessment

It's also worth making contact with your Assessor to explain the situation as they could point out something you haven't thought of.

You should flush your systems by opening each outlet for at least two minutes. For outlets connected directly to the mains, this should result in the water temperature dropping as water from the underground water main passes to the tap. 

When flushing outlets, spray should be minimised to reduce Legionella risk and tank-fed pipework should be flushed after the tank has been drained down.

You'll know that fresh water is running from the outlet when:

  • It's generally accepted that the water appears clear and normal.
  • Cold systems - When the cold temperature drops to within a degree or two of the incoming supply to the premises or tank.
  • Hot systems - When hot water outlets remain above 50℃ for a minute or so. (55℃ in healthcare premises).

Firstly, you should assume any stagnant water flushed may contain Legionella bacteria. So, you'll need to avoid exposing yourself or others to this flushed water. 

You should reduce water spray, for example, by placing towels over outlets or discharging outside taps or shower heads into a refuse sack.

Depending on the design of your water system, there could be a number of appropriate flushing methods. Think about how water normally flows through your building.

  • Where do the hot and cold water supplies come from?
  • Are there cold water tanks, hot water vessels, hot water circulation systems, point-of-use water heaters and outside taps?

Once you know how hot and cold water is distributed through your building and what any tanks serve, it's a good idea to flush outlets nearest those sources. Run the outlets for a few minutes, drawing fresh hot and cold water. Then close those outlets and systematically move through the building, drawing fresh water as you go, working towards the furthest points away from those hot and cold sources. It's probably better to work on one system at a time but this can get complicated. If you're not sure then seek expert advice (don't forget to operate appliances too).

Sources of supply:

Cold water sources

  • Water Main - This could be directly from the public main and without any onsite cold water tanks, in which case you should start drawing water from outlets closest to the incoming supply or main internal stop valve.
  • Tanks - Any tank should be cleaned and disinfected before you attempt to draw water from it. This is to avoid drawing any additional stagnant water through your water systems. Once the tank is clean, determine the flushing plan to draw water from outlets nearest that tank, working towards outlets furthest away.

Hot water sources

If the hot water vessel/system has been used less than normal for a week or more, it's likely to contain Legionella. The first step is to take expert advice on how to disinfect the vessel and system. Once disinfected, hot water should then be drawn systematically through the system (nearest to furthest outlets), until fresh hot water is drawn through for at least a minute at each hot outlet.

The water supply pipe serving the appliance is likely to contain unsafe water. You should disconnect the appliance and include the supply pipe in your flushing regime. Then arrange to contact the manufacturer for advice on recommissioning / servicing this appliance.

If you have a water tank then the safest thing is to arrange for this to be cleaned and disinfected. Nowadays there are a number of ways this can be done, but it usually involves draining down the system, manually cleaning the internal surfaces and then applying a method of disinfection.

This may depend on the design, materials of the tank or the water system that it serves or convenience. As a minimum, the tank should be drained (by turning off the incoming supply then draining via an outlet connected to the lowest point on the tank) before refilling. Any outlets attached to the tank should be flushed after tank drain down and refill.

Get more information about cold water tanks.

This will be the safest option for any water system and is likely to be required for larger systems, especially where water is coming from a tank or there is a large hot water plant.

Visit the Legionella Control Association website for a list of Disinfection Service Engineers. They will assess your system and work out the best options for you. Technical information can be obtained from BS8558 (2011) & BS8558 (2015).

Most water softeners will require routine servicing and maintenance which can be dependant on the make and model. Please note down the manufacturer's labels on your softener and look for any service stickers. Make contact with the service engineer or the local distributor for your softener and they will likely offer you a fairly swift service.

T100

From 31 March 2023, we're only taking home visit referrals via our Customer Services and Affordability teams to target customers using a lot of water. We're reaching out to everyone who we supply with both water and waste services, who has a water meter. If you're eligible, we'll email or write to you to arrange an appointment.

Visits are carried out by our partner RPS Environmental Management Ltd with its sub-contractor Aqualogic. All engineers have ID cards displaying all three company logos. Please ask to see ID before allowing anyone into your property.

  • Showerheads:
    - Aqualogic Aquair Imber showerhead (hand-held)EcoPulse Pure pulse Eco-shower; Shower regulators (Neoperl) or Flowpoint – all of which can save you up to 30 litres for a four-minute shower
    - ShowerBob – can save eight litres for a four-minute shower
  • Tandrup Kitchen tap, ball-jointed (two spray functions) – can save nine litres, per minute
  • Tap aerators (including Mikado) – saves four to eight litres, per minute
  • Kitchen tap Mini ecobooster aerator – default water-saving mode is 4lpm, saving four to eight litres, per minute
  • Southern Water Hippo bag – saves 1.2 litres per flush (average 13 litres, per household, per day)
  • Leaky loos (check via LeakyLoo strip) – can save 72 litres, per toilet, per day (average – Waterwise)
  • Babydam – can save up to 28 litres, per day (average)
  • Service valve adjustments – can save four litres, per minute
  • Waterbutts (200 litre) (supplied and fitted at home visit only) – can save one to three litres, per day (average)
  • Hose spray gun 5 function (and connector) – can save up to nine litres per day (average)
  • Outside tap jacket – supplied, no water savings.

Every year, our region is home to more people using the same amount of water. If we keep using it at our current rate, demand for water will overtake the amount we’re able to supply – and there’s only so much we can take from our environment.

To conserve this precious resource, we’ve committed to reduce leakage and we’re looking at new ways to reuse water. But we need your help too.

We want to help our customers reduce how much water they use to 100 litres per person, per day by 2040 – we call this Target 100. We’re committed to helping you get there, while we work hard to reduce leakage by 40% in the same timeframe. 

Thanks for booking your water saving home visit. Here are some extra ideas if you’re looking for even more ways to save water.

Water recycling hub

Yes, water recycling is a safe, established method of water treatment that's already used elsewhere around the world. Water recycling adds further layers of treatment for the already-common practice of pumping highly treated wastewater into rivers, where water is abstracted further downstream for supply. Water recycling produces highly treated, purified water that would be pumped to a Water Supply Works for further treatment in order to meet strict water safety standards.

No – the water recycling proposals are fundamentally different, and separate, from the current system of stormwater releases, which are designed to protect homes from flooding.

Stormwater is wastewater that has been heavily diluted by rain and is sometimes released to the environment to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.

Recycled water is purified water that has gone through a series of advanced treatment techniques so it can be used as a source for drinking water supplies.

We’re cutting down leakage, improving water efficiency and working with neighbouring water companies to share supplies. These improvements will help save water but we need to find new sources to make sure we can take less from the environment.

Our Target 100 campaign is an industry-leading programme that aims to achieve a reduction in customer consumption from an average of 130 litres per person per day, to 110 litres by 2040 and 100 litres by 2050. We’re doing this by encouraging, supporting and incentivising our customers to understand the value of the water they use.

At the same time, we’re investing in new, innovative ways of finding and fixing leaks to keep water in the network. We’re committed to reducing our leakage rate by 15% by 2025, 40% by 2040 and 50% by 2050.

Hampshire Water Transfer

Just like water across the country has its own distinct taste influenced by the geology of the local area, the water taken from the reservoir may taste different from existing supplies due to the change in source. The reservoir, while open to the environment (soil, plants, wildlife), may also influence a change in taste from existing supplies. This water will, of course, continue to meet strict drinking water quality standards and be wholesome to drink. We’re working with a range of international experts, our regulators and environmental organisations to develop our plans.

These proposals are separate from the current approved plans for Havant Thicket Reservoir. If they are to go ahead, they'll be subject to further engagement, consultation and planning consent. This is just one of the strategic solutions we're exploring to address water shortages in Hampshire.

The Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project is being developed for use primarily during periods of drought. To ensure the continued availability and cleanliness of the water recycling plant and associated pipelines, a continuous ‘sweetening flow’ of water would be pumped into Havant Thicket Reservoir and then onward to Southern Water’s Otterbourne Water Supply Works for further treatment.

A range of studies and investigations are ongoing as part of the consenting process for the Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project. We'll prepare a Preliminary Environmental Information Report which will form part of our next stage of public consultation in 2024. This document will report the preliminary findings on any likely significant environmental impacts of the project based on the information available at the time and is designed to inform consultees’ responses to the next consultation. We'll continue to undertake environmental assessments and the main Environmental Impact Assessment will be documented in an Environmental Statement that will be submitted as part of the Development Consent Order application.

Environmental commitments made in respect of the reservoir, particularly around the wetland, will be maintained.

The Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project is not expected to require any changes to the size or layout of the reservoir as per the planning approval.

All the environmental and community commitments approved in the original planning application for Havant Thicket Reservoir will be maintained if these additional proposals are progressed.

Aquifer storage and recovery is where treated water is pumped into an aquifer when surplus water is available. This would then be subsequently abstracted during a drought. It needs the aquifer to be “confined” – where it’s one separate underground body of water where the water would remain.

We’ve investigated this option in Hampshire and do have plans for one such scheme in the Lower Test (where the chalk is confined by London Clay) but it can only provide about 5.5 million litres a day. This is much less than the water transfer and water recycling option we’re pursuing. This project is currently forecast for 2040–41. The issue elsewhere in Hampshire is that the aquifer is unconfined – e.g., the water would simply flow away and could not be guaranteed to remain where it’s put.

Impurities removed from the recycled water will be released back into the Solent via the existing long sea outfall at Budds Farm (5.7km out to sea). This is called the reject stream and will mix with the remaining treated wastewater from Budds Farm. As the source water for water recycling is treated wastewater, there won't be any increase in impurities in the reject stream (as these impurities would have already been in the treated wastewater) but they will be more highly concentrated. We're modelling the reject stream quality and exploring with the Environment Agency whether this increase in concentration requires any application to amend our current permit for the long sea outfall.

Beachbuoy

Beachbuoy is our interactive, near real-time web app designed to help you stay informed about any storm overflow releases at nearby bathing waters. We know the importance of transparency when it comes to storm overflows and the environment, so we’re upgrading Beachbuoy and releasing a new version in 2024. This new version will not only be easier to use, but will include all inland storm overflows, and have a host of other features created together with our customers and stakeholders.

During heavy rain, local sewer networks can struggle to cope with the amount of water entering pipes and storage tanks. When they fill up, we use pressure relief valves built into the network – known as storm overflows – to stop homes and businesses from flooding. 

These overflows release excess water through outfalls into rivers and the sea. Storm overflows are part of the design of the sewers and are regulated by the Environment Agency. They're used in areas where the sewers were built to carry both wastewater from homes and businesses, and rainwater from roofs, gardens and roads.

Beachbuoy has three features, a map, a historic release table, and this information page. 

Each of our region’s designated bathing waters or recreational harbours is represented by a location pin on the map. Simply locate the area you’re interested in on the map and click on the bathing water pin. Beachbuoy will show all the individual outfalls in that bathing water area and information about any recent releases can be found in the pop-up window.

Our Beachbuoy release table allows historic releases to be filtered by bathing site, outfall and type. You can also see our annual storm release data.

The pin icons show the location of bathing water sites, and the round icons pinpoint individual storm overflows.

Sometimes there may be more than one release from a Storm Overflow within a few hours or days. Releases are grouped together using the 12/24 method. You can read more about this method, as defined by the Environment Agency’s guidance.

This method works like this:

1.    When the first release happens, we start counting.
2.    Any releases in the first 12 hours count as one.
3.    Each release in the next 24 hours counts as one more.
4.    Keep counting until there's a whole day (24 hours) with no releases.
5.    If there's another release after a day without any, start counting again, starting with one for the first 12 hours, and so on.

We use sensors in our storm overflows called Event Duration Monitors or EDMs for short. Data from these sensors is processed through applications to understand if there was a genuine storm overflow release or a false alarm, as well as what time the release occurred and for how long.

Where necessary, manual checks are carried out by our teams of analysts to make sure that the data is as accurate as possible. If we’re looking into a release and its validity, the icon will turn white until we’ve finished investigating, at which point the colour will change to show if there has been a release or not. The data shown on Beachbuoy is the same data that we share with our official regulators - we believe in open access to data to ensure transparency and accountability for improvements.

The system automatically flags storm releases on Beachbuoy when our alarms and sensors are triggered, before the team can review if it is a genuine event or not. This means we can take a cautious first approach to make the public aware of a potential release at the earliest opportunity. All releases are reviewed and either confirmed as:

Genuine – after review, we can confirm there is/was a release.

Genuine non-impacting – after review, we can confirm there is/was a release, but our tidal modelling determined that it isn’t/didn’t impact the bathing water.

Non-genuine – we’ve reviewed the event and can confirm this was a false alarm, no release happened at this time. False alarms can happen for several reasons including disruption by wildlife, fault to the senor, manual error or power supply issues.

Beachbuoy uses something called ‘tidal modelling’ to determine the impact a storm release has on a bathing water. It uses the location of the outfall, the duration of the release and tidal conditions at the time to calculate the changes of impact.

For instance, if the outfall is 5km out to sea, the release was short and the tidal conditions meant there could be no impact on a bathing water, we leave the bathing water pin blue (the outfall icon will however go red). This information is made clear in the bathing water pop-up and details about the release continues to be shown in the Beachbuoy release table.

Yes, simply click on the pin of the bathing water location you’re interested in, click ‘sign up for updates’ and enter your details. We will notify you via email if there has been a storm overflow release at the site.

Storm overflows can have an impact on water quality, however there are many other contributing factors including agricultural run-off, seabird and animal matter and marine activity.   

Because of these other factors, Southern Water can’t advise about water quality and whether it’s safe to swim. We can only make predictions about water quality impact caused by storm overflow releases.

We want to make sure that Beachbuoy provides transparent data, giving the information the public wants in a clear and meaningful way, so we actively listen and seek feedback from our Beachbuoy Working Group. This group is made up of local authorities, campaign groups, bathing water users and interested stakeholders, who advise us on improvements we need to make to Beachbuoy. Changes to the site are presented to the group for feedback, before changes are made.

We also survey Beachbuoy users and hold independent reviews to understand what users would like to see and how they wish to use Beachbuoy. This has been an important part of the process to develop the new and improved Beachbuoy due to be launched in Spring 2024.

Ford Water Recycling Project

The South East of England is water stressed and parts of West Sussex are predicted to face a water shortage if no action is taken, particularly in the northern part of the county. To protect the environment, we need to reduce the amount of water we take from the River Western Rother during times of drought. At the same time, population growth and climate change continue to put pressure on the demand for water. We need to find new sources of water to make up the shortfall and meet the future demands of our customers without taking more water from the environment. Water recycling would address the water shortage in West Sussex and help improve drought resilience in a 1-in-200-year drought.

The amount of water on earth does not change. In fact, all water on earth has been constantly recycled through the water cycle. Water recycling uses technology to speed up this natural process.

Currently, wastewater that has been cleaned and treated is released into the sea or another body of water in line with our permit from the Environment Agency. Over time, water from the sea evaporates and falls as rain, filling up our water sources like aquifers and rivers. Water is abstracted from these sources and treated to strict drinking water standards at a Water Supply Works before being sent into supply.

Water recycling eliminates the need to wait for evaporation and rainfall, speeding up the natural water cycle process. With water recycling, some of the treated wastewater would be diverted to a specialised plant where it would be treated further before being released into a lake, river, or reservoir to mix with other sources of water.

Yes, water recycling is a safe, established method of water treatment that has been used elsewhere around the world for over 40 years. Recycled water is used as a drinking water source in countries like Australia, Singapore and the USA.

Before this project is implemented, we will work with our regulators to undertake a rigorous system of process control, monitoring and performance assessments.

The Ford Water Recycling Project is being developed for use during periods of drought. Depending on the final design and operation plan, it may be necessary to produce a continuous small flow of water, known as a ‘sweetening flow’, to keep the water recycling plant and pipelines functioning effectively.

We are still developing our proposal for Ford and are considering several locations where we might release the recycled water into the Western Rother, both upstream and downstream of our abstraction point. Recycled water is treated using advanced treatment processes and all water fed into public supply will have also been through full drinking water treatment to meet strict water quality standards.

Our plans are still in the early stages of development, but we expect impurities removed from the recycled water to be transferred to Ford Wastewater Treatment Works and mixed with the remainder of the treated wastewater that’s released from the site out to the sea through the existing long sea outfall.

We are surveying the environment, modelling the reject stream quality and investigating this proposal with the Environment Agency.

Aylesford Water Recycling Project

The South East of England is water stressed and parts of Kent are predicted to face a water shortage if no action is taken. To protect the environment, we need to reduce the amount of water we take from the River Medway during times of drought. At the same time, population growth and climate change continue to put pressure on the demand for water. We need to find new sources of water to make up the shortfall and meet the future demands of our customers without taking more water from the environment.

Water recycling would address the water shortage in Kent and help improve drought resilience in a 1-in-200-year drought.

The amount of water on earth does not change. In fact, all water on earth has been constantly recycled through the water cycle. Water recycling uses technology to speed up this natural process.

Currently, wastewater that has been cleaned and treated is released into the sea or another body of water in line with our permit from the Environment Agency. Over time, water from the sea evaporates and falls as rain, filling up our water sources like aquifers and rivers. Water is abstracted from these sources and treated to strict drinking water standards at a Water Supply Works before being sent into supply.

Water recycling eliminates the need to wait for evaporation and rainfall, speeding up the natural water cycle process. With water recycling, some of the treated wastewater would be diverted to a specialised plant where it would be treated further before being released into a lake, river, or reservoir to mix with other sources of water.

Yes, water recycling is a safe, established method of water treatment that has been used elsewhere around the world for over 40 years. Recycled water is used as a drinking water source in countries like Australia, Singapore and the USA.

Before this project is implemented, we will work with our regulators to undertake a rigorous system of process control, monitoring and performance assessments.

The Aylesford Water Recycling Project is being developed for use primarily during periods of drought. Depending on the final design and operation plan, it may be necessary to produce a continuous small flow of water, known as a ‘sweetening flow’, to keep the water recycling plant and associated pipelines functioning effectively.

We are still developing our proposal and are considering several locations where we might release the recycled water, including points along the River Medway both upstream and downstream of  our abstraction point. Recycled water is treated using advanced treatment processes and all water fed into public supply will have also been through full drinking water treatment to meet strict water quality standards.

Our plans are still in the early stages of development, but we expect impurities removed from the recycled water to be transferred to Ham Hill Wastewater Treatment Works through a new pipeline and mixed with the treated wastewater from the site that’s released to the River Medway at the existing release point which is downstream of the drinking water abstraction point.

We are surveying the environment, modelling the reject stream quality and investigating this proposal with the Environment Agency.

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