Questions and answers
What does United Utilities do?
We’re one of the UK’s largest water and wastewater companies supplying seven million people in the North West of England with their drinking water. There are around three million homes and 200,000 businesses in our region which covers Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and parts of Cheshire and Derbyshire.
Every day our 5,000 employees deliver an incredible 2,000 million litres of clean, clear water to customers’ taps through our network of 42,000km of water mains. Then we take the used water away through our 72,000km network of sewers, before cleaning it and returning it to the environment.
Water is collected and stored at our 184 reservoirs. The biggest is at Haweswater, in the Lake District, which holds up to 84,000 million litres and gives us a whole quarter of the water we need.
We know that caring for people’s water starts even before it reaches one of our reservoirs. We own 57,000 hectares of land around our reservoirs in some of the most spectacular landscapes in the UK. By managing it sustainably it’s the perfect natural filter, and it’s great for wildlife and visitors too.
1,400km of aqueducts
96 water treatment works
575 waste water treatment works
Are you responsible for electricity in the North West?
Not any more. We only look after water and wastewater. These days the regional electricity network is run by a firm called Electricity North West.
Are you responsible for gas in the North West?
United Utilities does not look after gas. Most of the North West’s gas pipes are the responsibility of National Grid, but in northern Cumbria (approximately from Whitehaven and Penrith and northwards) it’s a company called Northern Gas Networks.
If you can smell gas you MUST report it to the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. Calls, and the service, are free.
Are you responsible for renewable energy in the North West?
Again, no. We disposed of all our interests in other UK utility companies some years ago. These days we are only responsible for water and wastewater services in the North West of England.
Can we contact you via email?
Yes, if it’s a general query for the press office you can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Just bear in mind, if you need an urgent response, especially out of hours, you may prefer to call us instead on 0845 072 0822.
If you’re getting in touch to discuss something about a specific area, please contact the press officer that covers the relevant patch.
Do you answer media queries on Twitter or Facebook?
Afraid not. We use both platforms to talk to our customers, but when it comes to the media, we prefer a phone call or an email. If your query is urgent we’re available 24 hours on 0845 072 0822.
I want to write a feature about a specific aspect of United Utilities - who should I contact?
Give us a bell and we’ll find out for you. In an organisation as big as ours, it can be tricky to track down the right person. Fortunately, we’re used to it!
I want to see if United Utilities is interested in advertising my publication, who should I contact?
We rarely advertise in publications, and when we do, we use a third party media buyer to secure the best deals for us.
Who do I contact if I want to film on your land?
If you’re filming for a news story that’s something we can sort out for you in the press office.
If it’s for a film or TV show, you’ll need to speak to one of our land agents.
Can we film/take photographs inside your sewers?
We always try to help the media whenever we can but health and safety always has to come first. We can’t allow anybody into our sewers without at least a day’s confined spaces training. So we may be able to help – but be warned!
We do have some stock photography from our sewers that we are happy to share. And we can also put you in touch with photographers that have already had the relevant training.
Is it possible to have a guided tour of water or wastewater treatment works?
Yes, we’re always keen to improve understanding about what we do. If you’re a reporter you can email or call the press office to set something up.
How can I see your financial performance announcements?
You’ll find all of our financial reports and announcements in the Investors section of our website. Click here for our latest financial results. Our calendar of events and announcements are also online.
Do you have high-resolution images to illustrate a story I am working on about United Utilities?
The media team has access to an archive of images, so call or send us an email and we’ll do our best to help.
How can I get a copy of the United Utilities logo?
Give us a call or send us an email with details of the use you have in mind for the logo and we’ll send you a copy. We can also give you advice on how the logo should be used in line with our brand guidelines.
What career opportunities are there at United Utilities?
A host of opportunities from engineers to call centre advisors to estate rangers are all advertised in the Working For United Utilities section. Opportunities in our press office come up occasionally and these will be found in the same section.