Could you gain from rain?

You could reduce your bill if your surface water doesn't drain to the public sewer

Part of your water bill pays for us to take away the rainwater that falls onto your home – including your roof, your driveway and your path - and also the public highway. You’ll find this charge itemised on your bill, under the heading 'Rainwater removal'.

Some properties, however, will drain their rainwater directly into a brook, stream or a soak-away, without the rainwater ever entering our sewer system. If your home fits this description, you could qualify for a reduction in your bill. 

To qualify for money off your bill, you need to prove that the rainwater that falls on your home (including your roof, drive, patio, yard etc.) drains directly into the ground, or a watercourse such as a brook or stream, or a soakaway – without ever entering our sewer pipes.

If the rainwater does enter our sewer pipes at any point on its journey – even very briefly – a reduction in your charges won’t be possible.

You could be entitled to a reduction in the following circumstances:

  • If none of the surface water from your home enters into the public sewer (for example, all your surface water drains to a soakaway or watercourse) then no charge will be made for surface water drainage.
  • If some of the surface water from your home goes directly to a watercourse (not via the public sewer) and you pay a third party for its disposal, the charge for surface water will be reduced by the amount you pay to the third party (up to a maximum of the amount we charge you for that part of our service).

We've included a diagram to illustrate a property that may be entitled to a bill reduction if surface water does not drain into a public sewer (PDF 87 KB opens in a new window).

Unfortunately, you won’t be entitled to a reduction if:

  • Any proportion of your surface water drains to the public sewer
  • Only part of your surface water goes to a soakaway with some surface water still draining to the public sewer.
  • You have re-directed your roof drainage into water butts.
  • You drain to a watercourse, brook or stream via a public sewer.
  • You have any rainwater harvesting systems installed at your home (for example, you use rainwater to flush your toilet cistern).

We've included a diagram to illustrate a property that is not entitled to a bill reduction because of the way surface water is disposed of (PDF 87 KB opens in a new window).

How to apply for a reduction 

If you believe that none of your surface water drains to a public sewer, please download our application form (PDF 256 KB opens in a new window) and answer all the questions. You will also need to draw a diagram showing your home, garden and hard standing areas, and indicate where you think your surface water drains to. This will help us if we need to visit your home to check whether or not your surface water drains to the public sewer.