Terms and conditions

This section tells you about your legal rights and responsibilities relating to your water and wastewater services charges. It covers issues such as leaks, moving premises, supply pipes and the water meter itself.

The occupier of premises is liable for charges except where another person has agreed with us to accept responsibility, in which case that person is liable. In most landlord and tenant situations it is normally the tenant who is charged as the occupier and not the landlord. Exceptions include some accommodation where the occupation of the tenants is temporary. In these cases the landlord will usually be charged as the occupier.

Charges will be made when premises are occupied or where we provide services to those premises. Unless we have reached another agreement with you, charges are payable when you receive your bill and we must receive your payment within 14 days.

We will charge you for all the water which has passed through the water meter regardless of any loss, wastage, leakage or misuse. However, we will only make one adjustment for an internal leak and one adjustment for an external leak per customer per property.

This is to cover both water and wastewater charges. You must have repaired the leak within any time limit we set, or within two weeks, whichever is the later. Our ‘Leakage code of practice’ for metered domestic properties gives you more information. You can get a copy by calling us on 0345 672 2999 or by visiting our website here.

If, for any reason, we cannot establish how much water has passed through the water meter, we will estimate the amount of water used to base your charges on. If appropriate, we will adjust this charge later. For any period of time when the water meter is out of order, our estimate will be based on the most reliable information available.

If you have a metered water supply you are liable for water services charges until either:

  • you leave the premises having given us an up to date meter reading
  • you request that the supply is disconnected
  • where the water meter serves more than one premises the person who accepted responsibility for payment of the charges gives a reasonable period of notice to end the agreement.
  • if you don’t give us notice that you are leaving the property then the charges will be payable until the next meter reading is taken or until 28 days after you inform us as provided by section 144 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

You are responsible for the water supply pipe serving your property. This is usually the section of pipe from the boundary of your property (often the garden wall) into your property. In some cases, particularly in rural areas, you may be responsible for more pipework between the part of the street in which our main is laid and your property or where the supply pipe crosses someone else’s land. If you are in any doubt about your responsibility, more information may be available from the deeds of your property.

The water meter will remains our property. This means that we are responsible for maintaining and eventually replacing it. We will do this at our own expense, unless the water meter has been tampered with.

Tampering with a water meter is a serious offence. You should not remove the water meter, obstruct access to it or carry out any work on it without our permission. We will recover the costs of any expense, loss or damage from the person responsible.

Occasionally we may need to test your water meter, or if you ask us to, we must test it. If you have asked us to test the water meter, and it is not faulty, you must pay for the test. For more information, download our ‘Testing your household water meter’ leaflet here (PDF 232 KB opens in a new window).

You also have the option of having the water meter tested by the Trading Standards Officer. If you wish to do this, you should contact your local Trading Standards Department directly. 

Under the Lowest Bill Guarantee scheme and during the 24 month period and each time your meter is read, we will compare the cost of your metered charges to what your charges would have been on an unmetered basis and you will be billed the lower of the two amounts. 

The lowest bill guarantee scheme is only applicable for those customers using water for normal domestic purposes. All excessive usage will be investigated and if found to be outside the terms of the lowest bill guarantee, the price promise will not be applied and the customer will be reverted to a compulsory meter.