about your water and sewerage services

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about your water and

sewerage services

your bill explained

where your money goes

about the services we provide

how we can help


If you can prove that no rainwater from your property drains to a public sewer you could be entitled to a reduction in your sewerage bill.

To claim, you must prove that:

• all the rainwater from your roof or shared roof drains into a soakaway at the front and rear of your property • all the rainwater from your garden, drive, patio or yard runs off into the ground.

Your claim will be unsuccessful if: • you use a water butt but have no


• only some of the rainwater goes to a soakaway

• rainwater from your roof runs indirectly to a sewer, eg, across a pavement, driveway or hard-paved areas.

It is free to make a claim.

To request a leaflet and application form call 0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service) or visit

www.wessexwater.co.uk/ surfacewaterdrainage

Your bill


Charges for water and sewerage services that are applicable from 1 April are

published by 1 March, once approved by Ofwat.

Visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/charges or call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

To obtain our ‘charges explained’ leaflet call 0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service). Further information about charges is also available from our regulator www.ofwat.gov.uk

Reduction of your

sewerage bill

Switch to a meter

If you live on your own, have a small

family, live in a house with a high rateable value, or you are a low water user, a water meter could help you reduce how much water you use and lower your bill. We can normally fit a meter for free and if we’re unable to fit one we may be able to offer an alternative charge. Request a leaflet and application form by calling

0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service) or apply online at


Sembcorp Bournemouth Water supply customers should call 01202 590059. You will normally pay for your water and sewerage services in one of two ways – metered or unmetered. Metered charges are based on the amount of water you use which is measured using a water meter. Unmetered charges use the rateable value of your property and not the amount of water you use. They are different for each property and we are required by law to use rateable values last set by the valuation officer of the Inland Revenue on 31 March 1990.


Customer Care Plus

If you have special requirements due to your age, ill health, a disability, mental illness, or particular needs, register for our Customer Care Plus scheme so that we can take this into account. We can offer:

• bills and leaflets in braille, large print or a language other than English • a security password system to protect against bogus callers

• extra assistance in the event of water supply interruptions.

Visit: www.wessexwater.co.uk/customerplus or call 0345 600 3 600. Calls welcomed via Text Relay service.

Problems paying

Money can be a worry for all of us and sometimes we struggle to pay our bills.

If you are in financial difficulty talk to us today and we may be able to help you:

• save money and water with a meter

• reduce your metered bill with free water saving devices and home water and energy checks

• spread the cost of your bills

• pay us directly from your benefits • lower your water bill

• repay debt and get back on track. Call 0345 600 3 600

(Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/tap

WaterSure Plus

If you have a water meter and you need to use a large amount of water for reasons you

cannot control, WaterSure Plus may be able to help. WaterSure Plus puts a limit on the

amount you have to pay.

To qualify for WaterSure Plus, you must receive one of the major social benefits or tax credits, such as income support, income-related

employment and support allowance, working tax credit, housing benefit or universal credit. In addition, you must either:

• receive child benefit for three or more

children under 19 living in your household, or

• have someone in the household with a

medical condition that causes them to use significantly more water.

See our website for more information:


or call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).


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Customers on a water meter

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Paying your bill by Direct Debit allows you to spread the cost of your water and sewerage services monthly at no extra charge.

For more information call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Customer number – please quote the

number on your bill whenever you contact us.

Closing balance from previous bill –

amounts owing from previous bills or credits carried forward, including Direct Debit payments.

Your current balance – your total charge

for this bill period including any debit or credit balance brought forward from your previous bill.

VAT is payable on water charges by some industrial customers.

Payment reference number – please

quote the 13 digit payment reference number when making your payment – see Ways to pay on the back of the bill.

Payment – if you have a meter, you’re billed

for your water in arrears and payment, to BWBSL, is due immediately.

Meter size – your meter connection size

determines your standing charges.

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Questions about your bill?

0345 600 3 600

(Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)


Meter readings – your latest and

previous meter readings. If the reading has been estimated, you can take your own reading and call us on 0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service). We will send you an amended bill.

Water usage – the number of cubic

metres used since your last bill (1 cubic metre = 1,000 litres or approximately 220 gallons).

Sewerage volume – volume in cubic

metres, used to calculate your full sewerage charge.

% water not returned to sewer –

sewerage charges assume 5% of the water you use is not returned to the sewer. This takes into account

evaporation, car washing, garden watering and variations during wet and dry years. If you think that consistently year on year more than 5% of your water supply is not returned to the sewer, please let us know and we’ll find out if you qualify for a reduction in charges.

Water volume charge – calculated by

multiplying your water use in cubic metres by the price per cubic metre for water.

Sewerage volume charge –

calculated by multiplying your water use in cubic metres by the price per cubic metre for sewerage. An

allowance is made for water not returned to the sewer and shown as cr on your bill.

Standing charges – these are based

on the connection size of your meter and are payable by all customers connected for these services. They include costs of maintaining and reading meters for water supply customers. The sewerage standing charge includes the cost of surface water and highway drainage. The standing charge is an annual fixed charge. Your bill includes a proportion of the standing charge based on the number of days since your last meter reading.

Reversion to unmetered billing –

household customers who have asked for a meter to be fitted may wish to return to paying on an unmetered basis but this option lapses after you have been billed for a whole year on the meter charge. You may only make this change once. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13


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Customer number – please quote

the number on your bill whenever you contact us.

Rateable value – your bill is based

on the rateable value of your

property on 31 March 1990, not on your council tax band.

For more information please call our rateable value talking leaflet line on 0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service).

Balance brought forward – this

includes amounts owing from previous bills or credits carried forward, including Direct Debit payments.

Standing charges – these are fixed

amounts payable by all customers. Part covers the cost of billing and part reflects some of the fixed costs of providing you with water and/or sewerage services.

Your current balance

• your total water supply charge • your total sewerage charge • your total charge this year.

Payment reference number –

please quote the 13 digit payment reference number when making your payment – see Ways to pay on the back of the bill.

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Pay by credit card or

debit card

To pay your bill by credit or debit card call our 24 hour automated line on 0345 600 1 019.

Make sure you have to hand your card details and 13 character payment reference number that begins 20 found in the box on your bill payment slip.

Questions about your bill?

0345 600 3 600

(Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)


Payment options – these are

explained on the back of your bill. Unless you have a payment

arrangement with us, you can

either pay your total bill now or pay it in two half-yearly amounts due on 1 April and 1 October. For uneven totals, the odd penny is added to the first instalment. If you do not pay the first half in April, the total bill has to be paid immediately.

Moving house – if you’ve moved or are planning to do so please let us know so that we can amend your bill.

Sprinklers – if you are using a

sprinkler, you must be on a metered supply.

Meter option – if you want to be

charged for the amount of water you use, rather than on the rateable value of your property, you could have a water meter. Most customers can change to a metered supply free of charge. If you apply for a meter and we are unable to fit it, we may be able to offer an alternative charge. Call 0345 600 6 600 (24 hour automated service) for a leaflet and application form.

Sembcorp Bournemouth Water supply customers should call 01202 590059 to find out details about their meter option.


Between 2015 and 2020 we’re investing around £2 billion to maintain and further improve the already high standards of service we provide, delivering what

customers tell us is most important to them. We are committed to ensuring we meet and exceed standards that are closely monitored by bodies including Ofwat and the Environment Agency. Our investment programme includes:

About us

• Improving bathing water quality by increasing levels of treatment and volume of storage in the sewerage network.

• Investment to further cut leakage by 5%.


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• Completing our integrated water supply grid to enhance the security of supply to customers

(www.wessexwater.co.uk/grid). • Taking ownership and responsibility

for up to 1,000 sewage pumping stations which are currently privately owned.

• Improving around 75 kilometres of sewers and pumping mains.

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• Maintaining our high level of compliance.

• Addressing raw water deterioration at source through catchment


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  • Reducing abstraction by

25 megalitres a day to minimise the impact on environmentally sensitive rivers.

• Maintaining high overall level of environmental compliance


• Improving the quality of 70 water bodies to meet new European directives.

• Using innovative lower-cost techniques to protect and help

improve water quality in rivers, lakes and estuaries.


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You are responsible for the maintenance of the plumbing inside your home, for example, all pipework, water tanks, taps and overflows. By law you are also responsible for the service pipe from your house to the outside boundary of your property. Where your service pipe

crosses third party land, you are responsible for the pipe from the point where it leaves our water main in the highway.

Property boundary Service pipe Water main

Water main – responsibility of Wessex Water Private pipes – responsibility of homeowner(s) Internal stop tap – responsibility of homeowner(s) External stop tap – responsibility of Wessex Water A A B B e pipes – r t a iv r P A Internal stop tap – r wner(s) y of homeo esponsibilit e pipes – r y of homeo esponsibilit op tap – r wner(s) wner(s) y of homeo er main – r t a W B External stop tap – r y boundar y t oper r P a W x esse W y of esponsibilit er main – r esse W y of esponsibilit op tap – r er t a er t a W x esse B pipe e vic er S A main r e t Wa

Pipework responsibility and leakage

In your home

• Keeping the risk of sewer flooding stable despite climate change and the increase of surface water run-off in urban areas. • Further enhancing the

sewerage network where significant new development is taking place.

• Reducing incidents of internal flooding due to blockages in the sewer

network, by campaigns about what not to flush down the toilet and pour down the sink.








• Processing more sludge to produce more biogas for electricity production or injecting into the gas grid. • Reducing carbon footprint by

over 15% from current levels and increasing energy self-generated from 20% to 24%.

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If you have a leak on your external service pipe we may be able to repair it under our free leak repair service. Our leakage code of practice explains how we help customers with leakage in their supply pipes – a version for business customers is also available.

If you spot a leak call our Leakstoppers line on 0800 692 0 692* (24 hours),

text 0790 033 4 400 or email leakstoppers@wessexwater.co.uk Alternatively report a leak using our

mobile app – visit


* Calls from 0800 numbers are free from BT landlines, costs from mobiles and other network providers may vary


Simple changes to save water and energy around your home include turning the tap off when brushing your teeth, taking short showers, only using washing machines and dishwashers on a full load. For more tips visit


To order FREE water saving devices and to buy efficient products and appliances please visit www.wessexwatershop.co.uk

Save water and energy

Water quality

A free copy of the water quality report for your supply area can be requested by calling 0345 600 4 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or email

operational.enquiries@wessexwater.co.uk giving your name, address and postcode.

For water quality information online: www.wessexwater.co.uk/yourarea

We offer household and business customers one of the best overall guarantees in the industry which apply to our water supply services such as supply interruptions,

sewerage services, such as sewer flooding, and to customer services like account queries, appointments, written complaints and debt

collection. For a full list of our promises visit


or call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

If you have any comments or complaints about the services we provide, our code of practice for enquiries and complaints shows how you can get in touch. If you are

unhappy with the response you receive, you can then contact the Consumer Council for Water, the independent customer watchdog or, in some cases, the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat). For more information visit

www.wessexwater.co.uk/cop www.ccwater.org.uk and www.ofwat.gov.uk or call

0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) for a leaflet.


You can prevent pipes in your home from being blocked by putting items, such as wet wipes, in the bin.

Around 13,000 blockages a year are caused by people flushing wet wipes, including so-called

‘flushable wipes’, as well as

tampons and sanitary products, cotton buds and even nappies down the toilet.

If you are affected by a blocked sewer, not only is it unpleasant, but the clean-up costs can be huge.

Our advice is to ‘love your loo’ by only flushing the three ps – paper, poo and pee, to stay blockage free.

In the kitchen

And while you love your loo spare a thought for the kitchen sink. Pouring fat, oil and grease down it will block this too.

Simply let these cool, pour them into a non-recyclable container and put it in with the household waste. Or better still scrape the solid fat into your food waste bin so it can be recycled.

Quite often, sewage flooding can be caused by a nearby neighbour not disposing of fat, oil and grease properly or by flushing the wrong items down the toilet. The blockage could occur further down the pipe from them – potentially near your home, so it is worth making sure your neighbours also do their bit to prevent blockages.

Have your say...

We value your opinion so please join our online customer research panel. You can tell us what you think of our services, how we can improve and help us plan for the future. Visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/haveyoursay

@wessexwater www.wessexwater.co.uk /wessexwater

Advice for avoiding blockages

Our guide to sewage flooding explains what to do in the unlikely

event of your property being affected by internal or external

flooding and how we can help. If your property is flooded call our


Wessex Water will use information about you to help us to deliver and improve the services we provide to you and to let you know about related products we believe you might be interested in.

We will also use this information to manage your account, including the collection and recovery of charges. We will disclose your information to Bristol Wessex Billing Services and to other service providers (including market research and survey

organisations) for these purposes. We will not disclose your information to any other third party without your consent except in circumstances

permitted by law such as where we are required to do so by the courts or by our regulator, Ofwat, or to comply with other legal obligations; to detect

and/or prevent crime or for credit reference or debt collection purposes. Our debt collection process is robust. To avoid taking unnecessary action against the very old or young we routinely collect dates of birth when you contact us. We also use date of birth to trace absconders, to uniquely identify a customer and in our dealings with the Department of Work and Pensions.

To protect our customers and staff telephone calls may be recorded.

Be stranger aware!

Bogus callers often prey on elderly or vulnerable people by pretending they work for a water company to con their way into homes. All our staff or

representatives of our billing company Bristol Wessex Billing Services carry photographic identification and we operate a password system where requested. Our staff rarely need to enter customers’ homes and will always show their identity card first and are happy to wait outside while you confirm their identity.

If in doubt, keep them out!


Questions about your bill?

0345 600 3 600

(Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)