Regulatory and industry information
Because South West Water is the only water supplier in the region, there is a very strict system of regulation in place to safeguard the best interests of its customers and the environment.
Frequently asked questions
Find out more about us
How can I contact you?
You'll find all of our contact information here, which includes our most frequently asked questions, arrange a free call back form and our telephone numbers.
How much does a new water connection cost?
We’ll provide you with a quote which will be specific to your connection requirements after we’ve completed a site survey. The quote will be made up of: Connection costs (all work, materials required for us to make connection) Traffic management (depending on the...
How do I apply for a new sewer connection?
You can complete our sewer connection application form and return it to us by email, the guidance notes contain more information. You’ll need to arrange for a drain to be laid from your property to our sewer. If you need help in locating the closest public sewer, you...
Why has the water cover been marked with paint?
We use blue paint to either mark a location of a stop tap or meter when we’re planning maintenance work or when we know there’s a fault that needs resolving. Other utilities also use a different colour paint to mark locations of their apparatus for the same reasons.
What area do you serve?
We provide water and sewerage services to Devon, Cornwall and small parts of Dorset and Somerset. Our region is nearly 4,300 square miles (11,137 square kilometres) in size. There are 1.6 million residents and around 5 million visitors a year. We provide clean water to...
How much water is supplied and taken away each day?
We supply over 345 million litres (76 million gallons) of water through 15,185KM of mains pipes every day. We take away and treat over 500 million litres (110 million gallons) of waste water at over 640 treatment works through 14,995km of sewers every day.
What’s happening in my area?
You can find out about work we are doing in your area by looking at our In your area site.
Do you have any job vacancies?
Please see our Careers page for current vacancies, student placements, graduate development programme and apprenticeships.
What do you do to make sure my water is safe to drink?
We monitor water quality all the way from the source, through the treatment processes and distribution network of pipes right up until it reaches your tap. We take thousands of samples from our supply system and from our customers’ taps for testing. The Drinking Water...
Who is responsible for water pipes and leaks?
Pipes Description of pipe Responsibility Water main This is the large underground pipe which usually is found in the highway or road Our responsibility Communication pipe This is the underground pipe that runs from the water main to the boundary of the street...
Where can I find plans of pipework in my area?
For location of private pipework in your area contact your local District Council or check your house deeds. If you are a land or property owner you can request an asset plan by emailing Source for Searches. For solicitors/conveyancers looking for a water and drainage...
How hard is my water?
Most of our area is sourced from moorland rivers and reservoirs and is classed as soft or moderately soft. In East Devon the water comes from deep underground boreholes and this water is classed as slightly or moderately hard. You can read more about Water...
How can I dispose of fat, oil or grease?
The best way to get rid of fat or food without pouring it down the sink is to dry wipe plates and pans with kitchen roll before washing them and dispose of it in the bin. Leftover cooking fat should be emptied into a container (such as a fat trap) for it to cool and...
What are you doing to prevent sewer flooding?
We know that being affected by sewer flooding is unpleasant and upsetting so we’re working hard to prevent it from happening. We regularly clean our sewers especially those we know are prone to blockages and encourage you to only flush the 3 p’s – pee, paper and poo. We...
What causes sewer flooding?
Sewer flooding can be caused by: Blocked pipes Extreme weather causing prolonged rainfall Insufficient land drainage Surcharges from private sewers or drains You can find out more information here about the causes of sewer flooding.
How will you fix any problems on the sewers that you now own?
We will prioritise work by assessing the condition of the transferred sewers and pinpointing where issues may lie. We’ll focus on fixing sewers with a risk of collapsing or flooding first. To report a problem please call our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020.