Health and Safety
The health and safety of employees is paramount and we continually review our company policies and processes in order to minimise the number of incidents.
Our TAP ('Think, Act, Prevent') campaign was launched in 2011 to promote internal awareness of health and safety issues. Assigned health and safety representatives, manager's training days, and regular meetings of the Health and Safety Management Steering Group are some of the other measures in place to support the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of our staff.
During 2014/15 we undertook a major review of operational sites to risk assess our activities and identify and prevent any potential hazards.
Read our health and safety policy
Training and Development
We run a number of different training and development programmes.
These range from upskilling programmes for our operational field teams through to development programmes in areas such as finance. Training is delivered in a variety of ways including on-the-job, class-based and through the use of online applications or e-learning modules.
Fire Safety Training at our training centre in Hatherleigh
Confined Space Training at our training centre in Hatherleigh
We offer a range of apprenticeships which provide excellent opportunities to start a career in the water industry.
Our multi-award-winning apprenticeship scheme is a key part of our company’s future workforce plan, ensuring that employees who retire are replaced by very capable next-generation talent. Since 2011 we have recruited 106 apprentices and plans to recruit more under its next regulated business plan from 2020 to 2025.
We are a principal supporter of the South Devon University Technical College in Newton Abbot, which opened in 2016 and provides technical training in the disciplines of Water, Engineering and the Environment.
Find out more about our apprenticeships here
How can we help
Use the FAQ search to quickly find what you are looking for
How can I contact you?
You'll find all of our contact information here, which includes our most frequently asked questions and our telephone numbers.
What is a cubic metre?
A cubic metre equals 1000 litres of water. If you’re on a meter, the variable charge from 1st April 2019 for 1 cubic metre is: For water - £1.8477 For sewerage including surface water drainage – £3.5832 For sewerage excluding surface water drainage - £3.1549
Can I build over a public sewer?
Yes, if your extension or proposed building work is over or within 3 metres of a public sewer or lateral drain, you’ll need to let us know. You’ll need to check our guidance notes to ensure you meet the criteria and if so, complete the Declaration of works form online...
What do I do if I have a blocked drain or sewer?
For blockages on a public sewer, please contact us on 0344 346 2020 so that we can confirm responsibility. We’re responsible for maintaining public sewers and we’ll attend within 4 hours to unblock the sewer, free of charge. If you are the homeowner, you are responsible...
Do you have any job vacancies?
Please see our Careers page for current vacancies, student placements, graduate development programme and apprenticeships.
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...
What is your code of practice?
Our Codes of Practice set out our legal obligations and responsibilities together with your rights and responsibilities as our customer. They are approved by the industry regulator Ofwat. They include information on the services that we provide, how we calculate water...
Where is your Head Office?
We’re based in Exeter. Our address is: South West Water Limited, Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, Exeter, Devon EX2 7HR View Larger Map | Get Directions | View Bird's Eye
Why do I have high pressure?
If you’ve noticed intermittent high pressureThere may be planned maintenance work in your area that’s causing a sudden surge of pressure or flow. Sometimes air can get trapped in your pipes, causing the increase in pressure which can be resolved by running your taps for...
Why do I have low pressure?
If you’ve noticed sudden low pressure:There could be a few reasons for this, a burst main for example that is causing a sudden dip in your pressure or flow. You will need to carry out a few checks: Check if the low pressure is only affecting your hot water, this would...
How hard is my water?
Our water quality postcode search can be found here. 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...
What standards apply to water pressure?
We have a statutory requirement to supply water by gravity continuously for domestic purposes at a pressure that will; ‘reach the top of the top-most storey of every building’ (Water Industry Act 1991 Section 65) We also have service standards which are agreed with...
How can I dispose of fat, oil or grease?
Please follow these easy steps to keep fat, oil and grease out of your pipes by using your Gunk Pot or equivalent container: Scrape Scrape food scraps and fat off your plates into your bin or food waste recycling. Collect Use your Gunk Pot or similar...
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. Take a look at our new approach Downstream Thinking to tackle flooding from sewers. We regularly clean our sewers especially those we know are...
How can I stop sewer flooding?
You can help to stop our sewers from blocking and flooding by following our guide below: Only flush the 3 P’s pee, paper and poo Bag and bin baby wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products, nappies and similar materials Do not pour grease or cooking fat down the sink – the...
Is it too late to adopt my private pumping station?
No, if you believe you have a private pumping station that we have not yet assessed or adopted, complete the form so that we can confirm if the site qualifies for transfer of ownership. The pumping station transfer of ownership happened on 1 October 2016 and included...
Can I swim in your reservoirs?
No, swimming isn’t allowed in any of our reservoirs. There are however many recreational activities including wakeboarding, sailing and windsurfing available through South West Lakes Trust.
Are there any hosepipe bans this year?
No. The last water restriction in our region was in 1996. More information is available on our water resources.
How much water does an average person use?
The national average annual usage figures have been taken from The Consumer Council for Water and are listed below: Yearly water use in Cubic Metres m3 Number of people living in your home Low use Average use High...
How can I save water?
By taking simple steps like spending one minute less in the shower or turning the tap off while you brush your teeth, can set you on track to start saving water. To help you save water around the home, we’ve teamed up with savewatersavemoney to offer a FREE water-saving...
How do I arrange for my private or business water supply to be tested?
If you are a household customer and are concerned about your water supply, please contact our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020. If you have a private water supply e.g a borehole or well, or you are a business, you can arrange to supply us with a sample so that we can...
What kind of laboratory tests and services do you carry out?
Our laboratory carries out a wide range of chemical and microbiological tests. We analyse environmental and recreational samples to support business’ meet their regulatory and public health requirements. If you’d like to make an analytical enquiry you can use our online...
Can you test our trade effluent?
Yes. Our laboratory offers an independent analytical service for trade effluents. If you’d like to make an analytical enquiry you can use our online form
What public health and environment services do you provide?
Our Laboratory analyses environmental and recreational samples to support businesses in meeting regulatory and public health requirements.