Frequently asked questions
Why do I have no water?
Our In your area site will tell you if there’s any work, that we are aware of, that could be causing no water.
There could be a few reasons for having no water:
- Emergency work on a burst main
- Planned work where we’ve notified you in advance
- An airlock in your system following work
- An issue with your internal plumbing
- Neighbours carrying out work on a joint supply
If you can't find anything on our In your area site, you may want to check with neighbours to confirm if it is just your supply affected. If the issue is affecting your neighbours, it may be that we’re not aware of a problem on our main supply. Please call our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020 to report this.
To check for airlocks, turn your internal stop tap on and off 3 times to release any air whilst the cold kitchen tap is open. You should also check that your external stop tap is open if it is safe to do so.
For issues with internal plumbing there is a list of approved plumbers at WaterSafe.
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 indicate an internal plumbing problem and you’ll need to contact a plumber. Approved plumbers can be found through WaterSafe or on the Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme WIAPS.
- Turn your internal stop tap on and off 3 times while the cold kitchen tap is open. You should also check that your external stop tap is open.
- Check if your neighbours have the same problem, if not it is likely that it is an internal plumbing problem.
- Have a look at our In your area site to find out if there’s any work causing this.
If it still remains low after carrying out the 4 checks, please call our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020 to report this.
If there’s continuous low pressure:
There are several factors that could mean that your house has a lower pressure and flow rate than at a different house:
- The height of your house in relation to the reservoir
- A smaller or older supply pipe
- A shared supply pipe
- A time of day with higher demand
- Longer internal pipework
If you have no water:
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 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 for unblocking private sewers and drains. We’d recommend you contact a private contractor and you can find a list of approved contractors on the WaterSafe website by selecting your postcode and then 'Sanitation' within the services section . If you have an insurance policy that covers this, please check your policy documents first.
We’re responsible for clearing any blockages from the pipes highlighted in brown below. The pipes marked in blue are the responsibility of the homeowner.
You may find that a sewer pipe that you share with your neighbours runs through your land. In this case it would be classed as a public sewer/lateral drain and would be our responsibility.
For tenants, you may want to contact the Landlord to assist.
If the blockage is appearing from the upstairs of your property only, it’s unlikely to be from a public sewer.
The table below shows who is responsible for flooding and blockages:
Surface water on roads, highways and pavementsBlocked road drains / gullies and overgrown verges
Local Council Highways Department
Devon County Council Highways
Cornwall County Council Highways
Dorset County Council Highways
|Groundwater||Waterlogged ground when water pools on the surface||
Local Council or Landowner
|Rivers and watercourses||Water draining into rivers and streams from nearby land||
Environment Agency or Landowner
|Coastal / Tidal||Rough seas, high tides or storm overflows on lower land||Environment Agency|
|Public sewers||Manholes and covers||Us|
|Cesspits/ septic tanks, toilets or internal drains||Homeowner|
To help prevent sewers blocking have a look at our top tips.
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 food scraps and fat off your plates into your bin or food waste recycling.
Use your Gunk Pot or similar container to collect cooled fats, oils and grease from roasting trays and frying pans.
Give plates and pans a quick wipe with kitchen roll or newspaper to remove any liquid fat or grease before putting in the sink or dishwasher.
Empty your full Gunk Pot into your kitchen bin, then wipe it out with kitchen roll ready to reuse. Alternatively, dispose of an equivalent container directly into the bin.
However, check the advice from your local council if food recycling is available in your area.
You can buy fat traps along with a range of water saving products from Less Mess
There’s more information here on fat, oil and grease.
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