What's it about?
It grew out of the findings of the Walker Review into affordability and charges in the water industry in 2009. This highlighted the historically high level of charges in the South West and in particular recognised the 'unfairness' of three per cent of the population of England and Wales paying for the clean-up of a third of all the country's bathing waters.
Government pledge for action
In 2011, the former Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor all pledged action to tackle the unfairness and special legislation was passed through Parliament in Spring 2012, giving South West Water up to £40 million annually to reduce household bills by £50 from 2013.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron told the Western Morning News: "I understand the unfairness that people feel in the South West that they are paying a lot of money so that there are clean beaches for people like me from Oxfordshire to come and play on."
An agreement on implementing the reduction was signed by South West Water and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in November 2012. None of the money will be retained by South West Water, it will all be passed onto qualifying customers.
The Walker Review 2009:
- DEFRA - The independent review of charging for household water and sewerage services
- The Walker Review 2009
News and reports:
- Water UK - Review of charging for household water and sewerage services
- Parliamentary briefing - Water bills in the South West
How can we help?
Use the FAQ search to quickly find what you are looking for...
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...
Why do I need permission to build over or close to a public sewer?
We need to approve your proposal of works (even if you have already had planning permission granted) as your building could cause damage or prevent access to the sewer. Some conservatories and minor works don’t always need planning and/or building regulation approval,...
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...
How do I get a new or replacement water connection?
Take a look at our new or replacement water connection pages to find more information about this service, including how to apply, an explanation of the process and charges. When you've completed our application form, we'll contact you in writing within 5 calendar days...
Can I change my payment plan?
The easiest way to change your payment plan is to talk to us so that we can advise you of the range of options available and make sure you're on the most suitable payment plan. We can arrange a call back to do this. Please complete the details in our Arrange a free call...
Can I view a copy of my bill?
Yes, you can view your bill online at MyAccount. If you need a paper copy, we’ll call you back to arrange to send this within the next week. Please complete the details in our Arrange a free call back section on the right.
Why has my payment plan increased?
The main reasons why your payment plan has increased are: You might have higher consumption over the last 12 months There’s an outstanding amount on your bill You may have previously been in credit which has now decreased There may have been a delay in the date of your...
How is my metered bill calculated?
Your bill is made up of a fixed charge and a variable charge. Fixed charge - This covers our costs for supplying water and taking away and treating used water. Volume charge - This is based on the amount of water you use in cubic metres. 5% allowance is given for the...