Ensuring clean, fresh tap water continues to flow to your taps 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is our top priority.
Cleaning our water mains
To make sure your water is of a consistently high quality, it's essential we carry out maintenance to our vast network of underground pipes.
Over time, naturally occurring and harmless deposits can build up in the network, especially if the water is slow moving.
While these deposits are not harmful, they can temporarily discolour your water. To clear these deposits and keep your water crystal clear we use a technique known as flushing.
This involves directing water through the pipes quickly to draw the sediment deposits out of the network, and is a very effective way of cleaning the inside of our water mains.
Once the water reaches its journey’s end, the flushed water containing these deposits is directed into the drains.
How will I know when you're flushing in my area?
Before the flushing starts, you'll receive a letter through the post with information about the flushing and the dates when you might be affected.
The vast majority of customers are only affected for part of a single day, but the exact details will be on the letter.
How long will the flushing take place?
Flushing usually takes a maximum of one-two days.
Will my water supply be affected during cleaning works?
Most customers are only directly affected for a few hours as we flush past their property, although we may need to do this on more than one day when working in an area.
Some customers may get discoloured water as a result of this cleaning technique, but we constantly monitor the network to reduce the impact that discolouration may have.
What should I do if my water supply is discoloured as a result of this work?
Please be assured discoloured water is not harmful to health. To restore your normal water supply, we advise you to run your cold kitchen tap until your water returns to normal. This usually takes 20 minutes but can take up to an hour. Please contact us to be reimbursed for the water used.
Will it be safe to use appliances like my washing machine and dishwasher if my water is discoloured?
We recommend you wait until your water is running clear until you use your washing machine or dishwasher.
What do I do if someone needs special assistance, for example, a water supply is needed for medical or nursing purposes?
All customers registered as a Priority Customer due to ill health or disability will receive advance notice if we're going to be working in their area.
We also aim to arrange an alternative source of water as quickly as possible and will often hand-deliver bottled drinking water if needed.
If you, or someone you know, is without water and needs extra support due to ill health or disability (for example getting access to bottled water), please call our dedicated Customer Care team on 0333 000 2468. We're here Monday – Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm. For out of hours emergencies, please call 0333 000 0365.
Will my water pressure be affected?
You may experience some changes to your water pressure, but this will normally return to normal within a few hours of us carrying out the cleaning process.
How much water is used?
We are committed to using the least amount of water possible during any planned flushing programme. Our flushing plan includes calculations for the precise volume of water required for each and every section of pipe work. This ensures we always use the least amount of water possible
Help for Priority Customers
If you're registered as a Priority Customer due to ill health or disability, we'll make sure you receive advance notice if we're going to be working in your area. We'll also aim to arrange an alternative source of water as quickly as possible, and will often hand-deliver bottled drinking water to you if needed.
If you're not on our Priority Services Register and have a medical condition which could be impacted by an interruption to your water supply, please register your details by clicking on the blue button below or get in touch.