If you can't find the answer below please see our contact us page on the left.
Waste Water & Trade Effluent
► What is a trade effluent consent?
This is a legally binding document specific to each customer, premises and process from which the trade effluent is discharged. The consent controls or limits the discharge. You can find out more information by clicking trade effluent or if you need to change or cancel an existing consent please contact us
► How do I apply for trade effluent consent?
If you think your business needs a trade effluent consent, please complete the preliminary details form or contact us for further advice. You can find out more information by clicking trade effluent
► How can I reduce my trade effluent costs?
South West Water may be able to help identify new opportunities to improve your current trade effluent process and reduce costs by undertaking a process review site visit. You can find out more information by clicking trade effluent
Laboratory & Water Quality Support
► What kind of laboratory tests do you carry out?
South West Water's laboratory analysis and environmental assessment services cover a wide range of public, private and regulated sectors. Our UKAS accredited laboratory can provide independent fast accurate analysis and support for our customers in a cost efficient way. You can find out more information by clicking laboratory analysis
► Do you carry out Legionella testing?
Yes, our laboratory is accredited for the analysis of Legionella in hot and cold water systems, swimming pools, spa pools and hot tubs. You can find out more information by clicking Legionella
► Do you carry out Legionella training?
Yes, we are able to provide a range of Legionella training courses required for effective Legionella control. Additional training can be provided on request for monitoring and record-keeping. You can find out more by clicking training
► Do you carry out Legionella risk assessments?
Yes, we can carry out a detailed assessment of your premises, working closely with you whilst on site to ensure all systems are covered and that any control measures in place comply with regulations. You can find out more by clicking assessment
Water & Energy Efficiency
► Can South West Water help my business save water?
South West Water has a comprehensive range of water efficiency tools for business customers. We can offer a water audit to help identify initiatives that would help to reduce water consumption and improve water efficiency. You can find out more information by clicking water efficiency
► What is rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection, filtering, storage and use of rainwater. This water is used to replace main water in non-potable applications such as toilets, urinals, washing machines, irrigation systems, vehicle washing, sprinkler systems and any other uses where the water is not used for human consumption
► Why harvest rainwater?
Rising utility bills, reduction of running costs and environmental implications are just three reasons for investing in a rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting is a key component to reach compliance within the Code for Sustainable Homes to reduce the overall water consumption. Additionally, rainwater re-use scores high in the Water Efficiency sector of the BREEAM schemes and can help gain planning permission by meeting site drainage requirements as part of a sustainable drainage (SuDS) scheme.
► Does the storage tank require an overflow?
An overflow facility should be fitted to all storage tanks and cisterns to allow the drainage of excess water during periods of heavy rainfall. The overflow should prevent any back flow and be secure against any vermin entering the system,.
Flow capacity of the overflow outlet pipe should be equal to, or greater than, the capacity of the inlet pipe. Best practice design will allow for overflow of the main tank at least twice a year to remove build up of floating sediment and maintain good quality stored water.
► What steps are taken to ensure safety of the system?
A risk assessment should be carried out following a recognised process at the design stage. The assessment should take into account the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the system and cover water quality, structural integrity, electrics and access. Additionally, the risk assessment should consider potential sources of contamination of water entering, or already in the system.
► What help can you offer my business if there is a leak?
We may be able to offer our business customers with up to one hour's free leak detection service for leaks on underground service pipes to help identify the leak. Please note that for leaks that are difficult to locate and length service pipes, it is likely that this free hour will only be able to confirm the presence of a leak and provide some help and guidance in how best to proceed with further investigation. You can find out more information by clicking leakage
► How do I apply for a commercial leak allowance?
Call our business services helpline on 0800 2300 755 to request a leak allowance pack. Send the completed forms to Customer Leakage, South West Water, Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, Exeter, Devon, EX2 7HR. You can find out more information by clicking leakage
► Will my business receive an allowance if there is a leak?
The first time you have a leak on your underground private service pipe, we will grant you an allowance for both the water and sewerage elements of your bill so that you do not pay any more than you usually pay, subject to you having stopped the leak by repairing your service pipe within 30 days of receiving a notice from us suggesting that you might have a leak or receiving a bill showing higher than normal water use (which should cause you to check for a leak) and have either installed leak detection equipment approved by us or signed up for our monthly meter reading service, at a cost of £65 per annum plus VAT. You can find out more information by clicking leakage
Your Water Bill
► What are your current commercial charges/tariffs?
Our charges schemes for the water and sewerage services we provide are set by our regulator Ofwat. They run from 1 April to 31 March each year.
You can find out more by clicking your water bill
► What shall I do about my meter if I move or cease trading?
Please notify us at least two working days, but preferably five, beforehand so that we can take the final meter reading. If you do not notify us you will remain liable for the charges raised up to either:
- 28 days after notification of a change of customer is received
- The date the meter is normally read (the end of the charging period)
- The date the new occupier tells us that they are responsible for the meter, whichever occurs first after you have ceased to occupy the property
We recognise that this will be a busy time. If you realise at the last moment that you have not told us you are moving, please read the meter yourself and call our accounts helpline on 0800 169 1133 (Minicom 0800 169 9965) with the reading.
► What is the process for a new water connection?
Once you have contacted us to apply for a new water connection the steps below set out what you should expect to happen in order to complete your connection to our water mains network:
- Survey Appointment - at the time you contact us we will arrange for a New Connections Inspector to carry out a survey of your site and provide you with an application form.
- Application Form - you will need to complete the form and send it back to us.
- Quotation - you will receive a quotation within 20 working days of us receiving your application form.
- Water Regulations Approval - before a new water supply connection can be made, you must obtain regulations approval for the proposed plumbing system and water fittings.
- Trench Inspection - we may need to inspect your newly laid private supply pipe and the trench in which it is laid before a water connection can be made. Once the trench inspection is requested, we have 48 hours to instruct you of the need to undertake inspection.
- Making payment - full payment will be required before a connection can be made.
- Arranging the connection - once you have completed the steps above we can plan a connection date which is dependent on traffic management requirements.
You can find out more by clicking water connections.
► How do I make a new connection to your water mains?
We must connect any new premises to the water mains if you ask us to do so, but you will have to pay the cost including:
- The cost of making the connection
- The cost of laying our part of the supply pipe, a stop tap and the installation of a water meter
- A fixed connection to our overall costs of making water supplies available (unless the property had a water supply previously)
You can find our more by clicking mains connection
► What public health and environmental services do you provide?
We offer a range of public health and environmental services including:
- Analysis of private water supplies
- Legionella analysis and risk assessments
- Swimming pool and hot tub analysis
We also have a dedicated Public Health Scientist who can provide you with expert advice on public health matters. You can find our more by clicking public health
►Should my pipework meet with any requirements?
Yes, your pipework and plumbing should comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. These are designed to stop contamination of water supplies by preventing back-flow, back-siphonage and interconnections of water from other sources. They should be referred to when carrying out any plumbing works. You can find out more by clicking regulations
► What will happen when you inspect the site?
A New Connections Inspector will visit you on site to discuss your requirements. They will provide you with an information pack and an application form. They will also measure up and provide you with a quote which we will aim to send to you within 20 working days from the receipt of your completed application form.
We will also advise you of what you need to do before we make the connection. This may include:
- Ensuring that the regulations covering water fittings are complied with
- Laying part of the supply pipe to our specification
- Obtaining any necessary consents from other landowners
- Paying our costs
- Providing a separate supply pipe to each part of the building or property which will be separately occupied
Once you have completed the steps that you are requested to do, we must connect your supply to a water main within 14 days (or 21 days if we have to lay our part of the supply pipe). It may be longer if highway restrictions are imposed - but we will notify you in advance.
► Can I arrange to lay my own water mains and connection?
Yes, if you are or will be employing an accredited self lay organisation, you may undertake this work following Ofwat's introduction of competition for the provision of water mains and supply pipes, you may choose to enter into an agreement with us to lay your water mains and connections using a multi-utility contractor.
The designer and contractor should be approved through Lloyds Register under the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WRAS). You can find out more about our self lay policy by clicking water connections
► How deep does my new pipework need to be laid?
If you are laying your own supply pipe, or you have a contractor working on your behalf you must follow the minimum and maximum depth levels below.
Minimum depth is 750mm of cover
Maximum depth is 1350mm of cover
► How do I pay for a new water connection?
Full payment will be required before a connection to our water main can be made. You can pay easily by cheque, credit or debit card. Please make cheques out to South West Water and sent them to South West Water, PO Box 4762, Worthing, BN11 9NT
► How much does a new water connection cost?
There isn't a standard cost for a new water connection as the work required to make the connection can vary depending on the length of the excavation, the diameter of the size of connection required, whether you decide to pay our costs of laying a connection pipe in the highway and making a connection to our water main or arrange for a contractor authorised by the Highway Authority to excavate a trench in the highway and pay our costs of making this connection to the water main only.
By calling our services helpline on 0800 169 1144 you can arrange for a New Connection Inspector to visit your site to discuss your specific requirements. They will provide you will an information pack and application form. They will also measure up and provide you with a quote which we will aim to send to you within 20 working days of receipt of your completed application form.
The quote will include the costs of making the connection, laying our part of the supply pipe, a stop tap and the installation of a water meter. In addition to the costs of making the connection, highways charges may be applicable where the connection needs to be made in a traffic sensitive road together with an Infrastructure Charge which is a fixed contribution to our overall costs of making water supplies available (unless the property had a water supply previously).
► What is an infrastructure charge and when do I need to pay it?
The infrastructure charge needs to be paid by anyone who wishes to build or develop a property and it is used to cover the costs of the extra demand on our existing network. The charges are separate from the additional connection charges and payable before connection is made.
The charges are applicable to the following, whether connecting directly or indirectly:
- Additional new premises on the site of demolished premises
- Building of new domestic properties including permanent caravans
- Conversion of existing building into additional units/dwellings
- First time connection of an existing property
- New commercial and industrial units
This charge is permitted under Section 146 of the Water Industry Act 1991.