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Our metering policy

Optional metering

We usually provide meters free of charge to household customers who want them, provided the property is suitable. This is known as ‘optional metering’.

For more information, please see our booklet Your Option to Meter

We will meet the cost of installing a meter up to £650.

Compulsory metering

Meters are compulsory (and free of charge) when:

  • a property already has a meter
  • there are certain uses of water on the property, such as garden sprinklers or a swimming pool
  • the property was built after April 1, 1990

We may also install a meter at an unmetered property when there is a change of occupier.

More details are in our Water Charges booklet

Change of occupier – the law

When we are notified about a change of occupier at a property that does not have a meter, we may install one. The Water Industry Act 1991 (as amended by the Water Industry Act 1999) enables us to meter a property on a change of occupier.

Sprinklers and pools

If you use garden sprinklers or have a swimming pool, you must have a meter. This is because garden sprinklers can use as much water in an hour as a family of four does in two days!

We believe that people who use sprinklers (or any other automatic garden watering device) should pay for the extra water they use. The same applies to swimming pools, because of the amount of water needed to fill or refill them.

Terms and conditions

  1. Installation of meter 
    In the case of a new supply the Company will provide a suitable meter(s) and at the customer's cost ancillary apparatus for fixing to the supply in a suitable chamber and in a position approved by the company. The customer shall also pay to the company the cost of connecting the pipes of the company.
  2. Ownership of meter 
    The meter(s) and apparatus shall belong to, and be maintained by the company and subject to paragraph 4 below, after fixing shall not be removed or be in any way disturbed or interfered with except by an officer of the company.
  3. Damage to meter 
    The company shall maintain the meters in proper working order. The customer shall reimburse the company on demand any costs reasonably incurred by the company in making good any loss of, or damage to, the meter(s) arising from any cause other than fair wear and tear.
  4. Change of meter 
    The company shall be entitled at their cost to substitute from time to time for the meter(s) installed under paragraph 1 above, such other meter(s) and ancillary apparatus as they may consider desirable.
  5. Meter reading 
    Readings shall be taken by an authorised officer at such intervals as the company may determine and in periods where no reading is taken, estimated consumption shall be used as a basis of charge.
  6. Leakage and waste 
    A code of practice exists on leakage to supplies. Click here for further information.
  7. Accessibility of meter 
    The customer shall allow authorised officers of the company access to the premises at all reasonable times for the purposes of inspecting reading or exchanging the meter.
  8. Testing of meters
    1. The company or any person duly authorised by them may at any time, and shall if so requested in writing by the customer, test the accuracy of any meter which has been installed.
    2. A meter shall be tested in accordance with Regulation 6(2) and (4) of the 1988 Regulations in order to determine whether it falls within the prescribed limits of error (whether or not it is a meter to which those Regulations apply).
    3. The company or any person duly authorised by them may remove the meter from the premises where it is necessary to do so for the purpose of testing.
    4. The equipment used for testing shall comply with clause 4.11 of BSEN ISO 9001
    5. The Company shall provide the customer with a copy of the results of the test.
  9. Expenses of testing 
    Where a test is carried out in accordance with Regulation 6 at the request of the customer, and the meter on being tested falls within the prescribed limits of error, the company may recover from the customer the expenses (maximum charge £70) reasonably incurred by them in carrying out the test.
  10. Method of proof and effect of meter reading
    1. Where the company fixes charges in relation to any premises by reference to volume, a reading from the meter installed in relation to those premises proved in accordance with this regulation shall be evidence of the volume of water supplied to those premises, unless the meter is proved to register incorrectly.
    2. A reading from a meter may be proved by producing the certificate of a person duly authorised by the undertakers to read the meter and certify the reading.
    3. A meter shall be regarded as registering incorrectly if on being tested it is found to exceed the prescribed limits of error.
    4. Except where it is proved to have begun to register incorrectly on some later date, a meter which is found to exceed the prescribed limits of error shall be deemed to have done so since the last occasion but one on which the company or any person duly authorised by them last read the meter for the purpose of ascertaining the volume of water supplied to the premises in relation to which it is installed.
  11. Supplying water to other people 
    You are responsible for all charges for water supplied under this agreement. Where water is used by other people, it is your responsibility to make the necessary private arrangements for this service.  (A guide to water resale can be obtained from Ofwat at
  12. Position of meters 
    We will recommend the best position for the meter to be installed. If you wish the meter to be positioned elsewhere you will have to bear any additional costs. The position of the water meter does not affect your responsibility or joint responsibility to maintain the service pipe to your property.
  13. Future charges 
    Once the water services charges in respect of any premises for water supply have become measured charges in accordance with the company's Charges Scheme, they shall remain measured charges irrespective of any change of use of the premises or of the purpose for which the water is used, unless and until the Company at its own discretion determines that the charges payable shall be calculated in another manner.

The Earthing of electrical installations to water service pipes is not recognised as a safe method. Advice should be sought from the electricity board or an approved Electrical Contractor about the suitability of your earthing arrangements, particularly if any pipe repairs, alterations or extensions have been carried out. The company recognises no legal liability (expressly or by implication) where the water service pipe is used as a means of earthing an electrical installation.

Press Office

Journalists can contact the Press Office on 01392 443020 or via email


Should you get a water meter?

Water meters have important benefits for you, for us and for the environment as you can have more control over your water use and leaks are easier to detect.  

Find out more

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