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FAQs about your bill

How can I pay my bill?

There’s a wide choice of payment methods for you to choose from:


Why isn’t water free?

We have to take water from the natural environment, then filter, clean and pump it to your home. We also have to maintain reservoirs, storage tanks, buildings, pumps and over 2,800 km of mains. This all costs money.  

Where your money goes


Why do I have bills from two water companies?

We provide drinking water. Your wastewater or sewerage services bill will come from another company. Depending on where you live, it could be Wessex Water or Southern Water.

Find your water and sewerage services providers


How do you calculate my bill?

Your bill is made up of two charges:

  • the standing charge, plus
  • a variable charge – this depends on whether you have a meter.

If you have a meter

If you do not have a meter

The amount of water you have used

An amount per £1 of the rateable value of the property

Water charges information


How much do you charge for water?

It depends on whether you have a meter. See our water charges.


I don’t know if I have a meter. How can I find out?

Simply look at the top of your water bill or statement.


What is a cubic metre of water?

It’s the unit we use to measure water usage. A cubic metre is 1,000 litres, equivalent to 220 gallons or about 13 baths.


What is the rateable value?

Rateable values are used to calculate charges if you do not have a meter. They cannot be changed.  The rateable value of your property can be found at the top of your unmetered bill.

Rateable values explained


What is Ofwat?

Ofwat is the economic regulator for the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. For more information go to


Why is my bill higher than expected?

If you have a meter and your bill is higher than expected, please don’t worry – we’re here to help. The most important thing is to let us know right away by calling 01202 590059.

We will help you work out why your bill has increased and help sort out any payment problems, whatever the cause may be. We can also offer you extra help if we find that water is leaking from the pipe that runs from the street boundary into your home.

Why your bill may be high

If our meter reading shows that your water use has risen significantly, we’ll let you know before we send you the bill and try to help.


What if I can’t pay the bill?

Please contact us as soon as possible on 01202 590059 if you are finding it difficult to pay your bill. We answer calls in person from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

The sooner you contact us the better. We will try to help you by:

  • setting up a payment plan especially for you
  • putting you in touch with other organisations that can help

We will also see if you are eligible for WaterSure, a reduced tariff scheme if you claim certain benefits and have more than three children at home or need to use a lot of water due to a medical condition.

We never cut off the supply to household customers for non-payment, but we will recover the amount owed to us. If we have to take court action you will be charged interest, legal and court costs and could even have a County Court Judgment against you.

How we can help if you have trouble paying


How can I reduce my water bill?

Our water tariffs are set to be as fair as possible to all customers. Although we cannot change them for individual customers, we can help in other ways:

Using less water  – if you have a meter you can reduce your bill by using less water. For information on this and water-saving devices see water efficiency.

Capped tariff– if you have a meter and are claiming certain benefits, you may be eligible for the WaterSure assisted tariffif you have three children living at home or if you use a lot of water due to a medical condition.

Free meters – if you don’t have a meter and your water use is low (because you live alone, for example), your bills could be lower with a meter. We usually install meters free of charge. To find out more, please call us on 01202 590059 or go to this section: Is a meter right for me?

Choice of payments – you don’t have to pay your bill all at once. Make regular payments by Direct Debit, for example, see Ways to pay.


What if a property is empty?

The water bill must be paid unless the supply is turned off.

If there is a meter, the bill will be minimal if water is not being used. The bill will be for the standing charge, plus the amount of water recorded by the meter.

If the property becomes vacant after changing hands, we will automatically install a meter. This is part of our metering policy.

If there is no meter and you want to keep the supply connected but you don't want to pay the full unmetered charge, you can apply for a meter. We normally provide meters free of charge.


How can I set up a Direct Debit?

Please use one of these forms:
Direct Debit form if you have a meter
Direct Debit form if you do not have a meter


How do you calculate monthly Direct Debits?

It depends on whether you have a water meter:

Metered supply – we estimate your water use for the year using past readings as a guide, and work out the cost. We include your account balance from the end of the previous financial year and then divide the total amount into monthly payments.

If we do not have a full history of your water usage, we will use other methods, such as the number of people in the property and the type of property to estimate your water use.

When you start a Direct Debit we’ll spread the amount you need to pay over the rest of the financial year. Our financial year ends on 31st March.

Unmetered supply – our monthly plan is spread over ten months from April to January. We don’t collect payments in February and March because we want to ensure that all payments have been credited to your account before the next annual bill is created.


What is the standing charge?

It’s a charge to cover the costs that apply to all customers equally, no matter how much water they use. These include account administration and maintaining the mains, service pipes and reservoirs.

We believe the standing charge is the fairest way to cover these costs.

About the standing charge

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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