Guaranteed Standards Scheme

At Cambridge Water we are committed to providing the best possible service at all times. The quality of that service is very important to us and our Guaranteed Standards Scheme explains the minimum standards we aim to achieve for our customers.

If you are not happy with any part of our service, please call us in the first instance – we value and act on your comments to improve the way we deal with customers in the future. Our office hours are 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Our control room is staffed 24-hours a day for emergency notification of loss of water, pressure or water quality complaints.

If we do fail to meet the standards outlined in this leaflet you may be eligible for a payment. For more details please call 01223 706050. This scheme is monitored by our regulator Ofwat. Further information on the Guaranteed Standards Scheme can be found at www.ofwat.gov.uk.

Keeping appointments

When we make an appointment we will specify if the visit will be made before or after 1pm. If you would like a more specific appointment, we will offer you one with a two-hour time-band.

We will automatically pay you £20 if:

  • The appointment does not specify whether the visit will be before 1pm or after 1pm, or where requested, within a two hour time-band; or
  • The visit is not made as arranged. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the appointment, we will give you at least 24 hours‟ notice.

If a payment is not made within 10 days an additional penalty payment of £10 can be claimed.

Account queries and requests about payment arrangements

If you writewoman with headset to us with a query about your account, we will reply within 10 working days from receipt.

If you ask us to change a payment arrangement (including requests to change to instalments or change the frequency of payments), we will make the change or reply stating why we cannot, within five days.

If we do not reply in the timescales stated above, we will automatically pay you £20. If a payment is not made within 10 days an additional penalty payment of £10 can be claimed.

Complaints

Under our Guaranteed Standards of Service, if we fail to respond to your written complaint within 10 working days from receipt we will automatically issue you with a payment of £30.

Interruptions to supplies

Sometimes we have to interrupt the supply of water to carry out essential works.

When the interruption is planned we will give you written notice and let you know what time the supply will be restored. If the supply is off for more than four hours, and we have failed to give at least 48 hours notice, we will automatically pay you £20 (£50 to business customers).

After an emergency or unplanned interruption, we will take all reasonable steps to notify affected customers: 

  • The supply has been interrupted or cut off.
  • Where alternative supplies can be obtained.
  • The time by which we plan to restore the supply.
  • A phone number to obtain further information.

Sometimes it is impractical for us to identify who has been affected by an interruption. If we have not made an automatic payment you can make a claim (either verbally or in writing) within three months following the date the supply was cut off.

We will ensure the payment due is paid or credited to your account within 20 working days. If we fail to process your payment within 20 working days we will automatically pay you an additional £20 (or £50 for business customers).

To view interruptions in your area, please click here.

Restoration of supplies

We will pay £20 (or £50 to business customers) if:

a) We do not restore supplies following planned interruptions within the specified time on the notice.

b) We do not restore supplies within 48 hours if an emergency incident affects a large, strategic main, or within 12 hours for smaller leaks or bursts.

We will pay a further £10 (£25 to business customers) for every 24 hours the supply remains unrestored.

Sometimes it is impractical for us to identify who has been affected by an interruption. If we have not made an automatic payment you can make a claim (either verbally or in writing) within three months following the date the supply was cut off.

We will ensure the payment due is paid or credited to your account within 20 working days. If a payment or credit is not made within 20 working days following the date the water is cut off, we will automatically pay you a further £20 (or £50 to business customers).

Installation of meters

If you request a meter and the installation is to be carried out free of charge, we will survey the property and install the meter within 90 days subject to acceptance of survey within a reasonable timescale.


If you are paying for your meter to be installed, we will survey, invoice and install the meter within 30 days, subject to receiving payment of the invoice.

If we fail to survey or install the meter within these times, you may claim a payment of £10.

This guaranteed does not cover situations where the customer causes the delay, for example where no access is provided to the property.

Meter reading

We will read your meter on the day you are moving house, subject to receiving five days‟ notice. If we fail to do this, we will automatically pay you £20.

Meter changes

We will notify you when a meter is to be changed. When a meter is situated externally, we may change the meter when you are out, but we will leave a card to let you know. If we fail to do this, you can make a claim to us in writing for a payment of £10.

Pressure standard

You can expect a minimum static water pressure of 10 metres at the stop tap at the boundary to your property. For a typical two-storey house this means that:

  • Water will rise and fill a storage tank in the loft
  • The minimum flow at the cold water tap in a ground floor kitchen will be nine litres a minute. This would be sufficient to fill a one gallon (4.5 litre) bucket in 30 seconds.

If, in any 28 day period, the pressure in a communication pipe falls below seven metres, e.g. 70% of the normal water pressure to your property, on two occasions, each lasting more than one hour, we will automatically pay you £25.

Sometimes it is impractical for us to identify who has been affected by low pressure. If we have not made an automatic payment you can make a claim for £25 (either verbally or in writing) within three months of the date of the later of the two occasions. Customers can claim one payment every 12 months.

We cannot guarantee to maintain the minimum pressure during droughts or where the fall in pressure is caused by necessary repair and maintenance work.

Discoloured water

We ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, no water is supplied that causes loss or damage due to discolouration. If damage is caused as a result of the water supplied we will pay for the actual loss or damage.

Court claims or judgements

If we issue a county court claim or judgement in error we will pay you £30 for a false claim and £70 for a false judgement.

Exceptions

We will not make payments if we have failed to reach these standards as a result of severe weather conditions, industrial action by Cambridge Water's employees, or an act/default of a person not representing the company, for example, malicious damage or vandalism.

Payments due

Generally, where a payment or credit is required under these standards, it will automatically be paid within 10 working days. If we fail to make a payment within that time, a further £10 becomes due. If you are eligible for a further payment, you need to claim in writing within three months of the payment becoming payable.

We will not make payments if a customer cancels an appointment or a request for information. However, if the payment or credit is due under our Restoration of Supplies Guarantee or our Notice of Interruption Guarantee is not made within 20 working days following the date the water is cut off, we will automatically pay you a further £20 (or £50 to business customers).

Customers in arrears

If you are entitled to a payment but you owe money to Cambridge Water, and the debt has been outstanding for more than six weeks, the payment will be made by crediting your account. Payments do not affect other legal liabilities or statutory rights. A payment/credit by Cambridge Water does not constitute admission by us of any other liability other than an obligation to comply with the standards.

If you accept a payment or credit it does not affect other liabilities or statutory rights.

Referrals to the Ofwat

Where a dispute arises between a customer and the company regarding a payment, the matter can be referred by either party to Ofwat for determination.

Contact us

If you feel that we have failed to provide the service that you expect, please do not hesitate to contact us by email.