Secure and reliable supplies

With a network expected to last many years, population growth and the predicted changes in our climate mean we will have to work hard to maintain a reliable service for all customers.

Our household and business customers tell us that having a reliable supply of water available where and when they need it is one of their main priorities.

Our long term plans

We will continue to invest in our network of pipes, treatment works and reservoirs to make sure they are reliable and available when needed. Customers tell us it is absolutely vital to maintain the serviceability and resilience of our assets to ensure there is no deterioration in service. 

Mains renewal - We will continue our mains renewal programme, through which we replace or renew around 70Km of pipes a year, which is around 1% of our total pipe network. In addition, we have a continuing need to refurbish or replace many above ground assets, such as equipment at pumping stations and service reservoirs, to ensure we can provide water reliably. 

Leakage - We have reduced leakage by about a third from its peak in 1995/96 and believe that it is now close to its economic level. This is the level at which it costs less to put more water into the network than it does to fix existing leaks. We will continue to reduce leakage where it is economic to do so and also improve the speed at which we find and fix leaks.  We will take advantage of new technology which may become available to reduce the cost of fixing leaks.

Metering - We will continue to install meters so that by 2040, around 72% of households in the South Staffs region and 87% in the Cambridge region have a meter which their charges are based upon. This includes metering on change of occupier in the South Staffs region and continuing to offer a free meter option to all customers across both companies.

Meeting new demand - We will work with planning authorities and developers to make sure we can continue to meet the demand arising from new development and population growth. This is another area where innovation will be required to keep customers’ bills down, while meeting new demand.

Managing rivers sustainably - Working with stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, we will continue to protect our water environment, for example by reviewing whether any of our water abstractions may be damaging to the environment, and, if this is the case, identify suitable alternatives, or put mitigation measures in place. We will also continue to protect the local environment, for example by meeting our biodiversity obligations.

Water efficiency - We will work with customers to provide information on the benefits of saving water and advice on how to use water efficiently. This is likely to include offering promotions with third parties on water-saving equipment and devices.

Water trading - We currently have a number of bulk supply agreements with neighbouring water companies, to share water where it is sensible and cost effective to do so. We will continue to explore opportunities to share more water with our neighbouring water companies, to ensure we are meeting demand in the most cost-effective manner and support other water companies who are trying to do the same.