Follow our step-by-step guide to cope with water and wastewater emergencies.
During a major incident, our contact centre may be very busy with calls. A recorded message will be played giving up-to-date information and advice on the appropriate action to take.
We will also post information on our Incident map and work with the media to broadcast bulletins on the radio and television.
Please follow the advice carefully and we will respond to your emergency as quickly as possible.
Click on the headings below:
If there is little or no water running from your tap then there may have been a burst water main in your area. Turn off the taps and contact us on 0330 303 0368 and a customer services adviser will give you more information.
If we are carrying out work on our network which would interrupt your water supply for more than four hours, we will let you know at least 48 hours in advance, usually by letter or card.
Customers with additional needs, such as kidney patients on home dialysis, can join our confidential register for priority supplies in the event of an interruption to water supplies.
There are a number of reasons why your water supply might have a different taste or smell. There are simple explanations and no cause for alarm and the reasons are detailed on our water quality page.
If you're concerned about the taste or smell of your water supply, a Water Quality Adviser will call you back within 24 hours to discuss the issue further. If you think your water supply is making you ill, we strongly recommend you speak to your doctor to determine what is causing the issue.
For more information, contact our call centre on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate).
If your home or property has flooded take the following action as soon as possible:
Leaks on water mains can be slow and gradual or erupt very quickly with visible water flooding. If the water leak is inside your garden then it is probably a fault on your own supply pipe for which you are responsible.
Where possible, you should immediately turn off the water at the stop tap. If this is not possible, we will arrange for someone to attend as a priority.
We offer up to one hour’s free detection work to help locate the leak on your private supply pipe.
For more information read our Code of Practice on water leaks, which details our responsibilities for the ownership of supply pipes and eligibility for repair.
Contact our customer call centre on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate) and we will arrange for someone to visit your home.
If there is a water leak outside the boundary of your property, for example on the road or footpath, we will repair it as quickly as possible and restore water supplies. Please contact us on our freephone Leakline 0800 820 999 or 0330 303 0146 (calls charged at local rates).
If the leak is inside your home or you have a burst pipe, you should again turn off the stop tap and contact a plumber as soon as possible (It is advisable to keep a number to hand). If any damage has occurred it is also advisable to contact your insurance company.
Do not touch any wet electrical fittings – call an electrician.
If you have a blocked drain and/or wastewater flooding the action will depend on whether it is caused by a problem with the public sewers or a problem on your private household system.
If you suspect you have a blocked drain then, if possible, check to see if the nearest manhole is blocked or contact your neighbour to see if they have the same problem.
If they have or if the manhole is blocked, call us immediately on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate). The age of your property would be useful information for us.
If it is a problem with the private drains or sewers serving your property, you will need to contact a private drainage contractor. If in doubt, call us and our specialist advisors will be able to give you advice on what to do.
In all cases:
If the flooding is caused by a problem on our sewerage network, we will
Many blocked drains and flooding are caused by blockages. Most wastewater pipes are only 100mm (four inches) in diameter and are not designed to carry anything other than wastewater and bio-degradable products like toilet paper.
You can help avoid wastewater flooding by not putting unsuitable items in toilets and drains. Our Bag it and Bin It page provides more details.
We will help with clean-up operations after flooding caused by our operations, unless insurance companies have agreed to make arrangements: