Household customers privacy notice

We understand the importance of protecting the personal information entrusted to us, and comply with data protection laws. We are committed to protecting and keeping your personal information secure - whether we receive it from you directly or from a third party.

Our privacy notice explains when and why we collect personal information about our Household Customers, how we use it and the conditions under which we may receive it and share it with others. It also explains how you can obtain details of the information we hold about you and the choices you have about how we use that information. 


How we use your information

Unless otherwise stated Southern Water relies on its legitimate interest to deliver and fund effective water and wastewater services and maintaining and repairing our infrastructure  as its legal basis to use your personal data as per below:

  • To manage your billing account.
  • To respond to any queries and/or complaints about our services.
  • To contact you if we need to maintain or repair our infrastructure that may be on, or in the proximity of, your property.
  • To consider your financial circumstances and demographics if we haven’t received payment from you and to allocate the most appropriate billing and collections route for you. (In some circumstances this may mean that your payment is referred to a debt collection agency that work on our behalf or we’ll look to recover payment through the courts. We will always take appropriate measures to ensure we have done this in accordance with our internal governance to ensure we are fair and proportionate).
  • To offer you water and wastewater-related goods and services, including by third party partners.
  • Track customer trends to improve the way we work and the services we deliver to you.
  • To provide credit reference agencies and other bodies with information for credit management purposes
  • To share information with neighbouring water companies to complete the billing process.
  • To provide you with news, information and updates about water efficiency and blockages.
  • To offer you a free water efficiency visit because of your water usage or financial circumstances.
  • To obtain customer feedback to improve the services we provide.
  • To notify you of changes to our services.
  • To track and record your water usage, including by using intelligent meters, leak detection and water efficiency methods.

With your consent we will:

  • Send you communications which you have requested.
  • If you’ve asked to join the Priority Services Register, give you priority services in the event of an emergency.

You may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us on 0330 303 0277.


What information we collect about you

The exact information we collect may vary based on the service we provide to you. Typically, we need information as set out in the table below:

Information we may collect Examples of personal information and Special Category of personal information
Basic personal details for account administration and identify verification purposes Names
Date of birth
Gender
Marital status
Contact details (address, email, phone numbers)
In limited circumstances, your National Insurance number (if you are eligible for government assisted payments)
Financial details Bank and credit details
Family details Other named account holders
Number of occupants/dependants
Health Physical
Mental
Medical history
(limited to those who quality for Priority Services)
Information from devices you use IP address (internet protocol address)
Cookies (small text files placed on our computer when you visit a webpage)
Please see our cookies policy on our website for more information.
Other Any other information you give to us
How we collect information about you

Southern Water collects information from you when:

  • You set up an account with us, including via our website.
  • You contact us for any reason by phone, email, webchat and/or any social media platforms.
  • You visit our website.
  • You complete a Southern Water online form, and/or enter a competition or complete a survey sponsored by Southern Water.
  • It takes water meter readings.
  • You sign up for special tariffs or discounts.
  • You register as a priority customer.
  • We visit you at home, in connection with works or repairs.

Southern Water collects information relating to you from third parties when they contact us directly e.g. landlords, Housing Associations and other water companies (in circumstances where the water companies share infrastructure with us and/or for join billing purposes).

Southern Water additionally will collect information relating to you from debt collection and tracing agencies and publicly accessible sources such as the Register of County Court Judgments (CCJ) and the Register of Bankruptcies for the purposes of debt management. 


Who we may share information with

Southern Water has a suite of companies that work on its behalf. Southern water has appropriate contractual clauses in place with such companies to ensure that you information is protected to the same standard.  In addition, we may share information about you with about the following:

  • Any of your family, associates, or someone who represents you, where you’ve asked us to do so only.
  • Our regulators (e.g. Ofwat, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Environment Agency), the Consumer Council for Water, Natural England, Public Health England, local authorities and other water companies to meet our obligations under the Water Industry Act 1991 and related legislation. 
  • BMG Research on behalf of Ofwat to conduct surveys to meet our regulatory obligations to rate Southern Water’s performance against other water companies
  • Credit reference, fraud prevention, debt collection and/or tracing agencies and data management organisations to help prevent and detect fraud, to keep our contact data up to date and to recover debt.
  • External agencies like the police, fire service, or local councils in the event of an emergency situation (e.g. loss of water).
  • Other water companies that supply your drinking water or removes your wastewater that is not Southern Water- this is to calculate your bill or to provide common billing.
  • Charities and not for profit organisations to support priority services customers who have explicitly agreed by consent that we can pass their details on.
  • HomeServe Limited, a separate Data Controller, to offer you insurance products and services relating to the supply and collection of water. If you want to know how  HomeServe will process your information, please see their Privacy Notice https://www.homeserve.com/uk/about/privacy-policy.

Profiling and automated decision-making

Southern Water to not undertake any full automated decision making and/or profiling but we sometimes use profiling to identify which of our customers need additional help from us and to ensure that customers get an experience that is most appropriate for them.

We use your payment history, and data from the Office of National Statistics on the level of deprivation in your area, to determine whether you might need additional financial support from us. This could be in the form of communications about support available to you, or fast-tracking you through refunds you are eligible for, without you having to apply. We also use your payment history to determine how we communicate with you about your future bills and any collections activity we may need to undertake.  


Marketing

We will tell you about water-related products, services which we think may be of interest to you, including products provided by HomeServe. You may ask us at any time to stop sending you these communications by contacting us on 0330 303 0277.

Please note, that you’ll still receive non-personalised information about us or water-related goods and services. These are delivered by Royal Mail. You can opt out of receiving these by:

For details visit the Royal Mail webpage personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/293


Transferring information about you overseas

We sometimes share your information with carefully selected organisations outside the UK, such as contractors working on our behalf to provide services to you. In such instances, we ensure that an appropriate and valid derogation is used for international transfers of data compliance.


How long we keep information about you

We’ll hold the information on our system for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is needed to meet our legal and accounting obligations.


Keeping information up to date

Please tell us as soon as possible if your contact details or other personal information change, or if you think that the information we have isn’t accurate. You can contact us on 0330 303 0277.

When you’re no longer liable for our charges, for example, if you’ve moved house, or there’s a change to the people who are jointly liable with you, you should tell us about this as soon as possible. If you don’t, it could result in incorrect data being shared and used by credit reference agencies, which may affect how other organisations view your credit worthiness.


Further information about your rights

If you want to know more about how Southern Water stores and uses your personal data:

 
 
 
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