Southern Water’s bills fall as investment rises


  • Southern Water’s combined water and wastewater bill falls 1.3%
  • Additional support offered to customers struggling to pay bills
  • Southern Water made record investment of £610m last year with commitment to spend a further £650m this year to improve its network, service and protect the environment


Worthing, 4 February - Southern Water’s average combined household bill for water and wastewater treatment services is falling by £5 (1.3%) this year. As customers face rapid cost-of-living increases, this is the fourth year in a row that our bills have fallen in real terms (adjusted for inflation) and the second year that our combined bills will be lower in absolute terms.


A typical combined bill per household is now expected to be £401.54 compared with an average charge of £406.91 last year – meaning a day’s services will cost £1.10. This reduction in cost for our household customers is consistent with our promise of average bill increases at or below inflation to 2025.


At the same time, Southern Water has invested its largest amount on record this year; £610 million was spent to improve our assets and network, drive down leakage and pollution, protect the environment and prepare for the challenges of climate change.


Offering Southern Water customers’ extra support

We support customers who are going through tough times, including payment holidays, special tariffs, debt write-offs, bill reductions and grants for household items. We also offer support and extra care help for those living with long-term illness, disability, the elderly and even new parents or parents with young children.


Katy Taylor, Chief Customer Officer, says: “If you’re finding it hard to pay your bills due to the surging costs-of-living or for any other reason, our message is: ‘Please get in touch with us as we can help.’”


Southern Water currently provides over 126,000 customers with some form of financial assistance, an increase of 21,000 since the start of the pandemic. Last year we provided over £12.5 million worth of support.


Saving water can also help reduce bills. We offer a free water-saving home visit where one of our engineers could fit up to £100 of water-saving devices in our customers’ homes.


A second year of record investment ahead for Southern Water

The money that customers pay to Southern Water is vital.  As well as providing day-to-day drinking water and wastewater services, customers’ money is also used to invest in protecting our precious bathing waters and sensitive environments such as chalk streams.


We invested a record £610 million across our network over the last year – which included fixing a record 12,000 pipes - all part of our over £2 billion investment to improve our assets and network. This will help us to reduce 80% our pollution incidents by 2025 and 80% of storm overflows in our catchments by 2030. In the coming year Southern Water will invest a further £650 million.


Investing in managing water demand

In the water-stressed South East, reducing leakage and water demand are critical to ensuring a resilient long-term supply for customers. So, we’re investing £140 million in teams and technology to detect leaks, so we can reduce leakage by 15% by 2025.


Investing in new housing demand

The South East also has one of the country’s highest levels of housing growth. We’re investing £207 million to create the capacity and infrastructure necessary to support the 157,000 new homes forecast to be connected to our network by 2025.


Investing in reducing pollution

Through our Pollution Incident Reduction Programme, we’re working to reduce the number of pollution incidents by over half (compared to 2019) by 2025. To achieve this target, we’re investing £83 million to reduce risks and significantly increase monitoring of our network.


Regional examples to be shared for Kent, Sussex and Hampshire & IOW releases to include specifics below.


Investing in Kent

We’re planning £335 million of investments across Kent. For example, £21 million will improve the resilience of our Swalecliffe Wastewater Treatment Works, while £42 million will ensure a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water from our Wingham and Burham sites.


Thanet’s sewers were laid over 100 years ago in hand-dug tunnels. We’re now in the final stage of a £110 million, 15-year project to upgrade these aging sewers to prevent pollution and ensure they’re robust enough to serve Kent’s growing population.


We’ve planned £21 million of upgrades at our Swalecliffe Wastewater Treatment Works, including lengthening the site’s short sea outfall so stormwater releases happen further from the shore. This will enhance the coastline and reduce any impact on water-based leisure and business.


Investing in East and West Sussex

We’re investing £473 million across Sussex, including upgrades at our wastewater treatment works that discharge into Chichester and Pagham Harbours to enhance water quality, and a project in Wincheslea to reduce stormwater releases by preventing non-sewage entering our network.


We’re also investing £37 million in our water supply sites in East Brighton and Weirwood. This will be used to upgrade our sites and treatment processes, so we can continue to provide a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water.


We led a summit with key partners to address the declining health of Chichester, Langstone and Pagham harbours and agree steps to restore these habitats. We’re taking action by investing £72 million by 2025 to improve the local water quality here.


Investing in Hampshire

We’re investing £474 million in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This includes £35 million at Peel Common, £24 million at Millbrook and £13 million at Sandown to increase our treatment and storage capacity, which will help prevent stormwater releases.

Hampshire faces water shortages and we’re investing £147 million in new sources to keep taps and rivers flowing, including Havant Thicket reservoir (with Portsmouth Water), water re-use and water transfers.

Budds Farm Wastewater Treatment Works near Havant serves nearly 410,000 customers. As the population of Portsmouth and Havant grows, we’re making £18 million of upgrades – including new storm tanks and pipework – to increase its capacity and provide greater resilience during extreme weather.

Notes to editors:

  • 2022–23 Average household water and waste bill will be £401.54; this is a decrease of 1.3% in actual terms compared to the 2021–22 average bill of £406.91
    • The water element of the bill is £170.80, which is an increase of 2.1% compared to the 2021–22 value of £167.23. This constitutes a reduction of 2.4% in real terms when adjusting for inflation.
    • The wastewater element of the bill is £230.74, which is a decrease of 3.7% compared to the 2021-22 value of £239.71. This constitutes a reduction of 7.9% in real terms when adjusting for inflation.
  • The inflation assumed in 2022-23 charges is 4.6% CPIH


More details of Southern Water Investment Schemes can be found here:


More details about our tariff schemes can be found here:


Learn about our priority services register here: