Water pressure — the facts
Here we explain some of the facts about water pressure, why pressure may vary and how we manage it.
- What water pressure is
- Pressure is the force that pushes water through pipes and determines the flow of water from the tap.
Low pressure can reduce water flow, meaning it will take longer to fill a kettle or a cistern.
High pressure can increase leakage and the number of repairs we undertake on our pipes.
- Why it varies
- The amount of pressure at your tap can depend on how much water other customers in your area are using.
Pressures are generally at their highest when demand is low, and at their lowest during times when demand is high, for instance in the morning or evening, especially during dry spells.
Water pressure also varies according to the location of your property. It will depend on the distance your home is from our service reservoir or water tower, or how high the reservoir or water tower is above your home.
Homes at the top of a hill will normally receive lower pressure than those at the bottom.
- Why we manage water pressure
- We use pressure management in those parts of our supply network that have the highest pressures. High pressure can damage pipes and potentially cause bursts.
By managing the pressure in these pipes it is possible to save water and prevent disruptions to supply. Pressure management is part of our strategy to reduce leakage.
- How we manage water pressure
- The pressure within our pipes varies across the day and we use control devices installed on our pipes to stabilise pressures.
This normally involves lowering pressures at night, when demand is low and pressures are generally at their highest.
However, it can involve increasing pressures during times when demand is high and pressures are normally at their lowest.
Pressure is continually monitored to ensure that suitable pressures are maintained.
- What this means for customers in areas where pressure is managed
- Formal standards for water pressure
- Pressures across our supply network are managed in accordance with our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) which emphasises our commitment to our domestic customers, detailing the minimum standards of service you can expect.
- Maximise the pressure that you receive