What if I can’t pay my bill?

We know it can be tough, so we really want to help if you’re struggling to pay your bill. You could be entitled to one of our payment schemes.

What if I’m in arrears and I already owe money?

We know that being in debt can be stressful, but we’re here to help and support our customers.  If you are in arrears with your account and owe us money, you can call our dedicated collections team who will be able to discuss a payment plan to suit your needs. Call us for free on 0800 027 0363 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 

If you have been contacted by a Debt Collection Agency the best thing to do is to respond to them by the contact methods in the letter. Their friendly advisors will be on hand to work with you and help support you to get you back on track. If you think your account has incorrectly been sent to a debt collection agency, please call us free on 0800 027 0363 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 


Other help

If you're struggling to pay your bill or have wider financial difficulties, your nearest Citizens Advice and StepChange Debt Charity offer free and confidential help and advice.


Am I eligible for a discount on my bills?

You may be eligible for a discount if any of the following circumstances applies to you:

  • Your household income is low
  • Someone in your home gets a means-tested benefit
  • You’ve got three or more children under 19 living at home
  • Someone living with you needs more water because of a medical condition
  • You haven’t made a payment to us for a while

Expand the payment schemes and tariffs below to see if one matches your situation.

We know it can be tough, so we really want to help if you’re struggling to pay your bill. You could be entitled to one of our payment schemes.

How updates work

Event Duration Monitors (EDMs) that are on storm overflow outfalls across our region monitor and send storm overflow release data to a control panel where it is stored. This data is then transferred through the internet to our system called Prism, this process is called telemetry, and the data is then analysed to monitor and control the remote system.

The data then gets archived in a related system called the PI archive system, and then processed in the PIAF system that takes the signal data from all the EDM’s and groups it into single ‘events’ to explain what happened in more detail than if we were to look at separate signal data from multiple sensors.  

Lastly, the data from PIAF system is sent to the Aspire system, which is the reporting tool we use to send data to agencies including the environment agency and Beachbuoy.

Beachbuoy receives the data once an hour and uses it to populate the look-up table, which uses reference data to determine whether the release is likely to have impacted a bathing site or not. This decision is then shown on the Beachbuoy interactive map using coloured icons that show the status, alongside the pop-up which shows information relating to the outfall event. 

Genuine vs non-genuine releases

We have a semi-automated process, where if a release event notified to us as a signal data entry is below a pre-terminated threshold, it is confirmed with a good degree of confidence that the release event was non-genuine ie, a false alarm.

Where release events go above the threshold, they are all manually reviewed by our Spills Team. Until they have been reviewed they are classified as ‘Under Review’ in Beachbuoy.

When the review has taken place by the Spills team, the event is then determined to be either a genuine or non-genuine release and this is then displayed on Beachbuoy.

Tidal modelling

Tidal models are used to understand how an outfall release is moved with the tide and wind  and how it then disperses. We use this tidal modelling to determine if a release is likely to have impacted bating waters. For example, if it was a windy day and the tide is very strong and going out, the storm overflow release is likely to have been carried out to sea and dispersed and diluted along the way, so would most likely be ‘non-impacting’.   

The models have been robustly checked against survey data (tidal levels, current speed and direction and dye tracing). This means that we can be confident that the model is performing in the same way as the movement and dispersion of the plume from the storm overflow release would in real-time.

We have gathered comprehensive data about historic releases, their volumes and tidal effects. This data has been modelled by independent specialists Atkins who have calculated which outfalls have the potential to impact upon bathing waters. The modelling has been undertaken for each of the 84 bathing waters in our area. 

To determine which overflows have the potential to impact each bathing water, we include overflows which release within the tidal influence of the bathing water and overflows that discharge into rivers that may influence coastal bathing water quality.

Due to the dynamic nature of tides and the varying volumes of releases, a discharge from an overflow may not impact the associated bathing water. Beachbuoy uses the tidal state and release duration, in conjunction with our coastal modelling, to determine whether any given release may be impacting or not.

Spatial data

We aim to provide the most accurate location data for our outfalls and bathing sites as possible. The outfall data and location we show on the map is taken from a combination of our permit database, the location of the EDM’s installed, and our knowledge of the network.  

The bathing site locations shown on the map are matched to the recognised bathing sites provided by the Environment Agency. We have included as many as we can and will continue to add more. If you have any feedback that can help us improve data accuracy, please let us know.

How to apply

If you think you could be eligible for one of the schemes above, you can:

Before completing the application form please make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your customer number
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • National Insurance number
  • Your name and address
  • Preferred method of contact.

The application form takes around 20–30 minutes to complete.

Financial Assistance form

Has your bill gone up?

While everyone’s been at home more, we’ve all been using more water – so your bill may have gone up. Using less water could reduce your costs.
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