Domestic Water Supply in the United Kingdom

Find out how to get your water bills in the UK, and how to connect and disconnect the supply...

There are more than 20 companies supplying water in England and Wales. However, there is just one water authority in both Scotland and Northern Ireland which supplies water.

Rates and Water Bills

Water can be paid for at a fixed fee or by metered units. If the water is metered, payment is only made for units used. Readings are taken every six months. For those without a meter, a set charge is calculated based on the Rateable Value (RV) of the home.

Water rates differ across the UK, but unlike with electricity and gas, it is not possible to switch between suppliers.

Water prices are regulated by OFWAT. Prices vary depending on location and the water availability.

Getting Connected to the Water Supply

The previous tenant or owner may leave details of the water supplier that the house is connected to. If not, see the Consumer Council for Water website.

The new owner or tenant should take a reading of the water meter and contact the appropriate company to put the bill into their own name and provide payment details.

Paying Water Bills

Bills can be paid every six months, in two separate instalments or in monthly instalments, by cheque or direct debit. Discounts may be available for managing accounts online.

To Disconnect

When moving house, contact the relevant supplier at least 48 hours before vacating the property to inform them. If there is a meter, take a reading to ensure that the company doesn't bill for water that hasn't been used.

Water Emergencies

In the event of a water emergency, contact the local water authority. Their number will be on any recent water bill. If there is no bill to hand, contact the main switchboard telephone number.

Further Information