Drains and blockages

Blockages can cause flooding and damage to your home. To prevent blockages it's important to know what you can and cannot dispose of down your sinks, toilets and other water pipework systems.

If you follow our handy guidance below it should help to reduce the risk of blockages and overflows in your home.

  1. Follow manufacturers' recommendations when using household cleaning products. Soft water requires far less detergent concentration than hard water. 
  2. Use liquids (not powders) in washing machines and dishwashers. Powders re-coagulate into clumps and can cause blockages.
  3. Try to spread your clothes washing throughout the week.
  4. Stick to the same washing, dishwasher and other cleaning products as the bacteria will work more efficiently with products it is used to treating.
  5. Think before you put anything down the sink, toilet or drains.
  6. Ensure only toilet paper is flushed down the toilet and used in normal quantities.
  7. Compost all your organic food waste or use your local council bio–degradable waste recycling service (where applicable) to dispose of organic waste. Do not flush organic waste down the sink or drain.
  1. Don’t put sanitary towels, tampons, cotton wool or cotton wool buds, condoms, toilet roll holders,  elastic bands, cigarette butts, contact lenses, dental floss, razor blades, tights, toothbrushes, incontinence pads or any baby, cleaning or facial wipes down the toilet. Wrap them up and put them in the ordinary bin for removal.
  2. Don’t flush rubber products or other non-biodegradable products down the toilet.
  3. Don’t pour fat, grease or cooking oil down the sink or drains. Let it turn solid then tip it into the bin.
  4. Don’t pour DIY products (e.g. paint, thinners, turpentine and white spirit etc.) or car fluids such as engine oil, anti-freeze, brake fluid etc. down the drains.
  5. Don’t tip medicine, bandages, plasters, syringes and needles or any chemicals such as photographic fluid or garden products (eg, insecticides, weed killers and fungicides) down the drains.
  6. Don’t fit a waste disposal unit under your kitchen sink. Disposing of organic matter through the treatment system increases the organic load, creating bacterial overgrowth which will inhibit the treatment process.

Need to report a blockage?

If you're a tenant renting a property from us then it is your responsibility for unblocking sinks, baths and toilets.

Full details about repairs that are a tenant's responsibility and what we're responsible for can be found here.

If you need to report a repair for something that we are responsible for, please contact us.

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Water hygiene

We want to ensure the water in your home is safe to use.

Maintaining good water hygiene in your home reduces the risk of contaminating yours and your neighbours’ water supply. 

If you've any questions about water hygiene, please contact us.

Contact us

  1. We'll risk assess all properties on a rolling programme
  2. We'll monitor water hygiene in blocks with shared systems
  3. We'll carry out any repairs needed
  4. We'll service thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs)
  5. We'll give advice about caring for your water systems.

There are some things you can do to assist us:

  • Where you suspect there is a water hygiene issue, contact us as soon as possible so we can investigate
  • You should not attempt to fix or do DIY repairs to the water system
  • Do not remove any part of the system.

On a practical level, you can:

  • Run all unused taps (indoor and outdoor) for at least two minutes weekly
  • Clean and descale your taps and shower heads regularly to avoid build up of lime scale and bacteria
  • Leave your water heater and boiler on. Set the temperature of your water heater and boiler to above 60°C. It's important to prevent water sitting at temperatures between 25°C – 45°C as harmful bacteria may develop.
  • Report any repairs to us.
  • If you’ve been away or you’ve just moved into a new home, run all the taps (including your shower) for at least two minutes before using them, to clear any sitting water.

Water leaks

Severe flooding or uncontainable leaks are considered an emergency repair as they can cause immediate risk to your health and safety and damage to the structure of your home.

If you have a severe flood or uncontainable leak in your home don’t report it online or in writing.

Please call us immediately.

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Water meters

Water meters measure how much water you use and how much your bill should be. Unlike a tariff, where you are charged a fixed amount, you only pay for the amount of water you use with a meter.

What are the benefits?

  • Saves money and the environment:
  • Generally use 12% less water
  • Increased awareness of how much you're using
  • Free water saving devices
  • Water companies spot leaks sooner
  • Meter users may be eligible for the 'Watersure' scheme which offers price reductions for those on benefits, or if your bill more than 3% of your income.

What if I want a meter but cannot have one fitted?

It’s not always possible to fit a water mater e.g. if you live in a flat. In this case, you should be offered the option of an assessed charge which estimates how much your metered bill would have been. You can compare this to your current bill to see if it’s cheaper. The assessed charge varies depending on the provider, contact yours for more information.

What help is available if my bills go up?

Support services including payment plans, deduction schemes and charitable trust schemes are available - contact your provider for more information and to see if you’re eligible.

Water-saving tips

We've lots of useful information on how to use less water, and reduce your bills.

Learn more