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Looking after our pipes

Find out what we're doing to look after our pipes and how you can help - and what you need to do to take care of your own pipes too.
What we doHow you can help

Maintaining and renewing
our mains network

maintaining and renewing the network

We clean and maintain our mains to ensure the quality of our water, and to prevent bursts, disruption and water lost through leakage. 

We also have a programme to replace old mains where fixing them would only provide a short-term solution. 

You can look after the pipes in your home by lagging them in winter (pdficon.gif icon Wrap up for winter (142kb)), using only approved fittings and getting plumbing work done by a Watersafe-approved plumber - this will also safeguard the public supply from possible contamination caused by back-syphoning.

You could also think about replacing rather than fixing your supply pipe especially if you've had it fixed before.

Fixing leaks quickly

fixing leaks

Where possible, and where we can work safely, we fix leaks quickly.  Less water is wasted and the damage caused by leaking water is limited. 

We aim to fix over 90% of leaks within 3 days. We've steadily reduced the amount of water we lose through leakage, and we help customers to reduce leakage from their pipes too - over 19 million litres a day is lost from customers' pipes.

You can let us know if you spot a leak in the street.  Call our Freephone leakline on 0800 230 0561 or use the Report a Leak facility on our website.

And if you have a leak on your supply pipe, get it fixed quickly by an approved contractor.  If you fix it or have it replaced quickly, we may be able to give you an allowance - see our pdficon.gif icon Think you have leak? (280kb) booklet for more information.

Unblocking drains and sewers

love your loo - email campaign

Each year we spend around £4.5 million on clearing around 8,500 blockages caused by material that should never be found in sewers or drains - so we've been raising awareness in targeted areas of the importance of looking after our sewers and drains through our Love Your Loo and Think Sink! (FOG) campaigns.

We're also supporting the national campaign against misleading product labelling. South West Water calls for end to misleading labelling on wet wipes

Never mind the labelling, flush only the 3 Ps - pee, poo and (toilet) paper - and bag and bin the rest. And never mind what they do on The Great British Bake-off - don't throw fats, oil, grease or any solids down the sink!

In the areas we targeted, when our customers became aware of the blockages and nasty sewer flooding caused by flushing what should never be flushed, most of them began binning these items instead, leading to a reduction of over 20% in blockages, and over 30% in related sewer flooding in these areas - think what we could achieve if we all cooperated!

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