Our business is intrinsically linked to the environment as we rely on it for our raw product, water. For this reason we do all we can to ensure there is a clean, resilient and sustainable supply available for current and future water customers whilst ensuring there is enough water available to support the needs of the environment too. Click 'Discover More' to find out more from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.


Our people are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether they’re out in the field searching for leaks, managing our operational sites, testing the quality of your water or answering your queries. Each and every person within the business is dedicated to delivering you the safe reliable tap water supply you expect. Click 'Discover more' to find out more from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Last updated 13-07-23

Interruptions to customers' water supply

You rely on us to supply top-quality drinking water to your taps 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Despite our ongoing programme to upgrade our infrastructure, burst pipes, site failures or third-party damage to our network can sometimes happen.

Our target for 2022/23 was for each property we serve to be impacted on average by an interruption for less than 5.8 minutes.

How have we performed?

The average interruption during the year was 182.12 minutes per property. This figure includes the impact of the Summer Heatwave and the Freeze/Thaw events which combined contributed 140 minutes of the total minutes lost during the year. This performance has resulted in a £3.23 million underperformance payment.

In addition to these two major events, we experienced three further significant events which contributed to around 25 minutes lost which related to loss of supply from treatment works which impacted storage levels at key reservoirs. The first was related to water treatment issues at our Bewl WTW in late November 2022, the second because of flooding of our Groombridge WTW in early December 2022, and the final one was another water treatment issue at our Powdermill WTW in Sussex in mid-December 2022 in the week leading up to the Freeze/Thaw event.

Outside of the events mentioned above, our underlying performance over the year equated to an average interruption of 16.81 minutes per property. This figure included some significant trunk mains bursts experienced in Sussex in April and May 2022 as well as a couple of large bursts in the Maidstone area throughout the year. The largest being a burst on a 12-inch-diameter water main near Maidstone football ground in May 2022 which required extensive felling of trees and deep excavation equipment to undertake the repair.

We continue to operate an improvement programme to help identify, track and implement new initiatives to help reduce interruptions to supply. This programme includes network learning and incident management workshops which have been running throughout the year.

As we move forward for the remainder of the 2020-25 period, we are focusing on delivering both above and below ground solutions in our Kent and Sussex regions to provide more resilience against the extreme weather events we have been experiencing and which have been the main contributor to our ODI performance and failure of the targets.

This is also the basis of the regional approach we are taking for our PR24 submission to address these particular issues, as the performance, underlying root-cause of failure and network solutions vary significantly. For example, in our Western Region, where we have greater resilience, network connectivity and capability to transfer water across the region we have seen upper quartile performance with less than one minute lost per property annually for the first three years of this 2020-25 period.

Case Studies

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Our Service Commitment Plan

Find out how we're working to improve our performance

Ardingly Drought

Record-breaking heatwave and drought

The drought and heatwave that affected the south east of England, the country, Europe (and the USA and China) in summer 2022 were exceptional.

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Supply issues across the South East

Water bottle station

Cockhaise Farm

Grant-funded investments to reduce pressure of drought

Grant-funded investments to reduce pressure of drought

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Pesticide handling installation protects local rivers