Environment

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 hear from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.

People

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 hear from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Introduction by Oliver Martin, Regulation and Strategy Director

You entrust us to deliver a continuous supply of safe, wholesome drinking water direct to your taps 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We’re constantly monitoring our performance against your expectations through a wide range of measures, from the taste and smell of your water to how often your supply is interrupted.

We’re delighted to have once again beaten our leakage target. While this is great news we know it’s an area you want us to do more in which is why we’re continuing to invest millions in finding and fixing leaks.

We’re doing this by expanding the team, increasing maintenance, using satellite technology to hunt for leaks and building on our innovative smart networks trial by installing more meters, sensors and loggers to monitor our pipeline network.

We have also reduced the number of properties at risk of low pressure as well as improving measures relating to the taste and odour of your drinking water through installing new water treatment processes, flushing pipes to remove sediment and our training programme.

Despite our ongoing programme to upgrade our infrastructure, burst pipes, site failures or other external factors do unfortunately happen and can result in you going without water for short periods.

Last year, the heatwave, coupled with more people being at home due to the Covid-19 restrictions led to unprecedented demand on our network resulting in some areas of Mid Sussex having no water or low pressure for too long. We are really sorry for this. We always carry out a thorough review when this happens so that we can identify any improvements and have made changes to reduce the likelihood of this happening again in the future.

The increased demand also had a big impact on our water use targets. With people working from home, not commuting out of our supply area or travelling, consumption has increased 16 per cent to 166 litres. This is an area we’re monitoring closely going forward as travel and commuting restrictions ease – but we know lifestyles for many have changed.  We want to work with all of our customers to reduce the amount of water that is used and help manage the wider impact on the environment.

We know that providing you with a reliable supply of top quality drinking water, seven days a week, 24 hours a day is at the core of our business – that is our public service. We have laid strong foundations to improve on those areas which challenge us while also building on the successes of the past year ensuring we are the water company you want to be supplied by.

For previous years reports, click here.

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Company sites protected from risk of flooding

Making sure our sites can continue to operate following extremes of weather is vital to help ensure the resilience of your water supply. By 2024/25 we have committed to protecting 92 of our sites from flooding with less than a 1/1000 Annual Exceedance Probability.

Licence breaches

We are compliant with other statutory obligations and licence conditions

We expect ourselves to be compliant with all our statutory obligations and licences at all times and to have zero breaches. We define breaches by the number of prosecutions and enforcement actions taken out against us during the year.

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We are compliant with national security obligations

The security surrounding the supply of water to all our customers is something we take extremely seriously. As one of our Key Performance Indicators, we expect to be compliant with all our security obligations and have zero breaches.

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Transparency of reporting

Our responsible business commitment is to create transparency of reporting as we know this matters to our customers and stakeholders and that they can trust us.

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Trusted corporate governance

Our responsible business commitment to trusted corporate governance

gap site

Gap sites

Gap sites are those residential properties which are occupied, not billed and are not recorded on our billing database. During 2020/21 we committed to finding 25 household gap sites.

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Voids – business properties

Business properties which are void are those which are connected to mains water and/or sewerage systems but are not charged because they are recorded as empty. We set ourselves the 2020/21 target to maintain the number of void business properties at 8.10 per cent.

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Voids – household

Void household properties are those which are connected to mains water and/or sewerage systems but are not charged because they are believed to be empty. During 2020/21 we set ourselves the target to reduce the number of void household properties on our systems to 2.10 per cent.

Pipelaying

Strategic main – Wellwood to Potters Corner

Our plan to lay a new 15 kilometre long pipeline between our Wellwood and Potters Corner water storage tanks will enable us to pump more water into the Ashford area. The new water main is due to be fully commissioned by September 2026.

Properties at risk of low pressure

Properties at risk of low pressure

It is extremely important to us that you receive a water supply with adequate water pressure behind it. Measured by properties for every 10,000 connections, our target, which is based on previous performance, is to have a maximum of 0.5 properties at risk of low pressure.

Arlington Reservoir during prolonged dry weather

Risk of severe restrictions in a drought

Dry weather (or a drought) is a natural event which happens when a period of prolonged low rainfall creates a water shortage. Our target for 2020/21 is to have zero customers impacted by a 1-in-200 year drought.

Unplanned outage of WTW

Unplanned outage of water treatment works

Just as important as maintaining our pipeline network, is maintaining our water treatment assets. We report both unexpected asset failures as well as those when a site is out of operation due to planned maintenance and improvement work.

Water mains repairs

Water mains repairs

This outcome measures how many repairs have been made for each 1,000 kilometres of pipeline we operate.

Interruptions to customers' water supply

Interruptions to customers’ water supply

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

Tap water

Taste and odour of water

We want to make sure the water you receive tastes and smells as it should. Our target is to receive less than 0.42 contacts per 1,000 customers.

Appearance of tap water

Appearance of tap water

It is important that you receive crystal clear drinking water each time you turn on the tap. One of the ways we monitor whether that’s happening is to record the number of times we’re contacted with concerns about how the water looks.

Bottled water

Event Risk Index (ERI)

Monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, this measure focusses on proactively reducing incident risks relating to water quality.

Maintenance

Compliance Risk Index (CRI)

Monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, this new measure is focused on maintaining the quality of your treated drinking water.

Leak detection

Leakage

We are committed to reducing the amount of water lost to leaks both on our network, and in customers’ homes, by 15 per cent between 2020 and 2025.

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Play an active role regionally in relation to the impact of housing growth

Our responsible business commitment is to play an active role regionally in relation to the impact of housing growth on water.

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Per Capita Consumption

By 2025, we are targeting the annual amount of water used by each of our customers to reduce from 143.1 litres a day in 2019/20 to 131.5 litres a day.