South West Water Business understand that these are worrying and unsettling times for everybody, both personally and professionally. Please be assured that we have been working hard for some time to mitigate any effect the Coronavirus might have on our service whilst following and reacting to all Government guidance in order to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our staff and the wider community.
As a business ourselves, we are not immune to the effects of the virus control measures that are affecting you.. Our priorities are to look after our staff and to continue to serve our customers to the best of our ability. We are working closely with all our Water Wholesalers who also have plans in place to ensure that their services continue at the highest level throughout these uncertain times. You should continue to contact your Wholesaler directly for any water quality and supply interruption concerns.
Please click here to see a copy of our risk assessment.
Frequenty Asked Questions:
Q. What is South West Water Business' advice
Click here to read out customer statement
Q. My business looks after vulnerable customers, how will i be affected by this pandemic?
When there is a loss of water, at any time, water wholesalers have well established plans in place to fulfil their obligations to provide emergency supplies. During these unprecedented times, wholesalers have acted swiftly and comprehensively to protect their employees, customers and the communities they serve. Whilst emergencies remain their top priority, freedom of movement is restricted and staff are under enhanced protection.
Under the Security and Emergency Measures Directions (SEMD), licensed water suppliers (wholesalers) are required to deliver to you 10 litres of water, per person, per day within the first 24 hours of loss of water and 20 litres per person, per day within 72 hours of an outage. This may not be enough for you to run your essential services. We recommend you review your water contingency plans to allow for a potential loss of water if you’re providing essential and mandatory services.
If you have any concerns about how your business would deal with temporary supply restrictions or supply outages, please contact us for advice.
What happens if I am unable to pay my water/wastewater bills temporarily during lockdown?
Due to the impact of COVID-19, and as your water retailer, you can be reassured that we will NOT be implementing any of the following from 8th April to 31st May or until such time as we notify you otherwise via our website
(a) serving disconnection notices for the non-payment of bills or invoices;
(b) seeking to recover any default interest or impose late payment charges for the non-payment of invoices issued from 1 March 2020;
(c) seeking to enforce the non-payment of invoices.
It is important to note, that this is for a limited period only and any updates will be available on this website.
However, where possible, if you can continue to pay your bills on time, then you should do so.
Q. How do I contact you during the Covid-19 lockdown period?
A: All of our customer contact channels remain open as usual but with 100% of our staff working from home, the best and safest contact method for us is email rather than phone or post. Please use email@example.com
We continue to operate at full capacity and continue to offer you the high level of service you have been accustomed to.
Q. Will I continue to still receive bills?
A: If you are still trading and not on the Government list of businesses that must close you will continue to receive bills, but they will be estimated for the foreseeable future to ensure we comply with Government social distancing guidelines. See how to submit a meter reading in this FAQ. If you are not on the Government list (see the below link) but have closed please notify us by following the guidance further down this Q&A.
Q. How do I Pay my Bill?
A: You can log into My Account section of the website or through one of the methods on the reverse of your bill. Please do not send cheques. During this difficult period, if your account is paid up-to-date and you would like to sign-up for a regular direct debit payment to ease your cash flow and have one less thing to worry about, you can sign up here.
If you have any problems, you can call our customer service team on: 0344 406 8053.
Q. What do I do if my business is temporarily closed, permanently closed or using much less water?
A: Please click here and you'll find instructions on the process for informing us. If your business is closed, we’ll temporarily suspend your wholesale and retail fixed or variable water and sewerage charges.
To help us bill you accurately, you must let us know immediately when your business re-opens. You can do this by emailing us. Please include your account number and the date of when your business reopened. If your charges were stopped during this period but consumption continued you may face a catch up bill to cover the period in which you were closed.
Q How do I Receive my Bills if my Premises are Closed or my Staff are Furloughed?
A You can go on-line and register your temporary contact details. Please note any bills issued before the date of the form submission will not go to the new address. You will need to request these bills directly from us or download them from MyAccount. Click here to change your contact details.
Q. I have heard there may be financial support for my business from the Government. Is this true?
A: The Government has issued advice for support for employers and businesses. You can find out more by visiting the following website and by checking in on a regular basis to review updates:
Q. Will my meter still be read?
A: From the 25th March 2020, we ceased meter reading in all areas. The decision was not taken lightly but it was felt that as part of the fight against the Covid – 19 virus we needed to limit social interactions between our meter readers, members of the public and our customers. Despite the water sector classed as a key and essential sector, meter reading is not essential as we can maintain billing activities by estimating consumption.
We’ll still use actual meter readings from logged and AMR meters and would request that if you’re able to take meter reads, please do so and submit them through our MyAccount portal or by clicking here.
We would stress that above all you should only take a meter read if you’re able to do so safely. You should not put yourself in any harm through trying to lift covers, work in the road or work at height or any other activity that might be harmful.
Q. What happens if the estimated meter reads are higher than normal, unaffordable and I cannot read my meter?
A: Your estimates will be based upon your history of consumption so should be consistent with your normal usage. If you have recently experienced a leak which increased your consumption above your normal levels or if you are having problems paying your bill please let us know.
Q. Are there any restrictions in place for water use?
A: We’re keeping in close contact with your water and sewerage wholesaler(s). No restrictions have yet been imposed but non urgent usage may be deprioritised for emergency services until social distancing measures are relaxed and the UK workforce returns to normal.
Q. Am I entitled to a payment holiday/freeze/reduction during this lockdown period?
A: If you notify us that your premises are closed or if you are on the government list of businesses that must close we will endeavour to temporarily suspend all wholesale and retail charges to your business until such time as the restrictions are lifted. For charges relating to services prior to the Covid-19 shutdown these are still due to be paid. However, we appreciate this a difficult time for all businesses including our own so please contact us if you are unable to pay legacy charges.
We fully comply with the Customer Protection Code of Practice which you can find here. We are working hard with all market stakeholders to achieve the best outcome for businesses.