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Make A Complaint

Are you unhappy about the quality of services provided by your local water or sewage supplier? Then please follow the complaint process below if you live in England and Wales. Please note that different procedures obtain in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Contact details

England and Wales

Customer complaints on water and sewage services

Local supplier's complaints procedure

  • First contact your local supplier about your complaint.
  • Your local supplier will have a customer code of practice which will outline its service standards and complaints process.
  • Your supplier will send you a written response on your complaint. If you are not satisfied with this, you should write to a senior manager to review your complaint

Consumer Council for Water (CCW)

  • If you are still not satisfied with the response received from your supplier, you can contact the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) who will take up the complaint on your behalf.
  • The CCW has issued a leaflet about how to make complaints and how they will be handled by the CCW. A link to the leaflet is provided to the right. A list of the local offices of the CCW in England and Wales can be found in the 'Further Resources' section. Services offered by the CCW are free.

Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT)

Ofwat regulates water and sewerage providers in England and Wales. There are certain customer related complaints that OFWAT would treat. These include:

  • Complaints on excessive pricing,
  • Sewer floodings complaints,
  • Cases where water companies have abused their dominant position by charging their customers arbitrarily,
  • Disputes relating to terms and conditions in service agreements between water companies and their customers or;
  • Cases where a water company has refused to comply with its statutory duties or licence conditions.

OFWAT also has powers under the Water Industry Act 1991 to determine appeals and disputes relating to:

  • Pipe laying in private land
  • Cost of making a connection of supply for domestic purposes
  • Conditions to be fulfilled before a company will make a water connection
  • Requirements for metering in respect of new water connections
  • Terms and conditions for non-domestic water supplies (including connections)
  • Financial undertaking required for requisitioned sewer or lateral drain
  • Right of connection to public sewer
  • Cost of connection to public sewer and
  • Sewers adoption appeals

OFWAT would not deal with complaints relating to a water company's business or those that concern environmental matters. It will also not deal with complaints that are best resolved through a small court's claim. A link to OFWAT's customer charter is available in our useful links page.

The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales

  • The CCW and OFWAT only attend to customer service and regulatory complaints. Environmental complaints should be referred to the Environment Agency (for England) or Natural Resources Wales. They would respond to water pollution, floodings and water quality related complaints.

Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)

  • Your local supplier is the first stop to make any complaints about the quality of drinking water from public mains. Follow the complaints procedure provided above in the Local Suppliers Complaints Procedure.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response received from your local supplier, you can contact the DWI will respond and investigate where necessary any complaints on drinking water quality. Most complaints received by the DWI have to do with supply of discoloured water or with the taste and smell of the water supplies.

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