This section provides some further explanation on those areas within Discover Water where our performance is failing to meet the committed level of performance we gave to our customers, or is significantly different to the industry average or other water companies performance.
About your drinking water
Water Quality Contacts
Protecting public health is our primary duty and we have seen a continued reduction in the number of times that a customer needs to contact us about drinking water quality. However, this was not enough to achieve the performance commitment and means we are above average in comparison to other companies.
During 2016/17 we commenced a programme of enhanced flushing on our water network to improve the colour and taste of water and reduce the need for customers to contact us. This involves proactively flushing water through our mains at a higher than normal speed to remove the sediment that gathers on the inside of the mains. We have also been reviewing our data relating to taste and odour contacts and the way in which our customer service team handles contacts. This has led to us seeing continued reduction in the number of times a customer has to contact us.
We recognise the need to improve faster to achieve this stretching performance commitment in the future. This includes reducing incidents of discoloration, taste and odour of drinking water and being proactive in communicating with our customers about these issues
For further information about drinking water quality or taste, odour and appearance click here.
Water to your tap
Leakage is the main source of water wastage; two thirds of the total leakage is from our network and a third is from pipes at customer properties. We have almost halved leakage since 1995 and this year we have again achieved our performance commitment to ensure leakage is no higher than 297.1 million litres a day (Ml/d). Our leakage target is considered, by our regulator Ofwat, to be optimum based on a suite of economic, environmental and social factors. We aim keep below this target so that we have some extra ability to meet unforeseen demands.
Although we met our performance commitment in 2015-16 there was a deterioration in performance in comparison to our 2015-16 performance similar to a number of other water companies.
We appreciate the current and future concerns around water scarcity and losses due to leakage and are continuing to look for different ways to reduce leakage that do not incur significant cost or disruption. Leakage will be considered within our 25-year Water Resources Management Plan, which we will publish for consultation at the end of 2017. For more information click here.
After you flush
We know that internal and external sewer flooding of homes is one of the worst things anyone can experience from our activities and we continue to work hard to prevent this happening. In 2016/17 we met and exceeded our commitments for both internal and external sewer flooding for the second year in a row. However, we were disappointed that the number of external sewer flooding incidents increased and mean we are above average compared to other companies in the performance we have delivered
We continue to manage increasing pressure on the sewer network from fluctuating weather conditions, increased development across the region and coping with the things that customers put down drains, for example fats, oils, greases, wet wipes and nappies – all of which cause significant blockages.
The total number of pollution incidents from our sewer network has shown a reducing trend over recent years, although this has fluctuated due to the influence the weather can have on performance.
In 20166 we achieved our pollution incidents Performance Commitment for both serious pollution incidents, classed as Category 1 or 2 by the Environment Agency, and other pollution incidents which are classed as Category 3. However, a comparative deterioration in overall performance since 2014 caused the Environment Agency, in their Environmental Performance Assessment, to assess our overall rating as 3 stars. We are committed to improving performance over the next 3 years and beyond. For more information about our waste water services click here.
To find out more about our performance and how we are meeting the promises we made in our performance commitments visit our performance page or click here.