Water Industry News

The word is out, Southern Water’s wholesale charges are on the up Big Time.

The UK’s premier business water comparison site SwitchWaterSupplier.com has learnt that the wholesale water, wastewater and other charges are to be increased Big Time by Wholesaler Southern Water.


Although yet to be fully confirmed, in March the SwitchWaterSupplier.com believes the wholesale indicative water charges will increase by 13 percent +, wastewater charges will increase by 11 percent and don’t forget the water retail fee on top of that!


Whilst increases for non-household water charges range from 13 percent to 23 percent with the most significant increases applied to those customers on a 100 Plus Megalitre tariff.


Surface water drainage charge increases.

Surface water drainage charge increases applied to the 6 higher meter size bands also increase by 32 percent until the new basis of charge is adopted.

Surface water drainage charge changes that are in the pipeline will be surface area banding across impermeable surface areas or water usage bands, much the same as customers in the United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, South Staffs, Northumbrian and Yorkshire Water areas.

It appears others my follow in time to a more national standardised approach to surface water drainage charges, someday all of these charges will be aligned .


So what could happen to those customers who are large water users?

They will in all likelihood see their large user tariffs scrapped this year!

The full impact of these changes will know doubt mean charge increases for water and wastewater of a quite significant increase, an average of 15 percent.

So the days of use more pay less per unit rate are over, no more discounts for using more.


So why would a water company scrap large user tariffs?

Some we talk to in the water market are of the opinion “use more water and pay less” with no incentive to reduce water consumption and wastewater discharge volumes, which is not good for diminishing water resources and overloaded sewer systems is not a good way to go.

For larger water users, water is an integral part of the production process, although water consumption may often be reduced, there comes a point where all efficiency measures are in place and they reach a base load.

These large water users should now consider switching water supplier for a better deal as one form of reducing costs.

What we may also see is a drive towards more “out of the box” water and wastewater innovation, for example an explosion in large users applying for off grid water supplies, water recycling and re-use, discharging wastewater to water courses and returning it directly to the environment instead of overloading water company sewers.


So in the short term not good for large water users, but in the medium to long term the year on year increases will drive a more creative sustainable approach, which is great for businesses and our environment.


The phasing out of the large user tariff is likely to be completed over 3 years, hopefully by then large water users will have Water Consultants on board to advise and implement water and wastewater volume reduction projects, resulting in substantial reductions in water use, wastewater discharges and lower bills.


A combination of switching water supplier and seeking creative and innovative ways of reducing water consumption could easily mitigate the substantial increases in the pipeline.

The increases in water and wastewater charges by Southern Water and other suppliers will know doubt be discussed during future podcasts released by Switchwatersupplier.com in the coming weeks.


The Talking Water podcast productions are now well underway for 2024, covering many topics for discussion, to a large extent audience led as more and more customers and the wider audiences are getting involved. The demand for professional advice, tips and discussions on various water industry topics is really gathering pace with essential business cost reduction and sustainability, driving interest in the water industry.


Great for businesses and our environment