London Water: Water Rates, Hardness and Supply Info - Selectra

London floating on water running from a tap

If you just moved and have some London water questions, you will be able to find who handles the London water supply as well as wastewater services in the water information below. Additionally, we have tips on how to deal with London water hardness so that you can enjoy quality tap water in your home.


London Water Suppliers

London Water is supplied by two water companies, depending on which borough you live in. Whilst Thames Water supplies the majority of London, if you live in the Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon or Enfield then your water supplier will be Affinity Water, formerly known as Veolia Water Central and before that Three Valleys Water. Here are the contact details for your London water suppliers:

London Water Supply Contact
Water Company Phone Number Opening Times
Thames Water 0800 980 8800 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-6pm
Affinity Water - Metered Account 0345 357 2401 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-2pm
Affinity Water - Non-Metered Account 03457 919 155 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-2pm

London sewerage and wastewater is handled by different companies. If you are with Affinity Water then you will may need to contact Anglian Water or Southern Water for your sewerage and drainage services, if you are a Thames Water customer then it's also likely that your sewerage and drainage will be billed by them also. Here are London sewerage and wastewater contact details:

London Wastewater Contact
Water Company Phone Number Opening Times
Thames Water 0800 316 9800 24/7/365
Anglian Water 03457 145 145 24/7/365
Southern Water 0330 303 0368 24/7/365

Be aware that calls to numbers starting with 03 may be charged at local rates by your phone company.

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Water Rates London

Water rates in London depend on whether your home has a water meter or not. You can easily find out whether your London water rates are metered or not by looking at your water bill. Homes with metered London water rates will have a meter number listed on their water bills.

Homes that are not metered won't, but they will have the rateable value of the home instead. The rateable value part of your London water rates will have been determined by the local council in the 90s and will probably not have changed much since then.

If you've just moved in or you don't have a bill handy, you can look outside your house or in the front garden for a meter. Sometimes the meter may be located inside your house near to the stop tap.

If you want to read more about water meters? check out Selectra's essential guide to water meters.

The average water rates London residents are being charged result in an average water bill of around £172 to £374 a year. This amount combines both water supply and sewerage costs.

If you want to save money on your water bill then our handy guide to water rates in the UK will give you some great tips & tricks to lower your water bill.

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London Water Hardness

London water hardness is rated as hard to very hard water, depending on which part of London you reside in. While rainwater itself is relatively soft, water hardness can change through the water cycle. Due to the way water filters through rocks in London Water's supply area, London water picks up minerals, such as magnesium or calcium, on the way to your tap.

London water's hard to very hard rating means that the water in your home will lead to scaling in kettles, sinks, dishwashers and loos. There are ways to mitigate hard water furring or scaling in London.

  1. Baths, sinks and toilets - Use an acidic sanitiser regularly (available in local shops) to clean susceptible surfaces in order to clear limescale deposits.
  2. Kettles - Do not overfill your kettle with water in, general. Make sure that you clean your kettle by half-filling and adding two tablespoons of white vinegar, leaving it for four hours in order to loosen scale build-up. Rinse and repeat to remove scale.
  3. Dishwashers - Take advantage of the built-in water softener. Make sure you regularly top off it off with dishwasher salt in the appropriate compartment.]

Can you drink the water in London?

Yes! you can drink the water in London. You can rest assured that London water meets high standards making it safe to drink. The UK Drinking Water Inspectorate has scored London water quality a 99.96% in overall mean zonal compliance, meaning that your water is safe to drink. It is not necessary to boil or filter London water to make it potable.

If you notice a change in taste or smell of London water this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Chlorination which a safe way to ensure hygiene throughout the pipe network.
  2. Seasonal changes in water characteristics can infuse London water with an earthy smell or taste.
  3. Plumbing can contribute to the taste of your household water, adding metallic, salty or rubbery hints.

If you have questions about your water's taste, smell or appearance, you should not hesitate to contact Thames Water or Affinity Water.

London Water Problems

London water problems can include anything from a burst water main or flooding to no water in your home. This is why you should make sure you know what to do and who to contact regarding water emergencies.

If you notice a water leak or flooding outside your London property, you need to do one of the following:

  1. If you are out and about, call or tweet Thames Water or Affinity Water
  2. If you are near a computer, go to the "report a leak" section of Thames Water or Affinity Water and fill out the online form.

London No Water

If you have no water in your home, you need to find out if the issue is to do with your home plumbing or instead a Thames Water or Affinity Water outage impacting London.

  1. Check the "In Your Area" sections of the Thames Water or Affinity Water website for any information explaining why you have no water.
  2. Ask your neighbours whether they have the same issue as you.
  3. Check that your stop tap is open
  4. If you have no water is it only no cold water or no hot water. If you have cold water but no hot water, the issue will be with your home plumbing and not the water company

    If there is no cold water, not even a trickle, contact Thames Water or Affinity Water for assistance.

London Water Discolouration

If the water in your home is discoloured, the issue might be a Thames Water or Affinity Water issue impacting London.

  1. Changes to the colour of the water in London may happen after a burst pipe has been repaired
  2. It could also be that Thames Water or Affinity Water could have been carrying out upgrade work on the pipes in London
  3. Water Discolouration is not harmful and can often be cleared by running the cold water tap until it becomes clear
  4. If there is no improvement after trying this, you can contact Thames Water or Affinity Water for assistance.

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