Delving into Water 2016: Performance of the water companies in England and Wales 2011-12 to 2015-16

As part of our monitoring role, we work with water and sewerage companies to identify potential issues that may impact on consumers.  To help with this, we collect information from companies on a quarterly basis. This helps us to see where there are potential problems, and acts as an early warning sign.  It also helps us to identify good practice which can be shared across the industry.

Delving into Water 2016 (pdf) summarises the audited information that we received from companies.

The findings show:

  • Customers have high levels of satisfaction with many aspects of their water and sewerage services.
  • Most companies are performing well in the areas of sewer flooding, customer assistance and payment schemes, metering, daily water consumption and drinking water quality.  We will continue to monitor and work with any outliers that we have identified in these areas.

However, there are three areas of operational performance where we have concerns that the industry is not delivering what it should for customers:

  • We are disappointed that there has been only a marginal overall reduction in written complaints, with ten companies reporting an increase. Some of these increases were substantial.
  • Overall, the amount of time that customers are without a supply of water because of a burst or due to maintenance work has decreased. However, as only just over half of the companies have made improvements, we are concerned that variability in performance may be masking a wider issue.

There has been a 1.4% decrease in leakage, but some companies have made much greater improvements than others.  We will continue to challenge the rest of the industry to follow suit.