If you're experiencing problems or are concerned about the quality of your water, please call us on:

0333 000 9988

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:30pm.

If you're having problems outside of these hours, please use our emergency contacts page to talk to your wholesaler.

Water hardness

The 'hardness' of water depends on the amount of calcium it contains - the higher the levels of calcium, the harder the water.

Water hardness varies from region to region, depending on the amount of minerals which dissolve in rainwater as it soaks through the ground.

Most of the water we supply in Southern England comes from underground chalk aquifers, so the water is hard.

This doesn't affect the quality of the drinking water or the performance of soaps and detergents, although it can lead to a build-up of limescale in kettles, boilers and hot water pipes.

Limescale is harmless but it is advisable to clean kettles and keep hot water systems below 60°C to help keep build-up to a minimum.

Some people choose to fit a water softener - these should be fitted to comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

Softeners can significantly increase sodium levels in water, so at least one tap in a property should still supply unsoftened water for drinking.


During its journey to your taps, there are a number of ways in which the appearance of your water can be affected and occasionally it can become discoloured.

The most common cause of discolouration is a change in the flow or pressure within the pipes - for example as a result of a burst main. The change in pressure can dislodge tiny deposits such as iron or manganese, which may turn the water brown for a short period.

Your water may also appear cloudy, or white, on occasion. This is usually nothing more than air bubbles which may enter your water due to a fault in your plumbing. The bubbles will disappear if the water is left to stand.

Taste & odour

Occasionally, you may notice a change to the taste or odour of your drinking water.

 Usually this is because the taste of water varies depending on where it comes from - rivers, reservoirs, or underground aquifers.

This may mean your water has a slightly different taste or smell, but the quality will be unaffected.

A very small amount of chlorine is used to disinfect your water, and very occasionally you may be able to taste it. However, this is nothing to worry about. Musty tastes or smells can be due to bacteria in your plumbing system. Disinfection of the system should help.

Pipes made of copper or zinc can corrode and cause a metallic taste. This can be avoided by running the tap briefly if the water has been standing in the pipes overnight. Some plastic pipes are made with anti-oxidants which can cause a lead-like taste. The only remedy is to replace the pipes.

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