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- Help & Support
Where can I pay my bill?
You can pay your bill by Direct Debit, online, by cheque, by card over the phone, or in person at local post offices or Edward T Wheadon House. Please note, cash payments cannot be accepted at Brickfield House.
My water bill is higher than normal, why is this?
An increase in your water bill could be due to a number of factors leading to an increase in your water usage, for example pressure washing a driveway or having an extra person staying in your property.
It could also suggest a leak on the property. If you are concerned this may be the case, you can contact our Customer Liaison team on 01481 239500 to discuss the possibility of a meter check in order to investigate if a leak may be present.
Why does my water cost so much when it falls freely from the sky?
The water that falls from the sky is not suitable to drink as it contains bacteria and large particles, so Guernsey Water must collect this precipitation and treat it, to make it safe for human consumption. The costs of storing, treating and distributing the water to thousands of homes in the Island are considerable. Our water treatment process can be viewed here.
I have a property which is currently unoccupied, do I still have to pay water charges?
You will still need to pay the standing charges. If no water is used and the property is metered, your variable charge will be zero.
If your property is unmetered (unmeasured charge on your invoice) your quarterly invoices will continue to be calculated on the TRP of your property regardless of water use. Visit our water meter page for information on having a water meter installed.
What do the standing charges cover?
Standing charges collect income to cover standing, or 'fixed' costs of a service.
For clean water, the standing charge contributes towards costs incurred through providing you with a connection to the water supply, and maintaining the production, delivery and quality of a drinkable water supply network.
For wastewater, the standing charge contributes towards costs incurred through monitoring and staffing.
What do the variable charges cover?
The variable charges collect income to cover variable costs, e.g. those costs that fluctuate depending on customer demand/usage. This includes maintenance or new initiative requirements due to increased flow through the sewers, or increased demand for drinking water.
Why was the wastewater charge introduced?
Before April 2011, all funds for the maintenance and extension of the wastewater network had to be requested from the States of Guernsey's central revenue fund. As the pressure on finances grew and the number of projects in need of States' funding increased, it was decided that the wastewater infrastructure needed to develop some financial self-sufficiency. There was also a belief that the whole water business needed to be run on commercial lines, which would in turn reduce the reliance on States' general revenue which so many projects look to take from. By reducing the reliance on central funding, States' revenue can be freed up for other important projects. All Islanders (both domestic and commercial) are liable to pay the wastewater charges. You can read more about the wastewater charge here.
I am not connected to the main drain system and have a cesspit - do I still have to pay the wastewater charge?
Yes, even if you have a cesspit on your property and are not connected directly to the public sewer, you will still have to pay the wastewater charge. Waste collected from your cesspit is transported and discharged into the sewerage network via the nearest emptying point to your property. This network benefits all islanders regardless of whether they may be on a cesspit or directly connected. You can read more about the wastewater charge here.
Upon the introduction of the wastewater charge in 2011, as recognition to customers on a cesspit, the cesspit collection rate was reduced from £12.00 per load to £6.00 per load. The current rate is £7.32 per load (2018).
Why have my water charges increased?
Each year we assess the level of water charges in light of our current and forecasted future expenditure. As energy, chemical and material costs are continuing to increase, and with the impact of annual inflation, it is necessary for Guernsey Water to raise water charges. However, we are always careful to take into account what we feel customers can afford before setting our charges.
- Relocating & New Customers
I haven't had a Guernsey Water account before, what do I need to do?
If you are a new customer, you can let us know by completing our online form here.
I will be moving home soon - What do I need to do?
Do I need to cancel my Direct Debit agreement when I move to a different property?
No, you can leave your existing Direct Debit agreement active, this can be carried over to your new property.
- Water Services
I think my water pressure is too low, what should my water pressure be?
It should be possible to fill a 1 gallon (4.5 litre) bucket in 30 seconds. The pressure at the boundary stop-tap should not fall below 1.5 bar (pressure of water at 15 metres height above ground).
If you believe the water pressure you receive is below these levels then we can check it for you, to arrange a test call 01481 239500. Please note there is a charge for this service if the test shows the pressure to be satisfactory.
I have a leak, can Guernsey Water fix this?
If the leak is on privately owned property this is the responsibility of the property owner and will need to be repaired by a plumber. Guernsey Water does not work on private property. See our pipework responsibility diagram below.
Do you have any plans of the pipework on my property?
Guernsey Water does not carry out work on private property and therefore we generally do not hold plans for private pipework. However, occasionally due to past site visits we may have records. These records are usually hand drawn and therefore should not be relied upon for accuracy. If you require plans for ongoing works and improvements you can contact us on 01481 239500 to enquire, copies of any plans we may have for your property can be sent on to you.
- Water Quality
How do I find out my water hardness?
Generally speaking, if you live in the south of the island (St Saviours catchment), the water is moderately soft to slightly hard. If you live in the north of the island (Longue Hougue catchment), the water is moderately hard. For more information and a table of scales, please see our water hardness advice sheet. [258kb]
Who do I contact if I want to get my borehole sampled for water quality?
Please contact Environmental Health on 01481 711161 for borehole water testing
My water tastes odd, or off - why is this?
Water that leaves our treatment works is of the highest possible quality, and we work to ensure that the water is not contaminated while either being transported through the distribution system, or being held in a service reservoir until it is required.
However, in certain conditions such as hot weather, the chemical make-up of the water can change, which may lead to a different odour, taste or appearance. These changes do not affect the safety of the water, and can usually be solved by flushing out the water system for your house. If you have any concerns regarding the quality of your water, please contact us on 01481 239500.
If your property is at the end of a long service main, and there are not many other properties feeding off the main, it is possible that the water may not be moved around as much, and could develop a different taste. However, the water is still perfectly safe to drink. Please see our Water in Your Home page for more information.
How is water treated?
Guernsey Water uses two methods of water treatment to ensure that the water coming out of customer taps is of the highest possible quality. The first of these utilises state-of-the-art membrane tubes with ultra-small spaces - the water is able to pass through the membrane, but impurities are left on the outside of the tubes and removed as 'sludge'. St Saviours and Longue Hougue WTW's both use this modern technology.
The second method is the more traditional method used at Kings Mills WTW, where the water is pushed through a large 'sieve' to remove large objects (e.g. leaves). Clarification then occurs, where chemicals are added to the water causing small particles to stick together, creating a layer called 'floc' which floats and is removed. Water is then filtered through a layer of sand to cleanse it further, before it runs through a contact tank, which disinfects the water to ensure that it retains its high quality during its journey through the distribution system to customer taps. To see this process in more detail, please see our Water Treatment page.
Both methods are very effective at eliminating impurities from water, as our recent water quality results show. See our Water Quality page to learn more.
Does Guernsey Water put fluoride in the water?
Guernsey's health board has not recognised a need for the fluoridation of drinking water on the island, although trace amounts do occur naturally in water.
- Water Meters
I am currently renting a property - can I have a water meter fitted?
You can, but you will need written permission from your landlord. Please download our meter application form [77kb] and carefully note Section 3 and the Supplementary Notes.
Is it cheaper to be on a water meter?
This is very much dependant on the TRP of the property, how many people are in the household and how much water is used. However, people on meters generally use around 10 - 12% less water than those not on a meter, which reduces the cost of bills for both clean water and wastewater. If you wish to learn more or apply for a meter, please visit our Water Meters page.
How much does it cost to have a meter fitted, and how long does it take to be installed?
Meter installation is free, you will need to allow up to 21 days from submission of the application form for the meter to be fitted (as stated in our Customer Promise). However, depending on demand, we may be able to fit it sooner. See our water meter installation process here. [180kb]
Where is my meter and why can't I read it myself?
Meters tend to be situated either under pavements or the public highway. This is because they need to be located close to the service pipe that connects your property to the water main running under the road, which means that they cannot often be within a person's property. Also, the meters need to be accessible to our technicians for reading/checking - if they were within customer properties, this would make things a lot more difficult for us (especially when there are thousands of meters that need to be read each quarter!). We do not allow our customers to read their own meters for health and safety reasons - our metering technicians are specially trained to use our metering equipment, and as the meters can sometimes be situated within the public highway, it is important that we follow safety precautions to avoid any accidents.
- Drainage & Sewers
If my property is connected to the foul sewer how much of that sewer is my responsibility, and how much is Guernsey Water's responsibility?
Guernsey Water is responsible for the pipework within the public highway and for approximately 300mm (1 foot) into your property boundary. It is your responsibility to maintain the pipes after that point.
How is the island's waste water treated before being discharged into the sea?
Flows receive preliminary treatment through state-of-the-art mechanical screens, which remove any non-biodegradable matter from the flows that is larger than 6mm in diameter. The remaining biodegradable elements are then discharged out to sea through the long-sea outfall where tide movement, dispersion and sunlight break them down into harmless elements.
When will I be connected to the main drain?
The States of Guernsey agreed in 2016 to defer all future work on sewer network extension projects in order that higher priority initiatives can be progressed; these include resolving property flooding from sewers and unacceptable discharges from overflows into the coastal waters.
As a result, Guernsey Water is highly unlikely to undertake any further network extensions for at least 5 years, after which we would review the affordability to all customers of recommencing the programme and then prioritise the remaining projects within the programme.