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Frequently asked questions

Our charges

What are zonal charges?

Zonal charges are separate from and additional to connection charges. The zonal charges are types of charges set out in section 146(2) of the Water Industry Act 1991. The zonal charge should be paid by anyone who wishes to build or develop a property.

They are applicable to the following whether connecting directly or indirectly:

  • Building of new domestic premises, including permanent caravans.
  • Additional new premises on the site of demolished premises.
  • Conversion of existing building into additional units/dwellings.
  • First time connection of an existing property.
  • New commercial and industrial units.

Zonal charge consists of two elements; the fixed element and the variable element.

The first ‘fixed element’ is a figure that is applied wherever the development is situated. It is the same in nature to our infrastructure charge that applied prior to April 2018.

The second ‘variable element’ may vary according to criteria which may be introduced in future. In this charging year, we do not intend to introduce any such criteria, so there will be one single variable element applied in all cases. However, in future, we may introduce, for example, charging divergence between zones where there are different levels of infrastructure investment required.

The sum of the elements of the zonal charge is a contribution towards the cost of infrastructure provision for growth maintaining the broad level of balance with the previous charging regime.

For further information, please refer to our charging arrangements document.


What is Anglian Water's VAT number?

Our VAT registration number is 514060002 

Why have we received a bill for usage at a property we are not responsible for?

When you apply for a connection, unless we hear otherwise we will presume that you will be responsible for the water used and send all bills and letters to you.    

However, if you are not responsible, please let us know so we can update our records. You can do this through this link. Plots to Postal. or by calling us on 03457 145 145 option 2.

Why do I have to pay standing charges?

For metered customers the standing charges contribute towards the cost of the meter, meter readings, meter maintenance and replacement. Some of these costs are recovered through the water supply standing charge and the rest through the sewerage standing charge. We also recover the costs of dealing with surface water and highway drainage within the sewerage standing charge. As these costs bear no relation to the volume of water used, we believe it is appropriate to recover them through a fixed charge. The unmetered standing charges are the same for both water supply and drainage. Part of this covers the cost of billing as well as an element that reflects the fixed costs of providing you with water and/or drainage services.

Why are the charges for sewerage higher than water supply?

Sewerage charges are higher than your water charges because sewage treatment costs more than treating and supplying drinking water.

Why are Anglian Water bills higher than some other water companies?

There are a number of reasons why the cost of water and sewerage services varies around the country. Each water and sewerage company works in a different operating environment and to different standards of service and efficiency. These factors are taken into consideration when the industry regulator Ofwat sets prices. Our charges are higher than some other water companies because we service a largely rural population and our distribution costs are high. We also have some of the highest quality and service standards in the industry.

Who decides how much water companies can charge?

Water and sewerage charges have to be agreed with the industry regulator Ofwat. We cannot charge what we like. All water companies must submit a strategic plan to Ofwat every five years. Ofwat considers those plans and reviews each water company's performance and investment needs. The regulator sets efficiency targets and the charges for each water company. Ofwat has set the charges for the five year period up to 2020.

Drainage services

If an adoptable sewerage system has been constructed for a number of years will a 12 month maintenance period still be required?

The purpose of the maintenance period is to allow defects that were not apparent during construction or the pre-maintenance inspection to come to light prior to adoption by Anglian Water. If by the time we carry out the pre-maintenance inspection the sewers have been built for a number of years, we may consider waiving or reducing the maintenance period, however, our decision will depend upon the condition and operation of the sewers at the time of the inspection. Waiving or reduction of the maintenance period is done so at Anglian Water's discretion and as the full 12 month period is a requirement of the legal agreement we are fully entitled to insist on this, should we consider it appropriate.

If I build an adoptable pumping station am I entitled to install a land line telemetry link in preference to a radio link via an aerial?

A land line is only acceptable where a radio link is genuinely not feasible. This could be if the aerial would need to be excessively high to obtain a signal or if the Planning Authority would not allow an aerial on the development. Unless a genuine reason for a land line is put forward and accepted by Anglian Water a radio link will be required.

When the land transfer for an adoptable pumping station has been completed, does the pumping station become Anglian Water's responsibility?

No. The pumping station and the associated adoptable system do not become Anglian Water's responsibility until they are formally vested as public in accordance with the terms of the adoption agreement. Once the pumping station is deemed suitable for adoption, we will arrange the handover to our Operations team and once the handover has taken place the station and the associated adoptable system will be vested as public. Until formal vesting takes place the Developer remains responsible for the adoptable system.

Once I have made an application for Section 104 agreement, how long will it be before I receive the agreement?

The exact timescale cannot be given as we will not offer an agreement until the design of the adoptable system has been approved. The duration of the design vetting stage is dependant upon our workload at the time and the quality of the technical submission. Once the design is approved we will make the offer and when this accepted we will prepare and issue the agreement for signing by the Developer and then by Anglian Water.

Can I have a copy of the Section 104 agreement which includes the sewers serving my property?

It is the Developer’s responsibility to provide a copy or a summary of the Section 104 agreement to all purchasers of land served by the adoptable sewers.

Why are the sewers serving my property still under a Section 104 adoption agreement when the houses have been built many years?

Whilst the adoption agreement is entered into between Anglian Water and the Developer, the agreement places the onus on the Developer to finalise the agreement and ensure that the sewers are adopted. There could be various reasons why adoption has not taken place and the Developer should be able to advise on the current position. If the Developer is unable to assist please write to Anglian Water, Development Services, PO Box 495, Huntingdon, PE29 6YY.

How can I obtain information regarding the position of the public sewers within the vicinity of my property?

To obtain a copy of Anglian Water’s sewer records please register with our online mapping website You will need to register on the site and will then be able to search for your chosen location and get an instant quote online.  To progress your order simply proceed to the checkout and make your payment using our secure web page.  On receipt of your payment your maps will be dispatched via your chosen delivery method.  You can also view public sewer records free of charge at our offices at Osprey House, 1 Percy Road, Huntingdon PE29 6SZ or at a local District Council Office.

Please note that some public sewers are not indicated on the sewer records and this is especially likely if your property was constructed prior to 1st October 1937. Sewers that serve two or more properties built before this date are often referred to as Section 24 sewers; however they are effectively public sewers and must be treated the same way as a public sewer indicated on the sewer records.

I am planning to carry out building works and there is a sewer crossing my land. What should I do?

When you make your Building Regs application, Building Control should consult Anglian Water regarding any proposals within 3 metres of the public sewer. We do however strongly recommend that you contact Anglian Water before this time, so that we can discuss and agree what works are acceptable within the vicinity of the public sewer. Please be aware that planning consent does not grant approval to build over or within 3 metres of a public sewer.

A public sewer is crossing my property and I wish to move it. Do I need approval from Anglian Water and how do I obtain this?

Yes, you are required to apply for a sewer diversion under Section 185 of the Water Industry Act 1991 and an application form is available to download from this web site. You will be required to enter into a legal agreement with Anglian Water before diversionary work commences and to fund the design and construction of the diversionary works.

I am selling/buying a property and a public sewer is shown under the existing building/extension. How do I establish if this was approved by Anglian Water and can I obtain retrospective approval?

If a build over agreement exists then a copy would have been provided to the owner to keep with the deeds of the property and to the local land charges department of the Council. A CON29 drainage search would identify if such a agreement existed. Under Part H4 of the Building Regulations 2000, consent may have been granted without the need for such agreement and therefore a copy of the Building Regulations approval document may suffice. Retrospective approval cannot be granted by Anglian Water.

Why do we have to apply for a sewer connection when we are connecting to the public sewer via a private drain/sewer?

In this case we are approving the discharge of additional flows to the public sewer not the physical connection and as part of our assessment we must ensure that the public system has adequate capacity to accept these flows. We also require an application so that we have details of the connected properties for billing purposes. Please note that approval to connect to a private drain/sewer must be sought and obtained from the owner(s) of the drain/sewer.

Why can't I connect surface water to the foul sewer?

Foul water sewers are not generally large enough to accommodate surface water flows and therefore the discharge of surface water to foul could give rise to flooding during wet weather conditions.

Why are the sewers serving my property private?

The sewers are probably private because the Developer chose not to build the sewers to an adoptable standard and to enter into an adoption agreement with the Sewerage Undertaker. The owner of a private sewer has the right to apply for the adoption of their system under Section 102 of the Water Industry Act 1991 and a Section 102 application form can be downloaded from this web site. Please be aware also that DEFRA have announced the transfer of certain private sewers to the Sewerage Undertaker in 2011 and that this could affect the ownership of your sewers.

When I provide a cash deposit as a surety under the terms of a legal agreement, where does the money go and will I receive interest on the money?

The money is deposited in a holding account and interest is paid at a rate determined by OFWAT. The deposit will be released in accordance with the terms of the legal agreement.

Mains and mainlaying

Am I allowed to build over or close to public water mains?

Unlike sewers, where permission to build over or close to mains may be given, we DO NOT permit any build over of water mains. Water mains operate at pressure, hence they have the potential to cause considerable damage for which Anglian Water could not be held liable.

Do I need permission to connect to the public water supply system and how can I find out if the water mains have sufficient capacity to service my development?

Capacity checks are undertaken upon application – further details are available on our website. Connections to existing water supply mains can only be undertaken by Anglian Water.

Can I lay my water main in the same trench as other utilities such as gas and electric?

Provided adequate clearance is provided between the water main and other pipelines, it is acceptable for the water supply to be laid in a trench common with other utilities.

Why do you make a sewerage zonal charge when I apply for and connect to a public water supply?

Zonal charges relevant to water supply will be raised when any premises are connected to our water mains for the first time. For the majority of new developments (including conversions) and existing properties which become connected, the standard amounts will be payable in respect of each individual unit. The water zonal charge is payable when the premises are connected to the public water supply.

Please note: The sewerage zonal charge is payable if the premises drain to the public sewer (either directly or indirectly).

For further information in relation to zonal charges, please see our charging arrangements document.

Once I have accepted an offer of term for a new water main connection, paid all relevant monies and completed any necessary agreements, whom should I contact to programme the work in?

Call us on 0345 60 66 087, Option 2, then option 2.

What is a local offsite main?

A local offsite mains refers to mains reinforcement required to accommodate additional demand in the local infrastructure as a result of a development being carried out. Unlike a strategic contribution this category of main will normally be associated to a particular development and its affect on the local network as opposed to a regional growth requirement. These mains will be charged as part of the scheme costs.

What is a strategic contribution?

Anglian Water carries out improvement works involving large strategic water mains in order to accommodate growth with our region. Part of the cost incurred is to be recovered from the developments within the affected area which will benefit from the additional water being made available.

This cost is calculated on a litre-per-second rate and apportioned to developments based on their litre-per-second demand. For example if the rate is £14,000 per-litre-per-second and the development needed 0.1 litres-per-second then the contribution by the Developer would be £1,400.00.

What is self-lay?

As an alternative to Anglian Water constructing the new mains, the developer can provide the mains under a self-lay agreement. The developer must use a self-lay provider (SLP) that is accredited with WIRS (Water Industry Registration Scheme) and an asset payment shall be paid to the developer when Anglian Water adopts the main.

It is important to note that this scheme is independent of the Approved Plumber’s scheme and only companies accredited under the self-lay scheme are eligible.

Contaminated land

Why do I need to carry out a soil survey and report?

Under the Water Act 1991 and supported by CDM 2015, Anglian Water has a duty of care towards its customers particularly in respect to the quality of supply. In light of certain ground conditions placing Anglian Water pipes at risk of abrasion or contamination, a soil survey is required to ensure that the correct material is used to prevent any risk to future customers.

What do I need to test for?

The stipulations for a soil analysis and supporting information can be found in our contaminated land brochure. However, should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0345 60 66 087, Option 2, option 1.


Do I always have to comply with the Water Regulations?

If the water is supplied by Anglian Water you must comply with the Regulations. It is the law in England and Wales with it being a criminal offence to contravene the Regulations. However, if the water is supplied from another source, such as a well or bore hole there is no requirement.  We do however recommend that you still comply, therefore ensuring good plumbing practice.

In a domestic property do I have to notify Anglian Water if I intend to install or replace • A bathroom suite? • A shower mixer? • Outside taps? • Kitchen sink taps? • Wash basin taps? • Bath taps? • Cold water storage cistern?

No, however, the work and the water fittings installed must comply with the Water Regulations.

Do I need to duct or sleeve hot and cold water pipework if they are to be embedded in a solid floor?

Yes you do need to duct or sleeve hot and cold pipework, the reason being that the pipework must be accessible or removable for maintenance or repair.

My plumber tells me that my flexible shower hose must not be able to reach into my toilet or bidet is this correct?

Yes it is.  Any shower hose that reaches into a toilet or bidet bowl is a fluid category 5 risk of contamination to your drinking water supply. There are several ways to eliminate the problem such as constraining the hose with a clip so that it cannot reach the toilet or bidet, fit a fixed shower screen or simply fit a shorter hose.

I am installing a new water service and need to know how deep the trench should be for water service pipes?

There is a minimum and maximum depth at which service pipes should be laid:

  • Minimum depth is 750 mm
  • Maximum depth is 1350 mm

If an installer wishes to install a service pipe either deeper or shallower than these depths they must notify Anglian Water for permission. 

Important note: The water service pipe must be a minimum of 350 mm away from any gas supply.

My plumber tells me that he only fits water fittings that are approved because unapproved fittings such as hoses and taps can give taste and odour problems is this true?

Many common plumbing fittings such as taps, flexible hoses, washing/dishwashing machine hoses or even a simple tap washer can give taste and odour problems if they have not been approved by one of the approval bodies.     

The main problem is the rubber used in unapproved hoses which can harbour bacterial growth on its surface.     

Unapproved taps can have rubber washers or O rings in the body of  the tap which can give a TCP taste to the water.  

Is the drainage pipework side of a plumbing system part of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999?

No. Drainage pipes from sinks, baths, showers, washbasins, toilets and bidets fall under the jurisdiction of part G of the Building Regulations.

What is the minimum water pressure that Anglian Water must supply?

The minimum water pressure that Anglian Water must supply to its customers at the boundary stopvalve of the property is 10 mts head or 1 bar, or another way of putting it, enough water pressure to fill a cold water storage cistern in a two storey house roof space.

Can I use Blue MDPE Polyethylene pipe above ground?

Blue MDPE pipe may be used above ground in situations where it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Is it beneficial for me to use an Anglian Water approved plumber?

Yes.  All Anglian Water approved plumbers have had to pass written examinations to prove their knowledge and understanding of the Water Regulations to gain their approved status.  Approved plumbers will also issue you with a Water Regulation Compliance Certificate when they have completed a job.  The certificate is not only your guarantee that the work and water fittings installed comply with the law in England and Wales but it is also your defence in a court of law.

What temperature should cold water be distributed at?

So far as is reasonably practical the temperature of water within cold water pipes should not exceed 20ºC and adequate measures should be taken to ensure that this temperature is not exceeded.

What temperature should hot water be stored at?

Hot water must be stored at not less than 60ºC and be distributed at not less than 55ºC.  It should also be not less than 50ºC within 30 seconds after fully opening the tap.

Do I have to fit service valves on the supplies to all the taps in a property?

No.  Only the float operated valves, for example:

  • Ball valve in a toilet cistern
  • Ball valve in a cold water storage cistern
  • Ball valve in a heating feed and expansion cistern

I am intending to install a Rainwater Harvesting system with a mains water backup supply what must I do to comply?

Please contact our Water Regulations Team notification department on 0345 60 66 087, Option 4, then option 2. We will then inform you of everything that you must do to comply.

Can I build a new extension over an existing mains water supply pipe?

No.  The existing mains water supply pipe will have to be either re-routed around the new extension or it will have to be installed in a duct so that it can be removed for maintenance or repair.


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Registered in England No. 2366656. Registered Office: Lancaster House, Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. PE29 6XU