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Pressure management - saving water, stopping leaks

Pressure management diagram

We don’t just fix leaks, we try to stop them before they happen. High pressure in water mains can lead to more leaks and bursts.

Since 2010, we've invested over £3 million on smart water pressure management. 

In areas where we've already made improvements to the water pressure management,  the number of burst water mains has reduced by a massive 80% and smaller leaks are down by 40% too.

All helping to save the equivalent of 30 full buckets of water every second. That's very important in our drier-than-average region. 

What is water pressure management?

Put simply, it's making sure that the water pressure in the pipes is suitable for your everyday use but not at a level that it causes a leak or burst.

Water pressure in your pipes will depend on:

  • the local geography
  • how long the pipe is that brings the water from the nearest reservoir or storage point to your property
  • how high above sea level the reservoir is compared to your property and
  • how much water is being used by you and your neighbours when you try to use water.

The benefits of water pressure management:

  • Pipes last longer
  • Water supplies are more reliable with fewer interruptions
  • Reduced need for excavation work to get at broken mains
  • You save on water and energy costs
  • Lower leakage
  • We all save precious water


Type in your postcode in the Your area section of our website to see if we're planning a pressure management scheme where you live.

You can also find out about any other events which are taking place in your area from this page too.

Your questions answered

What is water pressure?

Water pressure is the force needed to move the water from our mains into your pipes and out of your tap. It is measured in 'meters head', for example one metre head will support a column of water one metre high.

Why does pressure vary?

The amount of water pressure coming out of your tap can depend on how much water other customers in your area are using. Water pressure is at its highest usually during the night when demand for water is low. Subsequently when demand is high, for instance in the morning or evening and especially during dry spells, the water pressure is then at its lowest.

Water pressure will also vary depending on where you live: it will depend on the distance your home is from our reservoir or water tower, or how high the reservoir or water tower is above your home. Properties in low areas receive higher water pressure. Properties in high areas receive lower water pressure.

How does water pressure management work?

Water pressure is adjusted in small amounts at various points of our supply network. We use pressure control valves and monitoring points to help us do this and to get more consistent lower water pressure levels across the water supply network.

How might any pressure management work affect me?

Every effort will be made to minimise the impact to our customers, making sure that we continue to supply water that meets most commercial and domestic needs.

Adjustments in the water pressure doesn’t mean that you will have less water, it may just take a second or two longer to fill the kettle or a few minutes more to run a bath.

The majority of households and businesses in the selected areas won‘t be significantly affected. If you are in a part of the supply network where we introduce pressure management for the first time, we'll be in touch with any advice on instantaneous hot water systems, corroded galvanised supply pipes and existing pressure reducing valves that might not work as effectively when the pressure is reduced.

Does Anglian Water have any formal standards for water pressure?

Yes. We manage pressure across our water supply network in line with our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) which gives details of the minimum standards of service you can expect.
You can see a copy of our Guaranteed Standards in section 8 of our Codes of Practice.

What should I do if I have a water pressure problem?

If you think there may be a problem with your water pressure, first check that there isn’t a problem with the plumbing in your home. You can do this by:

  • Checking that your internal stop tap is fully open.
  • Making sure any other taps that control the water flow to your hot water system or other devices are turned on.
  • If you have a thermostatic shower, check to see whether the thermostat needs adjusting.

If you can’t make these checks or if you continue to have water pressure problems, please call us on 03457 145 145.


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