What is surface water?
Surface water is rain water that falls onto a property and runs from drainpipes, drives or paths into a drain or a road gulley into a public sewer. For most customers, the cost of removing and treating surface water is included in their sewerage charge.
However, there are some properties where surface water does not drain into one of our sewers. For example, rain water may drain into a purpose-built soakaway or into a stream, river or watercourse via a private sewer. If this applies to your property you may be able to claim a reduction in your charges. We call this the surface water rebate.
We know that there are companies out there who will contact you claiming to be able to reduce your water bill. These companies usually charge a fee to investigate if savings are possible, or keep part of any savings that are identified. Remember: there is no need to pay a third party for something that you can do directly with us for free.
What is a surface water rebate?
Almost everyone who’s connected to our sewer network pays towards the overall cost of looking after rain water or surface water that enters our system.
But if your property’s surface water ends up somewhere other than in our sewers, then you can claim a reduction in the amount that you pay towards this cost.
Do I qualify?
In order to apply for the reduction you must be connected to our public sewer and currently pay sewerage charges.
Please note that collecting surface water from a roof into a water butt does not qualify for a reduction as this isn’t a permanent fixture. You only qualify for the discount if no surface water, rain water or ground water enters our network. There is no reduction for partial drainage, for example, some water enters a soakaway and some water enters our network.
I have rain water Harvesting. Am I entitled to a rebate?
If any of the rain water that you harvest ends up in our sewers then you will not be entitled to a rebate. Typically that’s where rain water is captured to use for toilet flushing and ends up in our sewers.
How much is the rebate?
It varies, but here are two examples :
- If you don’t have a water meter and you are billed on one of our standard unmeasured charges, the reduction is £50 for this year.
- If you have a water meter, you are not charged a fixed amount for surface water. You will have a reduction of 35p on the rate we bill you per m³ for sewerage for 2016.
How far back can I claim?
If your application is successful we will apply the rebate from 1 April 2014 or from the date you moved into your property if it’s after this date. The rebate will not be backdated prior to April 2014 but it will apply to all future charges unless your drainage arrangements change.
Why don’t you apply the rebate further back than April 2014?
It costs a lot of money to keep our beautiful environment clean and safe. We’re a not-for-profit company. This means that we don’t have shareholders, so we can invest every penny back into improving our water and sewerage systems, which is good news for all our customers, and for our environment. By applying the rebate from April 2014 only, we can keep everyone’s bills down. We think it’s the fairest way of doing things.
What if my sewerage charges are paid to another water and sewerage company?
If you are connected to our sewer network but pay your charges to Dee Valley Water, Severn Trent Water or United Utilities North West, you can apply for the rebate directly with us.
If you receive a bill from us that includes a sewerage charge on behalf of Severn Trent Water, you will ned to contact them about the rebate because their scheme may differ from ours.
If live in a flat but not on the top floor. Can I apply for a rebate?
Even if your flat does not have it’s own gutters and downpipes, if surface water from the building as a whole drains into the public sewer then you are not entitled to a rebate.
My neighbour has received a reduction. Will I be entitled to it?
Not automatically. Properties built at the same time next door to each other do not necessarily have the same drainage systems, so each claim is on an individual basis.
How can I apply?
For domestic and small commercial properties, here’s how to apply:
- Click here
- You can call us on 0800 052 0145. We’re open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays
- You can complete the application form in our booklet and return to us at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, PO Box 690, Cardiff, CF3 5WL.
Larger commercial properties or developments
You may be a superstore, factory or school, or perhaps a management company applying for multiple domestic dwellings (e.g. a block of flats). The drainage for these sites is sometimes not straightforward for us to check, so please return the application form in this booklet and include a full site drainage plan indicating manhole locations, directions of flows and location of discharge points for both foul and surface water systems.
What happens next?
Once we’ve received your application, we will contact you to let you know what will happen next. We will probably need to visit your property to confirm the drainage arrangements. It’s really important for you to continue to pay your charges as normal while we review your application. If we cannot accept your application or you are not entitled to the rebate we will explain why.