Supply interruptions

Planned interruptions

For planned interruptions of longer than four hours, your water company should normally give you 48 hours’ notice.

Emergency interruptions

If the supply fails or is interrupted for emergency works, your company should tell you:

  • that the supply has been interrupted or cut off
  • where to get an alternative supply
  • the time by when the supply will be restored
  • the phone number from which you can get further information

Replacement water supply

If the piped supply of water fails, the companies must provide at least 10 litres of water per person per day to affected consumers within the first 24 hours, and maintain this until the piped supply is restored. They may do this by providing bottled water or through bowsers or stand pipes.


In some circumstances, customers are entitled to compensation under the guaranteed standards scheme. Some water companies may have more generous voluntary schemes.

Restrictions and hosepipe bans

In drought conditions the water companies may ban hosepipes or other high water uses to protect the water supply from failure. Research has shown that consumers accept that occasional hosepipe and sprinkler bans are necessary. Although it may not be possible to avoid supply interruptions completely, we expect the companies to restrict supplies through hosepipe bans to reduce the risk. If there is a supply interruption due to drought, you may be entitled to a payment.