The thaw that followed the ‘Beast from the East’ in late February and early March 2018 left over 200,000 customers in England and Wales without water for over 4 hours; and over 60,000 customers without supply for over 12 hours. Households, businesses, schools and public organisations across the country were affected by either low pressure or no running water, some for several days.
We took those problems very seriously. That’s why we launched a review of water companies’ response. We worked closely with colleagues in the Consumer Council for Water to get to the bottom of:
- what happened
- understand how all of the water companies performed – the good and bad
- (most importantly) make sure lessons are learned and changes take place so that things are better for the future.
Alongside this report, we have also written individually to each company. We expect each company to publicly respond to this report and their individual letter by 28 September 2018. Water UK, the water company industry body, will also coordinate work across the industry to share best practice and improve collaboration in key areas.
The incident in numbers
What we said
PN 26/18: Hard lessons for water sector following “Beast from the East” review
Launch of the review
PN 11/18: Ofwat to review water sector’s handling of recent supply interruptions, 11 March 2018
Terms of reference of review of freeze/thaw incidents, 11 March 2018
Letters to companies
Water companies’ evidence for the review