You’ll have to pay for any water your business uses, and for the drainage of water and effluent (liquid waste) from your premises.
Ofwat regulates the water industry in England and Wales. There are different regulators in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
How you’ll be charged
You’ll be charged for your water in one of two ways:
- Pay for what you use, plus a set charge (if you’ve got a meter)
- A set charge, usually based on the value of your property
Your business could be eligible for a large user tariff, meaning your water might be cheaper. This is because it often costs less to supply larger businesses.
Sewerage and effluent
You’ll be charged for any ‘foul sewerage’ (eg wastewater from a toilet or kitchen) and drainage from your property. The amount you pay is usually linked to how much water you use.
You’ll also have to pay for any effluent (liquid waste) you produce. Effluent is water contaminated with things like:
- Fats, oils and grease
- Food waste
The amount your water supplier will charge is usually based on the amount and strength of the effluent before it reaches the sewer.
Sewerage charges can either appear on your water bill or your effluent bill, depending on your supplier.
Choosing a supplier
You may be able to choose your water and sewerage service provider depending on where your business is.
- In England and Wales you can find out if you can choose your own supplier by checking with Ofwat.
- In Scotland you can choose your own supplier by checking with the Water Commission.
- In Northern Ireland you can’t choose your own supplier – water is supplied by Northern Ireland Water.