We at South Staffs Water Business understands that these are worrying and unsettling times for everybody, both personally and professionally. Please be assured that we have been working hard for some time to mitigate any effect Covid-19 has had on our service whilst following and reacting to all Government guidance in order to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our staff and the wider community.
As a business ourselves, we are not immune to the effects of the virus control measures that are affecting you. As Government restrictions ease our priorities are still to look after our staff and to continue to serve our customers to the best of our ability. We are working closely with all our Water Wholesalers who also have plans in place to ensure that their services continue at the highest level throughout Covid-19 and also with the UK experiencing dry weather and surging domestic usage. You should continue to contact your Wholesaler directly for any water quality and supply interruption concerns and we will keep in contact with you concerning any wholesaler guidance. If you are opening your business, with so much focus upon keeping your employees and customers safe, please ensure you take steps to ensure the water on site is also safe to use.
Please click here to see a copy of our risk assessment.
Frequenty Asked Questions:
Q. What is South Staffs Water Business' advice
Click here to read out customer statement
Q. How do I contact you?
All of our customer contact channels remain open as usual but with 100% of our staff working from home, the best and safest contact method for us is email rather than phone or post. Please use email@example.com
We continue to operate at full capacity and continue to offer you the high level of service you have been accustomed to.
Q. What do I do if my business was or is temporarily closed, permanently closed or using much less water and I have not notified you?
Please click here and you'll find instructions on the process for informing us. If your business is or has been closed, we’ll temporarily suspend as many of your wholesale and retail fixed or variable water and sewerage charges as possible.
To help us bill you accurately, you must let us know immediately when your business re-opens. You can do this by emailing us. Please include your account number and the date of when your business reopened. If your charges were stopped during this period but consumption continued you may face a catch up bill to cover the period in which you were closed
Q. Am I entitled to a payment holiday/freeze/reduction during this lockdown period?
If you notified us that your premises have been closed or if you were on the government list of businesses that must close we will have taken steps to temporarily suspend as many of your wholesale and retail charges as possible, minimising any impact upon your business during a difficult period. For charges relating to services prior to the Covid-19 shutdown these are still due to be paid. However, we appreciate this a difficult time for all businesses including our own so please contact us if you are unable to pay legacy charges or new charges applicable after you reopen.
In line with the latest Customer Protection Code of Practice and in particular around for support for our customers currently affected by Covid-19 we have published our Covid-19 Repayment Scheme. This details our payment arrangements for customers that are affected by Covid-19 and how we have classified customers as affected and therefore their eligibility to the repayment options.
If you want to notify us for the first time of a business closure please fill in the form via the below link. This will help us to ensure you are charged correctly.
Click here for more information
Q What happens if I am unable to pay my water/wastewater bills temporarily during lockdown?
Due to the impact of COVID-19, and as your water retailer, you can be reassured that we will NOT be implementing any of the following from 8th April to 31st May or until such time as we notify you otherwise via our website
(a) serving disconnection notices for the non-payment of bills or invoices;
(b) seeking to recover any default interest or impose late payment charges for the non-payment of invoices issued from 1 March 2020;
(c) seeking to enforce the non-payment of invoices.
It is important to note, that this is for a limited period only and any updates will be available on this website.
However, where possible, if you can continue to pay your bills on time, then you should do so.
Q. I have heard there may be financial support for my business from the Government. Is this true?
A: The Government has issued advice for support for employers and businesses. You can find out more by visiting the following website and by checking in on a regular basis to review updates:
Q. Will I continue to still receive bills?
If you have been trading throughout the Covid-19 lockdown and were not on the Government list of businesses that must close you will continue to receive bills, but they may be estimated to ensure we not only comply with Government social distancing guidelines but continue to implement our own measures designed to promote public safety. See how to submit a meter reading in this FAQ. If you are not on the Government list (see the second link below) but have been closed please notify us by clicking upon the below link.
Click here for more information
Q How do I Receive my Bills if my Premises are still closed or my staff are still Furloughed and we are operating remote working?
You can go on-line and register your temporary contact details. Please note any bills issued before the date of the form submission will not go to the new address. You will need to request these bills directly from us or download them from MyAccount. Click here
to change your contact details
Q. How do I Pay my Bill?
You can log into the ‘My Account’ section of our website or through one of the methods on the reverse of your bill. Please do not send cheques. During this difficult period, if your account is paid up-to-date and you would like to sign-up for a regular direct debit payment to ease your cash flow and have one less thing to worry about, you can sign up here.
If you have any problems, you can call our customer service team on: 0330 123 0205.
Q. I run a business which serves beer and I need to dispose of out of date product which can no longer be sold. How do I do this?
The thought of beer disposal is truly saddening. Disposing of beer and other alcoholic drinks down the sewer can be damaging to Wholesaler’s sewerage treatment processes and damaging to the environment. They have clear links on their websites requesting contact should you need to do this. Please contact them before you carry out any disposal activity.
Wholesalers(s) are waiving fees to dispose of beer down the public sewer providing the approach and timing is permitted. You can contact your wholesaler directly to discuss beer disposal.
For more information, visit: https://www.water.org.uk/news-item/water-uk-and-british-beer-pub-association-urge-operators-to-apply-imminently-for-beer-disposal/
Q. My business looks after vulnerable customers, will Covid-19 create a risk of supply to my business?
When there is a loss of water, at any time, water wholesalers have well established plans in place to fulfil their obligations to provide emergency supplies. During these unprecedented times, wholesalers have acted swiftly and comprehensively to protect their employees, customers and the communities they serve. Whilst emergencies remain their top priority, they continue to operate all essential services.
Under the Security and Emergency Measures Directions (SEMD), licensed water suppliers (wholesalers) are required to deliver to you 10 litres of water, per person, per day within the first 24 hours of loss of water and 20 litres per person, per day within 72 hours of an outage. This may not be enough for you to run your essential services. We recommend you review your water contingency plans to allow for a potential loss of water if you’re providing essential and mandatory services.
If you have any concerns about how your business would deal with temporary supply restrictions or supply outages, please contact us for advice.
Q. Will my water meter have been read?
From the 25th March 2020, we ceased meter reading in all areas. The decision was not taken lightly but it was felt that as part of the fight against the Covid–19 virus we needed to limit social interactions between our meter readers, members of the public and our customers.
We have still been using actual meter readings from logged and Automatic Meter Readers (AMR) and from customers. If you’re able to take meter reads, please do so and submit them through our MyAccount portal or by clicking here.
We would stress that above all you should only take a meter read if you’re able to do so safely. You should not put yourself in any harm through trying to lift covers, work in the road or work at height or any other activity that might be harmful.
Our metering teams have now restarted their schedules and we will update our estimates with actual readings when we have them. This may result in adjustments between billing periods, especially if your site has experienced leakage during any vacant period. If you have recently experienced a leak which increased your consumption above your normal levels or if you are having problems paying your bill please let us know.
Q. Do I still need to pay my bill if I am subject to Insolvency proceedings?
If you are a trading as a limited company and become subject to formal insolvency proceedings such as Liquidation or Administration is important that you advise the insolvency practitioner dealing with your case that you have outstanding liabilities to us. The insolvency practitioner will contact us regarding your case and we will be added to the list of creditors.
If you are not trading as a limited company i.e. you are a sole trader, you will remain personally liable for any debts that have been accrued by the business. To prevent any recovery action it is therefore important that you contact us as soon as possible to clear any outstanding invoices due. In the event that you are unable to settle your account in full we may be able to agree a short term payment arrangement to clear your liabilities.
Kindly note PWS investigates premises where there has been instances of Insolvency, and may request a commercial deposit to be paid by the next tenant or landlord accordingly. This may result in the commercial water supply being disconnected until such time as PWS is satisfied the deposit has been paid or risk mitigated.