When things go wrong, we act immediately to make sure we get things back to normal as quickly as we can.


We work 24/7, 365 days, to supply water to 1.3 million properties in Essex and Suffolk. However, some things can get in our way and cause an interruption to your water supply such as:

  • Burst water main - this can stop your water supply. 
  • Pump or valve issues - a power cut or electrical fault can cause our pumps to fail and occasionally, valves can fail. 

During these times, your water may go off, and in rare cases, we may advise you to boil your water before using it or ask you not to use it.

As soon as we’re made aware of an issue, we’ll let you know by text message. It's important that we have your up to date contact details so we can contact you during these times. We'll also provide you with updates on our progress.


To make sure you receive text alerts, log in to your online account and add your mobile phone to your profile. If you don't have an online account, it only takes a few minutes to register for an online account.  


We'll also update check my area and provide regular updates on Facebook and X.  We also share information with the local press and community networks to help us let everyone know as quickly as possible.  If you need to get in touch, you can contact us at anytime.


In the unlikely event of an incident where water is not to be used or has to be boiled before use, we will contact you with immediate advice. This advice will be sent by text message, letterbox notice, social media and local press.

If you have no water, or we have asked you not to use your water for an extended period of time, we may provide bottled water collection points. The collection points will be located near your home for you to collect water by foot or vehicle.


We'll let you know by text message or call you to let you know where they will be located. We'll also provide information on social media and to the local press.


If we expect the water to be off for longer than three hours, we aim to deliver bottled water for free to our Priority Services customers who are unable to collect an alternative supply. This could be due to mobility, disability, age, having young children at home, or needing water for medical needs. 


If you wouldn't be able to collect an alternative supply of water and require bottled water delivered to your home, please register for our free Priority Services.

Our engineers will investigate the problem and see what work is needed. All our employees wear Essex & Suffolk Water branded uniforms and carry an identity card. They will be happy to show you their ID card, so you can check that they are employed by Essex & Suffolk Water.


We also work alongside partner agencies, such as local councils, as we may need to set up traffic lights or even close a road, depending on the location of the issue. Once the site is safe for everyone, our engineers will start work.

Once we've fixed the problem to the water supply, we'll send you a text message.


We'll also provide advice if your water appears discoloured or has air in it.  Don’t worry, we have lots of info on what to do about discoloured water here.

If your water has been interrupted for more than 12 hours, we may pay you compensation. To find out more about compensation payments, read our Code of Practice - Our Promise to you.

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