What to do if you share a water supply with another property

A shared supply is a pipe that supplies the water to two or more properties using a shared stop tap. If your business is in an older property that has been converted or split into two, such as a takeaway or shop with a flat above, you could be on a shared supply. You might have been unaware of this until you noticed water usage on your bill that you can’t account for.

Sharing this supply means the water consumption for the whole property falls under one customer, so you could be paying more than you need to.

How will being on a shared supply affect my business?

There are a few problems you could face from being on a shared supply:

  • Because there’s only one supply, there’ll only be one bill and this will typically go to only one of the customers, meaning you could be paying for all parties’ water use without knowing.
  • If you’re a business sharing a supply with a household and you don’t use very much water, you could still be receiving a higher water bill because you’re paying for the household’s water consumption as well.
  • You might also experience a loss of pressure in your water supply if the shared stop tap is within another neighbour’s boundary and they decide to turn it off, for example if their premises is going to be empty for an extended period.

What can I do if I’m on a shared supply?

It can be difficult to be part of a shared supply because it’s not something your water retailer or Wholesaler can resolve for you. We understand that it can be frustrating and costly if your business is paying for more water than needed, so there are a few steps you can take to work towards resolving the problem.

  • Talk to your landlord – it’s possible your landlord didn’t know the supply would not be split when the property was converted, so explaining the situation to them could help you find a viable solution.
  • Talk to your neighbour – it’s also possible your neighbour isn’t aware that the property is on a shared supply. If so, your water bill could be managed between everyone in the property. 
  • Or, you may be in luck and find out that your neighbour already has a sub-meter installed. If they’re willing to help, they could provide you with their reads. If you then share those reads with us, it can help us to understand your business usage. Due to GDPR, as your water retailer, we can’t ask a domestic premises to provide us with sub-meter reads directly and we can’t add their data onto your bill but we can take into account any reads you supply.  
  • Have your own sub-meter installed – this is an accurate way to track your business’ water consumption as it’ll only record what you use. However, the bill you receive will still reflect the whole property’s water use, so you’d need to agree with all parties on the shared supply to split this up accordingly. Sub-meters would also need to be arranged privately through a registered plumber and will cost you to install.  
  • Have your own supply installed – if you’d prefer to have your own supply installed, you’ll need to contact your Wholesaler’s New Developments Team. You can find your Wholesaler here.
  • De-register from the non-household market – if you’re a Wave customer and you have proof the primary use of the property is domestic, you could contact us and ask to be de-registered from the non-household market. You’ll need information to hand such as the type of business, how many people work on your premises, your opening hours, and the appliances or fittings that use water in your business. It would also be helpful if you can share any information about the household property.