Our five-year plan
This website summarises the main contents of our plan for the period 2015-20. It reflects the �final determination� published by our financial regulator, Ofwat, in December 2014.
The plan sets out the investment we intend to make to maintain and improve essential water and wastewater services, and achieve the targets agreed with Ofwat.
The plan outlined below represents our current best estimate of how we intend to meet our targets. The details may change if we find more efficient and/or effective ways to do this.
Look out for:
- The 'You Said' icon, featuring quotes from our customers that helped to inform our plan.
- The 'Commitments' icon, letting you know our long-term commitments.
We will improve 881km of water mains and reduce leaks
Water is an increasingly precious resource - so it's important that we find and fix leaks, as well as repairing or renewing ageing mains.
Saving 59 million litres of water each day
We will provide safe and reliable water.
Fixing leaks quickly and efficiently is vitally important.
We will improve treatment works and equipment so that homes and businesses in our region continue to have the water they need
We will upgrade five of our London treatment works, which together supply 6 million people, and address population growth by providing new mains and pumps in 11 separate projects across our area.
It's our job to plan not just for the next five years but also for the long-term future. We will lead discussions to agree on the best option for the new source of water we believe will be needed by the late 2020s.
Water is a basic commodity we all need, so it has to be top quality, safe and clean.
New 'smart' meters help to locate leaks and encourage customers to save water
We will be able to read the meters electronically, with less need to visit them. We have already begun fitting these new meters and will accelerate our work across London, moving to other areas after 2020.
I am on a water meter and it does make you think more carefully about how you use water.
We're dedicated to providing better customer service
We will improve the service we provide through a variety of changes. Customers have told us they want us to get things right first time, resolve problems quickly and provide communication channels that suit them - so our plan focuses on improving these.
We will show customers we are easy to do business with and care, and that they can trust us.
Great customer service never goes unnoticed. Friendly and helpful behaviour go a long way.
We know that some customers struggle to pay their bill, and we will look at ways to keep costs down while maintaining the assistance we currently provide. This now includes a newly launched social tariff, which will halve the bills for those least able to pay, and benefit checks to help ensure people get the payments they are entitled to.
We will provide the services customers need in the most economic and efficient way.
We anticipate halving the bills of 37,000 households through our social tariff.
Affordable bills are very important.
We will provide customers with a choice of easy-to-use contact options.
No one should suffer the threat of sewage flooding their home. We will improve the sewer system, reducing the risk for 2,127 properties.
Our plans include major flood relief work in west London, 14 investigations aimed at preventing rain infiltrating our sewers, and doing more to prevent blockages.
We'll also promote sustainable drainage, which encourages rain to soak away naturally or slows its progress into our sewers.
Flooding can be devastating for families, so it's very important to ensure that our wastewater pipes work efficiently.
We'll be working hard to ensure sewage works and pumping stations cope with the demands of a growing population.
Among our proposals, we will carry out a major overhaul to update Deephams sewage works in north London and start work to refit two incinerators which burn sewage sludge to generate renewable energy. We will keep pace with population growth at 18 sewage works and increase sewer capacity to cater for housing developments.
Maintenance is an essential part of providing a good quality service.
The environment is a vital part of our business: we source much of our water from rivers, to which we eventually return it following sewage treatment. We aim to increase the amount of power we generate from this treatment process, reduce what we take from watercourses and make a range of changes to help protect wildlife and plants. And by 2020 we'll educate 20,000 pupils per year about the environment and what we do.
We will limit our impact on the environment and achieve a socially responsible, sustainable business.
I think generating renewable energy from sewage is a good idea to protect the environment.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is necessary to cope with the increasing demand for sewage disposal in the future.
London has outgrown its sewer system
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an essential upgrade, which is needed because the capital has outgrown its sewer system. The original network, built by the Victorians, is still in good condition but often fills to capacity when it rains, causing sewage to overflow into the nation's most iconic river.
The solution and its benefits
The tunnel will run for 15 miles under the tidal Thames. It will capture most of the pollution that would otherwise enter the river and transfer it to Beckton sewage treatment works, in east London. This will improve water quality in the Thames, significantly benefiting the environment and river users. The tunnel will help enable London's sewer system to cope with the demands of the 21st and 22nd centuries.
Future-proofing for 100 years
This solution will tackle the problem of sewer overflows for at least the next 100 years, and enable the UK to meet European environmental standards. It's a huge project that forms part of the Government's National Infrastructure Project and has to be delivered.
Our charges between now and April 2020 have been approved by our independent financial regulator, Ofwat. Throughout this period, the average household bill for water and wastewater services will remain below the industry average.
The agreed charges vary from year to year to reflect the costs of work we are planning to carry out in that period, and to spread the impact on bills of new assets, such as pipes and treatment technology.
Average bills across the five years will rise by about �12 (3.4 per cent) by 2020, excluding inflation.
Our performance targets
We have agreed with Ofwat a range of five-year targets. Our performance against some of these targets could affect average household bills in 2020-25.
For illustrative purposes, we have shown four of the measures below. In each case, you can choose between six performance levels to see the potential impact on an average bill, spread across the five years.