Water Supply FAQs
We are continually working in communities across Scotland to maintain and improve our water supply network so we can all enjoy a constant supply of high quality, clear, fresh drinking water.
To ensure that we continue to provide the vital water services on which we all depend we have a programme of essential maintenance to ensure we repair, replace and upgrade, our water supply network where needed.
At times this can mean we need to:
- Upgrade existing and/or replace old water supply pipes
- Extend the current water supply network to allow for future development/growth in the number of people living and/or working in your local area
If your property is going to be affected by the work we are doing to take care of the water supply in your area, you will receive a postcard or letter from us to advise that we will be carrying out work.
Here are some FAQ’s that may help:
Taking care of your water supply
If we do need to do this, you will receive a blue Interruption to Supply notice card to let you know about this at least 48 hours in advance of any planned interruption to your water supply – this notice card will let you know the dates and times that your supply will be affected and will provide further information about how this will affect you and what to do.
Planned water supply interruptions can last for up to 12 hours.
The Interruption to Supply Notice card will provide details of the dates and the times that your water supply will be off from and when you can expect your water supply to be restored by and what to do.
We will always aim to minimise any disruption to water supplies and complete the work as soon as possible during this time.
We will give you 48 hours’ notice of any planned interruption to your water supply with the dates and times our essential work is likely to affect you and what to do.
Before we turn your water off, please help us by:
- Ensuring all your taps are turned off, and
- Storing enough water in containers for you to be able to use for drinking, cooking, washing and flushing toilets while your water supply is off
When work is required on an aging section of the water network emergencies can arise while work is being carried out, such a burst on the old water pipe or problems with the operation of the network which can lead to an unplanned interruption to supply.
If this happens, our site team will be on hand to investigate any no water issues reported to them or alternatively, if you have no water you can contact us on:
Bottled water will be provided to any priority customers who may need additional assistance during our work, for example families with infants and young children and customers with medical conditions.
Please let us know if you, or any friends or neighbours, may need additional assistance from us during this work - if you have a disability, medical condition or other reason where you may need additional assistance, then please contact us and we can add your name, address and requirements to our confidential Additional Support Register.
During the dates and times detailed on the notice you receive please avoid using:
- Hot and cold taps
- Appliances which use water, such as washing machines, dishwashers, showers etc.
- Toilet Flushing
If you have a combi, system or conventional boiler then the heating system can be used as normal, as this will not require any up top up of water.
If you have a coal fire and back boiler please give us a call if you would like more advice on the how a supply interruption might impact you.
After we have completed certain types of essential work on the water supply net, we may need to ask you and all properties in the local area affected by our work, to boil your tap water. This allows time for us to take samples and test these to ensure the high quality of the tap water in your local area is maintained. , this is to ensure your water continues to be of the highest quality.
Your Interruption Notice card will tell you if you need to boil your water when we have completed our work and the water supply has been restored.
Please use cooled boiled water during this time for brushing your teeth, preparing any food and babies feeds, and for cleaning dishes, utensils and any worktops/surfaces. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. You do not need to boil and can use your tap water as normal for washing, bathing and flushing your toilet.
Once we are satisfied that the samples we’ve taken show the tap water meets our usual high standards we will issue a green All Clear Notice card to let you know you can use your tap water in the normal way. Until you receive this notice, please continue to boil your tap water.
As a result of the essential work that we are doing, when your water supply comes back on it may be cloudy, discoloured or contain sediment, please:
- Let the cold water tap in your kitchen run slowly until the water runs clear. Don’t be alarmed if this may take a couple of minutes to run clear
- Do not use any appliances that use water, such as washing machines/dishwashers until the water from your taps is running clear
- Do not flush your toilet until the water from your taps is running clear
Your water may be discoloured by tiny particles of sediment in water supply pipes which can be disturbed by our work causing the water to have a slightly brown appearance. Please don’t be alarmed, if you run the cold water kitchen tap for several minutes, the water should run clear and stop any grit from being drawn into your internal water pipes or appliances which use water.
Some customers may find their water supply has a milky/cloudy appearance. Again don’t be alarmed, this happens when air trapped in the water pipe dissolves into the water supply, forming tiny bubbles. If you pour a glass of water you will see the water become clear from the bottom upwards as the air escapes. Your water is safe to drink however, if this continues to happen, please contact us and we will investigate further.
If you have noticed a reduction flow or pressure of water coming through your cold mains tap in the kitchen, there may be a pocket of air or particle of sediment trapped in the internal stopvalve that controls the water supply into the house. In most households this is located under the sink in the kitchen and looks like a metal tap, a video on how to locate this can be found here.
The first step in resolving this would be to open and close this tap to ensure it is moving freely before returning to its open location. If there is still a restriction in the flow or pressure you should contact us on the details below or the site team on hand to investigate further.
More information can be found in our Factsheet 11: Pressure Management in the Factsheets section
There will be some noise from the construction vehicles and equipment that we use to carry out this type of work. However, work will be carried out during site working hours and will be within the recommended legal limits.
We always aim to carry out any essential work on the water supply network with minimum disruption for any customers and the local community in the area where we are working.
Roadworks and traffic disruption is likely when our planned essential work is next to a road. This could include: temporary traffic lights, lane or road closures with diversions and/or extra time required for journeys. The letter/postcard you receive prior to our work starting should include information about any planned traffic management during this work.
There will always be signs in place to let road users, pedestrians and cyclists know of any diversions and traffic management.
All traffic management is agreed before work starts with both the local roads authority and the police. All emergency services and local transport operators are notified of our plans and temporary traffic arrangements.
If you are a resident expecting a large delivery, have a special event such as a wedding or are moving house; we would ask that you let the delivery company know of the works and if necessary contact one of our site team so that we can assist where possible.
If you are a business; please contact one of our site team to discuss any requirements you have during our works.
Once we have completed this essential work we will fill in any holes and put back footpaths and roads to their original condition as quickly as possible. There are some circumstances where we will do a temporary repair and then make a second visit at a later date to finish the work.
Where work is required to reinstate green areas, we may have to return at a specific time of the year to ensure successful regrowth. However, we will let the community know if this is necessary.
If you have any concerns about yourself or a neighbour then please contact us or speak to our site team and we will be happy to assist if you may need additional support during our work, with for example: access, bottled water, community vehicles pick ups etc.
If you have a disability or medical condition or any other reason for additional support, you can register your details on our confidential Additional Support Register.
We also have links with local and national organisations representing customers with additional service needs to ensure that we provide you with the most appropriate services.
Click for more information on our Additional Support Services pages