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Complaints about water and sewerage services

This advice applies to Scotland

This information applies to Scotland only

Water and sewerage services for domestic customers provided by Scottish Water

Most water and sewerage services for domestic households are provided and maintained by Scottish Water. You may receive the services through the public water supply or sewerage network. At least 3% of domestic households have a private water supply and some also have a septic tank. These services are not provided by Scottish Water.

Complaints about public water and sewerage charges

If your home is connected to the public water supply and you do not have a water meter, you will pay for your water and sewerage with your council tax and your local authority will pass it on to Scottish Water. If you want to complain about the water and sewerage charges on your council tax bill, you need to contact your local authority.

Complaint process for public water or sewerage services

If you want to complain about water or sewerage services from Scottish Water you can:

Step one - phone the Scottish Water Customer helpline

on 0800 077 8778. Scottish Water will try to resolve the problem over the telephone with you but you may need to write to the Services Review Team. Remember to include copies of relevant paper work.

Step two – write to the Services Review Team


Scottish Water
PO Box 8855
EH10 6YQ

You might like to use our guidance about writing letters [ 46 kb].

Under Scottish Water’s Code of Practice you should receive a written response to any complaint within 10 working days. If there are going to be further investigations Scottish Water will let you know this.

Step three

If you are still not happy after contacting Scottish Water because of what they are proposing to do to solve your problem you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). This is a free, independent and confidential service. The SPSO can look into how Scottish Water has handled your complaint. It can’t look into problems from over 12 months ago or a problem about which you have taken legal action.

You might like to use our guidance about writing letters [ 46 kb].

Further information

The Scottish Water website has comprehensive information about its services and standards for consumers. If you need more information about the problem or issue that you want to make your complaint about see

Water and sewerage services for domestic customers provided by a private contractor

When you have used a private contractor for water or sewerage services, for example, to desludge your septic tank or clear a blocked drain you should have a contract with it for these services. The contract maybe on paper or perhaps it was a verbal agreement.

Under consumer law (legal note 1) you do have contractual protection for the service you received.

Water and sewerage services for non-domestic customers

Water and sewerage services are provided by companies like Business Stream for non-domestic services. If you are a non-domestic customer, like a business, and have raised a formal complaint with your water and sewerage provider and remain dissatisfied with how your complaint has been handled, you can go to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

1 Before 1 October 2015 in Scotland this was covered by common law. From 1 October 2015 it is the same as the rest of the UK under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

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