Water companies are required to maintain water at a minimum pressure of 0.7 bar – at risk of claims from the public for financial compensation.

o.7 bar is equivalent to 7 metres of static head – in other words, the pressure in a water tap from a water tank 7 metres above it. If it falls below this, even for just one hour, and twice within a 28 day period, the water company will be required to make what is called a “GSS” payment. GSS stands for Guaranteed Service Scheme and is regulated by OFWAT, the government’s Office of Water Services.

There are, of course, exceptions, as follows:

  • a payment has already been made to the same customer in the same financial year.
  • it is impractical for the company to have identified the customer as being affected, and the customer has not made a claim within three months.
  • industrial action by the company’s employees makes it unfeasible to maintain the standard.
  • work done by anyone than the company’s representative make it unfeasible to maintain the pressure standard.
  • the pressure falls below the minimum standard due to necessary works taking place or due to a drought.

The payment is set at £25 and can be claimed from the water company. Further details of the scheme can be found at https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/supply-and-standards/water-pressure/