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Frequently Asked Questions

Mains and mainlaying

Some frequently asked questions regarding Mains and Mainlaying

What are zonal charges?

Zonal charges are separate from and additional to connection charges. The zonal charges are types of charges set out in section 146(2) of the Water Industry Act 1991. The zonal charge should be paid by anyone who wishes to build or develop a property.

They are applicable to the following whether connecting directly or indirectly:

  • Building of new domestic premises, including permanent caravans.
  • Additional new premises on the site of demolished premises.
  • Conversion of existing building into additional units/dwellings.
  • First time connection of an existing property.
  • New commercial and industrial units.
Zonal charge consists of two elements; the fixed element and the variable element.

The first ‘fixed element’ is a figure that is applied wherever the development is situated. It is the same in nature to our infrastructure charge that applied prior to April 2018.

The second ‘variable element’ may vary according to criteria which may be introduced in future. In this charging year, we do not intend to introduce any such criteria, so there will be one single variable element applied in all cases. However, in future, we may introduce, for example, charging divergence between zones where there are different levels of infrastructure investment required.

The sum of the elements of the zonal charge is a contribution towards the cost of infrastructure provision for growth maintaining the broad level of balance with the previous charging regime.

For further information, please refer to our charging arrangements document.


Why does Hartlepool Water need to know what water fittings I intend to install?

This is because The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 are law in England and Wales and they clearly state that under Regulation 5 the water supplier (Hartlepool Water) must receive a schedule/List of the Water fittings that you intend to use.

Why do I have to supply Hartlepool Water with a drawing of my intended pipework route?

This is so that we know that you are not installing pipework in a manner that contravenes the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

Am I allowed to build over or close to public water mains?

Unlike sewers, where permission to build over or close to mains may be given, we DO NOT permit any build over of water mains.  Water mains operate at pressure; hence they have the potential to cause considerable damage for which Hartlepool Water could not be held liable.

Do I need permission to connect to the public water supply system and how can I find out if the water mains have sufficient capacity to service my development?

Capacity checks are undertaken upon application - Connections to existing water supply mains can only be undertaken by Hartlepool Water.

Can I lay my water main in the same trench as other utilities such as gas and electric?

Provided adequate clearance is provided between the water main and other pipelines, it is acceptable for the water supply to be laid in a trench common with other utilities.

Why do you make a sewerage infrastructure charge when I apply for and connect to a public water supply?

Zonal charges relevant to water supply will be raised when any premises are connected to our water mains for the first time.  For the majority of new developments (including conversions) and existing properties which become connected, the standard amounts will be payable in respect of each individual unit.  The water zonal charge is payable when the premises are connected to the public water supply.

Please note: The Northumbrian Water sewerage infrastructure charge of £335.00 is payable if the premises drain to the public sewer (either directly or indirectly).

Once I have accepted an offer of term for a new water main connection, paid all relevant monies and completed any necessary agreements, who should I contact to programme the work in?

Hartlepool Water

For mains related enquiries:

0345 60 66 087 Option 2, then option 2, followed by option 2


For connection related enquiries:

0345 60 66 087 Option 2, then option 1



What is a local offsite main?

A local offsite main refers to mains reinforcement required to accommodate additional demand in the local infrastructure as a result of a development being carried out.  Unlike a strategic contribution this category of main will normally be associated to a particular development and its affect on the local network as opposed to a regional growth requirement. These mains will be charged as part of the scheme costs.

What is a strategic contribution?

Hartlepool Water carries out improvement works involving large strategic water mains in order to accommodate growth with our region.  Part of the cost incurred is to be recovered from the developments with the affected area which will benefit from the additional water being made available.

This cost is calculated on a litre-per-second rate and apportioned to developments based on their litre-per-second demand.  For example if the rate is £14,000 per-litre-per-second and the development needed 0.1 litres-per-second then the contribution by the Developer would be £1,400.00.

What is Self-lay?

As an alternative to Anglian Water constructing the new mains, the Developer can provide the mains under a self-lay agreement. The Developer must use a self-lay provider (SLP) that is accredited with WIRS (Water Industry Registration Scheme) and an asset payment shall be paid to the Developer when Anglian Water adopts the main.

It is important to note that this scheme is independent of the Approved Plumber's scheme and only companies accredited under the Self-lay scheme are eligible.

Contaminated land

Some frequently asked questions about contaminated land issues.

Why do I need to carry out a soil survey and report?

Under the Water Act 1991 and supported by CDM 2015, Hartlepool Water has a duty of care towards its customers particularly in respect to the quality of supply.  In light of certain ground conditions placing Hartlepool Water pipes at risk of abrasion or contamination, a soil survey is required to ensure that the correct material is used to prevent any risk to future customers.


Some frequently asked questions about Plumbing

Do I always have to comply with the Water Regulations?

If the water is supplied by Hartlepool Water you must comply with the Regulations.  It is the law in England and Wales with it being a criminal offence to contravene the Regulations.  However, if the water is supplied from another source, such as a well or borehole there is no requirement.  We do however recommend that you still comply, therefore ensuring good plumbing practice.

Why does Hartlepool Water need to know what water fittings I intend to install?

This is because The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 are law in England and Wales and they clearly state that under Regulation 5 the water supplier (Hartlepool Water) must receive a schedule/list of the water fittings that you intend to use.

What do you mean when you ask for a schedule of water fittings?

All we need to know are the brand names and the British Standards WRAS or KIWA approval numbers so that we know they meet the required standards.

It is not against the law to purchase water fittings that do not meet national standards


In a domestic property do I have to notify Hartlepool Water if I intend to install or replace - A bathroom suite? - A shower mixer? - Outside taps? - Kitchen sink taps? - Wash basin taps? - Bath taps? - Cold water storage cistern?

No, however, the work and the water fittings installed must comply with the Water Regulations.

Do I need to duct or sleeve hot and cold water pipework if they are to be embedded in solid floor?

Yes you do need to duct or sleeve hot and cold pipework, the reason being that the pipework must be accessible or removable for maintenance or repair.

My plumber tells me that my flexible shower hose must not be able to reach into my WC or bidet is this correct?

Yes it is.  Any shower hose that reaches into a WC or bidet bowl is a fluid category 5 risk of contamination to your drinking water supply.  There are several ways to eliminate the problem such as constraining the hose with a clip so that it cannot reach the WC or bidet, fit a fixed shower screen or simply fit a shorter hose.

I am installing a new water service and need to know how deep the trench should be for water service pipes?

There is a minimum and maximum depth at which service pipes should be laid:

Minimum depth is 750 mm

Maximum depth is 1350 mm

If an installer wishes to install a service pipe either deeper or shallower than these depths they must notify Hartlepool Water for permission.

Important note: The water service pipe must be a minimum of 350 mm away from any gas supply.

My plumber tells me that he only fits water fittings that are approved because unapproved fittings such as hoses and taps can give taste and odour problems is this true?

Many common plumbing fittings such as taps, flexible hoses, washing/dishwashing machine hoses or even a simple tap washer can give taste and odour problems if they have not been approved by one of the approval bodies.


The main problem is the rubber used in unapproved hoses which can harbour bacterial growth on its surface.


Unapproved taps can have rubber washers or O rings in the body of the tap which can give a TCP taste to the water.

Is the drainage pipework side of a plumbing system part of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999?

No. Drainage from bath, showers, sinks & washbasins, toilets and bidets fall under the jurisdiction of part G of the Building Regulations.

What is the minimum water pressure that Hartlepool Water must supply?

The minimum water pressure that Hartlepool Water must supply to its customers at the boundary stop of the property is 10mts head or 1 bar, or another way of putting it, enough water pressure to fill a cold water storage cistern in a two storey house roof space.

Can I use Blue MDPE Polyethylene pipe above ground?

Blue MDPE pipe may be used above ground in situations where it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

What temperature should cold water be distributed at?

So far as is reasonably practical the temperature of water within cold water pipes should not exceed 20 degrees C and adequate measures should be taken to ensure that this temperature is not exceeded.

What temperature should hot water be stored at?

Hot water must be stored at not less than 60 degrees C and be distributed at not less than 55 degrees C.  It should also be not less than 60 degrees C within 30 seconds after fully opening the tap.

Do I have to fit service valves on the supplies to all the taps in a property?

No.   Only the float operated valves, for example:

- Ball valve in a toilet cistern

- Ball valve in a cold water storage cistern

- Ball valve in a heating and expansion cistern

I am intending to install a rainwater harvesting system with a mains water backup supply what must I do to comply?

Please contact our Water Regulations Team on 0345 60 66 087 option 4, then option 2.  We will then inform you of everything that you must do to comply.

Can I build a new extension over an existing mains water supply pipe?

No.  The existing mains water supply pipe will have to be either re-routed around the new extension or it will have to be installed in a duct so that it can be removed for maintenance or repair.


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