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Public Supply Complaint

When we receive details of a water quality problem from a consumer, we check that they have previously contacted Scottish Water. DWQR is only able to take on a consumer issue once Scottish Water has been given an opportunity to resolve it - this will usually mean following Scottish Water's internal complaints process.

Once we take on an issue on behalf of a consumer we will contact Scottish Water to find out what information they have on the problem and the steps they have taken to rectify the situation. If we need more information we will ask Scottish Water to obtain it. This might include asking Scottish Water to contact you in order to arrange to take further samples.

Once we have discovered what the issue is, we will decide whether the steps Scottish Water has taken to resolve it are sufficient and appropriate.

If necessary we will direct Scottish Water to make additional efforts to fix the problem.

We will try to stay in touch with you throughout the process and will write to you to explain our findings and the outcome. The second tier complaint procedure explains more about the service you can expect to receive from us.

Occasionally, water quality problems are caused not by the water supply itself, but by what happens to the water once it enters a property.

  • Some taste and odours can arise from kettles, appliances and connecting hoses.
  • Problems with plumbing and storage can cause the quality of the water to deteriorate inside a property.
  • Responsibility for this lies with the property owner, not Scottish Water.
  • Where this appears to be the case, we will make sure that Scottish Water has demonstrated that the issue is the responsibility of the consumer.

We aim to provide some advice as to where the consumer might be able to obtain further assistance in resolving the problem.

DWQR and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) have a potentially overlapping jurisdiction in terms of water supply complaints.  DWQR is responsible for ensuring the quality of drinking water in Scotland and will consider complaints from members of the public about water quality as set out in our second tier complaint guidance document.  The SPSO can consider complaints from members of the public about their water supply where there is a claim of injustice or hardship as a result of maladministration or service failure on the part of Scottish Water. More information on making a complaint to SPSO can be found on their website via the link Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Further information about DWQR, our role and powers, is available here.