We want to make sure we all have plenty of our wonderful water - today, tomorrow and in the years to come. That’s why we’ve launched the Green Recovery Programme.

Green Recovery is a range of exciting projects that will run up to March 2025  updating our water networks, making our region an even better place to live and using the latest technology to create a new Severn Trent fit for the future.

One of the things we’re doing right now across Coventry is helping customers to upgrade their old water supply pipes. You can use an industry-approved plumber and we’ll offer them a £1,300 grant contribution to go towards the cost of upgrading your water supply pipe.

It’s our water, together, let’s do right by it.

Protecting customer supply pipes

Part of our 7 Green Recovery Initiatives

What we're doing

While Severn Trent is responsible for the water pipes on public land, the pipeline between our main water supply and your home is your responsibility (or your landlord’s if you’re renting). This is often called a ‘supply pipe’. If there’s a leak – which is more likely with older pipework – you would have to organise and pay for repairs.

If your house was built before 1970, your pipes might be past their best with a higher risk of leaks. You might find that your pipe is made from lead. We’re offering to help you replace these older pipes as part of the Green Recovery Supply Pipe Grant Scheme.

Working with plumbers

The last couple of years have been tough for businesses, and we want to help. That’s why we’re also providing industry-approved plumbers with a grant contribution to help upgrade Coventry’s water supply pipes.

Not only does this mean you’re supporting businesses – it could mean you get your pipe replaced more quickly than waiting for Severn Trent to be in your area.

If you are a plumber, you can find further guidance on our website.

Why you should replace your supply pipes

The benefits of gettting your pipes replaced:

A smarter way to use water

When your plumber upgrades your pipe, we’ll arrange to connect a smart meter. Smart meters spot leaks early, to ensure more of our water goes to the places it’s meant to go such as our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses that need it most.

If you don’t already have a meter you won’t have to change how you get billed by us. But if you can save money by switching, we’ll let you know. 

The following plumbers are registered with us and are currently offering the scheme

Last updated on 26 June 2024. 

Not all plumbers who meet the eligibility criteria are registered with us so the above list is not exhaustive and if you have another plumber in mind it may be worth checking with them if they are interested in the work.

Alternatively, you are able to choose your own plumber if they fulfil the criteria below. 

If you are a plumber and would like to join our Grant Scheme, please send us an email including:

  • company name
  • contact details
  • details of the approved contractor scheme you are a part of including the membership details
  • confirmation that you can complete both underground services and are a water supply pipe installer

We reserve the right to refuse any plumbers unable to fulfil our criteria.

Choosing your own plumber

We will pay a grant contribution of £1,300 to your plumber for upgrading your supply pipe. This should cover the average costs to replace your supply pipe.

However, in some cases the actual cost might be higher: your supply pipe length might be longer, or the route of installation might be more difficult, for instance. Your plumber will tell you if you need to pay anything over this amount. If you’re not happy with this, you are free to find a quote from another industry-approved plumber or ask us if we can complete the works

To be eligible for a grant contribution from Severn Trent, your chosen plumber must be part of an industry-approved plumber scheme. This means that your plumber will have the right training and qualifications to complete the works.

When picking your plumber, make sure they’re an approved Water Supply Pipe Installer and they can provide underground pipework services. You can use the search criteria on the WaterSafe website to help you or contact your own plumber to find out their qualifications. 

By picking your own plumber you will:

How we'll work with your plumber

Your industry-approved plumber

  • Inspect your home to see what needs to be done
  • Arrange and manage your supply pipe appointments and keep you up to date
  • Replace the private supply pipe with a new, sustainable plastic pipe
  • Re-fill any holes and repair ground surfaces at your property
  • Let you know any additional costs that aren’t covered by the grant 

Severn Trent

  • Replace the public pipe (from the water main to the private supply pipe) with a new, sustainable plastic pipe if required
  • Install a new boundary box and external smart meter if required
  • Pay the plumber a £1,300 grant contribution towards the costs

How it works

A step-by-step guide to what happens:

You can find an industry-approved plumber with WaterSafe or you can find your own plumber who is a part of the national accreditation body. Your plumber will visit you to see what work needs to be done. They will check to see that your home qualifies for the £1,300 grant contribution.

When they arrive, they'll check some things inside and outside your home, such as:

  • Where your supply pipes and stop taps are
  • If you share your supply pipes with your neighbours
  • What material your supply pipe is made from

After the checks, they'll talk to you about what happens next.

In most cases, if you share your water supply with your neighbour(s), the plumber can't upgrade your pipe unless all your neighbours agree to the works. Your plumber will discuss your options with you.

If you are eligible for the scheme, your plumber will then complete the application on your behalf.

They’ll ask you to sign a customer authorisation form which includes the Terms and Conditions of the scheme. Your plumber will send your application to us. 

We will look at your application within 7 working days and send you an email to let you know if your application has been successful and what the next steps are.

If successful, your plumber will confirm when they plan to start the works. Severn Trent will also call you to arrange a date to complete the public works if required.

We will contact you also if your application has been unsuccessful.

On installation day, your plumber will upgrade your old water supply pipe with a new, industry-standard, plastic pipe.

How the plumber does this depends on whether you have your own water supply or share with a neighbour – but the plumber will let you know at inspection.

Severn Trent will be responsible for reconnecting your water supply to the main supply and fitting your new smart meter. Where possible, we will attend at the same time as your plumber, but this could be before or after step 4.  

If we attend before your plumber, your plumber will be able to connect you to your new supply pipe.

We’ll let you know by phone call when we plan to visit and if you need to be home. Don’t worry – we’ll also send you a reminder with everything you need to know. 

It's time for your plumber to re-fill the holes and repair any ground surfaces.

If your plumber has had to dig up any part of your driveway, paths, or any other part of your property, they'll talk to you about how they plan to do this reinstatement and what materials they’ll use.

How to check if you have lead pipes

You can check if you have lead water pipes in a few simple steps. Before you begin, you will need a coin,safety glasses and a face mask.

  1. First, find your main water pipe - this is usually under your kitchen sink, by your downstairs toilet, or in a cupboard under the stairs
  2. Check the colour of the pipe - If it's a brownish colour, it may be copper. If it's a dull grey, it's likely to be lead. If the pipe looks swollen at the joints, that's another sign it's lead. If the pipe is dull grey or swollen, make sure you put your safety glasses and face mask on before you do anything else.
  3. Next, use the coin to gently scrape the pipe. If the scratches are a shiny silver colour underneath, it's a lead pipe. 

What you can do to reduce health risks if you have lead pipes

Since 1970, it's been illegal for builders and plumbers to use lead pipes for drinking water. 

There's no legal need for homeowners to replace existing lead pipes, but it can help reduce health risks.

Over time lead from lead pipes can get into your drinking water and damage your health. 

While you still have lead pipes, there are some things you can do to reduce health risks:

  • Run the cold tap for at least two minutes at the start and end of every day. This will clear the water that’s been in contact with the lead pipe overnight.
  • You may need to run your tap for slightly longer than two minutes if you’ve got a very long lead service pipe. This is common if you live in a farmhouse, for example.
  • To make sure you don't waste the water you run off, you could collect it in a bowl or bottle and use it to water plants.

If you have lead pipes but don't live in Coventry

If you don’t live in one of our Coventry trial areas, you can still get your pipes replaced. You can replace your lead pipes using our region-wide lead pipe replacement scheme.

While Severn Trent are contributing to the costs of the works through the Grant Scheme, your selected plumber is not acting on Severn Trent's behalf in any way. Severn Trent does not supervise, undertake, or guarantee the works they will complete and have no liability or responsibility over the work they complete.

Contact us

If you have any further questions regarding the Grant Scheme, please contact our STW virtual field team on: 0800 917 2477 or by email leadreplacement.grant@severntrent.co.uk.