Privacy policy

About us

South East Water Scientific Services (“We”) takes care to protect and respect your privacy.

This policy (together with our terms of use and any other documents referred to in it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Requirements*, the data controller is South East Water Ltd of Rocfort Road, Snodland, Kent, ME6 5AH (company number 02679874). This is our legal name and our trading name is South East Water Scientific Services.

* Data Protection Requirements means the Data Protection Act 1998 (or The Data Protection Act 2018), the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/2699), the Electronic Communications Data Protection Directive 2002/58/EC, the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, the General Data Protection Regulation (from 25 May 2018) and all other applicable laws and regulations relating to processing of personal data and privacy in any applicable jurisdiction as amended and replaced, including where applicable the guidance and codes of practice issued by the UK Information Commissioner or such other relevant data protection authority;

How to Contact us

If you want to request further information about our privacy notice or exercise any of your rights you can:

email us: 

write to us: Data Protection Officer, South East Water Scientific Services, Rocfort Road, Snodland, Kent, ME6 5AH

You can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office via or at Wycliffe House Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF or 0303 123 1113 for information, advice or to make a complaint.

South East Water Scientific Services strives to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

We are also happy to provide any additional information or explanations needed. Any requests should be sent to us using one of the methods above.

Information we collect from you and what we do with it

We may collect and process a variety of data about you from information you give us.

The information may include:

  • Your name, address, e-mail address and phone number. 

We use your information for the specific purpose(s) for which it has been provided to or collected by us and also to administer, support, improve and develop our business generally and to enforce our legal rights.

More detailed information on what we collect in different circumstances and how it will be used is set out below.

Lawful basis for processing

We will only process your information if we have a lawful basis to do so. There are 6 lawful basis of processing as set out in the Data Protection Requirements and the ones that most apply to us are set out below.

Legal obligation

Most of the activities we carry out are necessary to ensure compliance with a legal obligation or to carry out our statutory functions / duties and powers as a statutory water undertaker, for example, to carry out the necessary testing of drinking water to meeting drinking water inspectorate (DWI) requirements.


Where you purchase our water testing services for your own requirements we will process your personal information to fulfil the terms and conditions of this contract.

Legitimate interests

Where the activities are not strictly necessary for compliance with a legal obligation we may process your information in accordance with our legitimate interests e.g. carrying out market research or customer satisfaction or feedback surveys.

We always check that our legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights and that such processing is set out in this privacy notice.

Vital Interests

Sometimes we may need to protect your vital interests and process your information e.g. because there is a risk to you or others due to water quality issues.

What to expect when you contact us?

Contacting us by telephone, email or via the Website

We will take your name, telephone number and address and email address to be able to provide you with a quotation for services.

Any email sent to South East Water Scientific Services including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance. E-mails are also backed up and thereafter deleted in line with our retention rules.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.

Contacting us by post

If you write to us, we keep an electronic copy of your letter for our records (and in accordance with our retention policy) but the original will be destroyed.  

Visiting our website

To enable us to monitor and improve our websites, we may gather certain information about your use using cookies and similar technologies.  These technologies are used to measure and analyse information on visits to our websites, to tailor the websites to make them better for visitors and to improve the site’s technical performance. We will not use the data to identify you personally or to make any decisions about you.

Our website may also, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks and affiliates. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

Information about cookies we use

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree.  Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.  By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

We only use cookies that are required for the operation of our website; these are shown in the table below.

Cookie Name

Cookie Description

Google Analytics


These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site.

We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

More information:

Google Analytics


These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors share pages on our site.
We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the pages shared using the Add This tool, number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

More information:

Add This



Used to accelerate content delivery. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features





Livechat []




These Cookies improve performance and security on the website.

No personal information is kept in the session cookie and it is destroyed when the session ends.

You may block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site. More information can be found here:

Our customers

Works order from South East Water

As part of its statutory obligations, South East Water uses South East Water Scientific Services to carry out the testing of its drinking water. This may mean that customers’ properties will be visited to have samples taken from their taps.

If there are water borne diseases or health hazards found these may need to be reported to the DWI, HSE, the Environment Agency or other regulator for health and safety reasons.  

Works ordered from a customer direct

Organisations or even individuals are able to order works from South East Water Scientific Services direct, for example private pools that require testing.

This will be undertaken direct with South East Water Scientific Services and in accordance with their terms and conditions of supply.

People who fall into arrears or fail to pay their invoice

We may use lawyers and debt recovery or tracing agents, credit reference or fraud prevention agencies, in order to help us trace and collect money owed to us.

Potential Candidates for jobs at South East Water Scientific Services

We will process the personal information you provide to us as part of your job application and there is a separate privacy notice for this on the careers web page.

Information we collect or obtain from others about you

We may receive information about you if you use any of the other websites we operate or the other services we provide. In this case we will have informed you when we collected that data that it may be shared internally and combined with data collected on this website.

We also work closely with trusted partners (including, for example, business partners, sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, local authorities and credit reference agencies) and may receive information about you from them.

Information we share with others

We manage all arrangements for sharing your data with the strictest of care and would never sell your data to be used for marketing purposes.

The obligations that we have to our Regulators

To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations we may provide personal data to the following authorities:

  • Defra
  • Ofwat
  • Drinking Water Inspectorate
  • Environment Agency
  • Public Health England
  • Environmental Health Authorities
  • CCWater
  • Local Authorities
  • Police, Fire, Ambulance, and other emergency services
  • HSE

We have legal obligations to share data with our regulators. For example, we have to share any personal data related to a water quality incident with the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). Occasionally if you are part of an incident investigation there is a chance that data may be shared with Health and Safety Executive or the Environment Agency if it is part of the reporting requirements.

Agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information

We don’t have any in place at present.

Circumstances where we can pass on personal data without consent

Information about the sample for DWI purposes would be passed back to South East Water.


We have a legal requirement to carry out surveys with our customers on the service we have provided. You may be contacted by this third party about the service you received from South East Water Scientific Services and asked to score our performance. These are not marketing calls and your response is very important to us. If you would prefer not to participate you can register yourself as ‘no contact’ with our customer services team at any time.

Other third parties

If we merge with another business entity or divest a part of our business or carry out internal corporate restructuring, your information may be disclosed to South East Water Scientific Services’ new business partners or owners or the new corporate entities.

In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.

If South East Water Scientific Services Limited or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by it about its customers will be one of the transferred assets.

If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or to protect the rights, property, or safety of South East Water Scientific Services Limited, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection.

Trusted partners we use who may have access to your data

We use trusted partners to help us process your data and provide services to you. All of our data processors have a binding contract with us that restricts their access to and handling of your personal data to only what is necessary in performance of their contract. Our contracts detail how personal data should be handled and protected while being processed by any third party. We conduct due diligence checks on third party processors to ensure they comply with their obligations to us.

We use software providers for different systems, like our works order system and we use courier companies for the picking up and delivery of water samples.

From time to time we require legal advice and may need to share your personal data with our legal advisers or our insurance company or other professional advisors in order to obtain advice or make a claim.

South East Water Scientific Services also uses a trusted partner service to help maintain the security and performance of the South East Water Scientific Services website. To deliver this service the trusted partner processes the IP addresses of visitors to the website.

Where we store your information and how we keep it safe

All customer personal data is held in our system in the UK, which has controlled access and is subject to strong cyber security measures. All access to our systems is strictly controlled. We also operate strict physical security at all our sites and employees all receive security and data protection awareness training.

Where we transfer information to third parties to enable them to process it on our behalf (see the information about Trusted Partners above), we ensure that the providers meet or exceed the relevant legal or regulatory requirements for transferring data to them and keeping it secure.

We also ensure that where information is transferred to a country or international organisation outside of the UK / EEA, we will comply with the relevant legal rules governing such transfers.

How long we will keep your information

We keep this for 6 years.


We do not currently carry out any marketing. However such activities would be in accordance with our legitimate interests. However if you wish to exercise your right to object to such marketing please see ‘Your Data Protection Rights’ below.  

Automated decision making and profiling

We do not currently conduct any automated decision making, including profiling, as defined by the Data Protection Requirements.

Your data protection rights

You have certain rights in relation to your personal information, although those rights will not apply in all cases or to all information that we hold about you. For example, we may need to continue to hold and process information to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights. Alternatively, the rights may not be enforceable until the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018. We will tell you if this is the case when you contact us.

You have the right to be informed and we will try to be as transparent as possible in our interactions with you. Any time you give us personal information you have a right to be informed about why we need it and how we will use it. You can find most of the information you need right here in this Privacy Notice.

You have right of access to any personal data we hold about you. You can contact us at any time to gain information about what data we hold, why we hold it, where we got it from and how we will use and share it. You may choose to write to us to exercise your Subject Access right. If you make a formal written request we will respond to acknowledge your request and check your identity, we might also ask you for information about what you are looking for to help us make sure we meet your request fully. You will receive a full response at the earliest opportunity but in any event within 30 calendar days of your request. There is no charge made for this by South East Water Scientific Services.

To make a request to South East Water Scientific Services for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to our Data Protection Officer at the address provided below. If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

You have the right to have any personal data we hold corrected at any time if you believe it to be inaccurate e.g. the spelling of your name or your contact information.

You also have the right to ask for our processing of your personal data to be restricted for example if you are contesting the accuracy of data we are using to bill you. We will restrict our processing while we verify the accuracy of the data that we hold.

You can also ask for certain information about you to be deleted for example if you are moving out of our supply area and you are not behind with your water bill payments or if you are no longer part of a discount or support scheme. We will not be able to delete any data relating to outstanding debts until the debt has been repaid as we have a legal obligation to collect debt. We will also not be able to delete your information if there has been a water quality concern related to the water supply for your property, as this data must be kept for seven years, or any information that we need to retain in connection with our Water Supply Licence.

You have the right to data portability where our lawful basis for processing is consent and where processing is automated, although we don't currently carry out any such processing. If we do in future, you can make a request and this data can be exported from our systems for you. 

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing or profiling purposes. We will ask for your consent (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at

Changes to this Privacy Notice

This privacy notice will be kept up to date as our business and internal practices and/or the Data Protection Requirements change and so may be subject to change at any time to reflect any changing activities. The most up to date version will always be available on our website.

We will not make any use of your personal information that is inconsistent with the original purpose(s) for which it was collected or obtained (if we intend to do so, we will notify you in advance wherever possible) or otherwise than is permitted by the Data Protection Requirements.

We keep our Privacy Notice under regular review. This Privacy Notice was last updated on 22 May 2018.