Water Supply in France

Water Supply in France


Water is supplied by several different companies in France for example Veolia or Saur.

However, in most towns and villages the mairie oversees the commune’s water supply in France and you can not choose your provider.


Before moving into your new property, call or visit the mairie to ask for that property’s account to be transferred to your name. You will need to show/send proof of address – attestation de domicile from the mairie, compromis de vente or rental agreement. You may be asked to leave a deposit which will be refunded against your first bill. Check that the meter is read before you move in.

Water is expensive in France and the costs vary from region to region. The most significant difference depends on whether you have mains drainage or a septic tank, the latter being much cheaper.

Your meter should be located near your mains valve. You should ask at the mairie for the meter to be read when you take over your property. Failing that, ask the property agent to check it or take a note yourself.


Bills and Payment:
Bills are usually sent annually by the mairie. Payment is usually by cheque or cash. Sometimes bills can be settled by direct debit (prélèvement automatique), based upon estimated usage. If you want to pay by direct debit you will need to ask your French bank for a RIB (all bank details).

Recent years have seen combinations of long dry periods interspersed with torrential rain, neither of which is very good for topping up national water reserves. You should expect to encounter water usage restrictions during summer periods e.g. no topping up swimming pools, no watering gardens or washing cars. These will be publicised in the local press and on the notice boards at your mairie. Don’t wait to be told or you may incur a fine! In some cases water may occasionally be switched off so it’s worth considering what back-up measures you have if this happens: e.g. do you have a well or a spare tank?


Contact the mairie to tell them which day you will be moving out and want your account to close. They will send you a final bill.

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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor and looks after social media across our publications.

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