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Rewards for Water Workers Reporting Leaks

May 30, 2006 at 4:22 am

The Sping a Leak campaign has been launched by utility price comparison company energyhelpline.com. In the same spirit that water companies can fine customers £1000 for not adhering to the hosepipe bans, energyhelpline are offering water company workers a reward of the same amount if they uncover bad practice and inefficiency by the water company they work for.

This campaign was spurred on after a case hit the news where a Severn Trent employee provided information which prompted a fraud investigation into the reliability of leakage data. Energyhelpine.com believed that there must be similar cases out there waiting to be uncovered.

Leaks are a big issue at the moment, the Daily Mail recently offered customers rewards for reporting a local leak and Thames Water and Severn Trent Water companies being in the news for the huge amount of water lost through their pipelines – 915 million litres a day and 100 million gallons a day consecutively.

Water companies should be concentrating on repairing these leaks before restricting water use and holding the public responsible for the problem. Jonathan Elliott, head of business services at energyhelpline commented that “It is the nature of our business to get to the root of the problems which people suffer as a direct result of action taken by utility companies” and if conditions improve by industry insiders spilling the beans on their companies malpractice then energyhelpline say they have succeeded in their job.

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Drought not cured by a few wet days.

May 22, 2006 at 5:53 am

It’s what we have been apparently missing all winter down here in the south but it doesn’t seem that the dreary start to the summer is quite enough to lift drought fears.

Rain all weekend and rain forecast for all of the week ahead is due to two atlantic depressions crossing the country which are bringing not only wet weather but wind, thunder and lightning too. Bad news for those hoping that we might see a bit of sun some time soon, but good news for many others who have been negatively affected by dry weather and the water restrictions that have come with it.

The Environment Agency are however warning that this wet weather spell is by no means any solution to the current water situation. After 18 months of dry weather, a lot more than a weeks worth of rain is needed to get supplies back up to a normal level. They are warning consumers and water companies to continue to use water wisely and conserve the supplies that we currently have.

Hosepipe bans already in place and drought orders being applied forin the south prove that the lack of water is still a very real problem. See how your area is affected on our hose pipe ban page and do your best to help the situation by conserving water at home wherever you can with the help of Soak’s
water saving tips.

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Record Profits for Water Companies

May 17, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Many customers who have been affected by soaring water bills may not be surprised to hear that water companies are set to announce profits of nearly £2bn this week. Results are expected to show a rise on last years profits and are even higher than Ofwat expected after agreeing to increasing household bills.

Such huge profits are undoubtably going to cause discussion amongst customers. They won’t come as a surprise as most customers have seen their bills rising – on average by 8.5% and the extra money has to go somewhere, but the question that will be asked is what is it being spent on?

It seems unfair that at a time when we are paying more than ever for our water and the companies are obviously benefiting from this that we are then not getting full use of our supply. Drought orders have been imposed by several companies and 13 million people are already being affected by hosepipe bans in the south. Yes, these restrictions have been put in place due to a particularly dry winter but there is also evidence to suggest a lot of water is still being lost from unrepaired leaks.

I saw a picture yesterday in the Metro of people avoiding a burst water pipe which was flooding huge amounts of water into the road in central london – yet many people are not allowed to wash their cars or water their lawn! Thames Water has in fact been reported as one of the worst offenders for not meeting targets and last year 915 million litres a day leaked from their pipes!

So will this profit actually benefit such problems? In response to these higher than expected profits, the Consumer Council for Water asked that the companies would use some of this money to reducing leakage and build new water supplies. Ofwat stated that the current system does mean that extra profits eventually get passed onto the customers – but not immediately it seems. If companies over perform, they can keep this money for five years and then after this it will be passed on in investment or reduced bills. So may we not see improvement or reduction until 2010??

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