Personal Finance

Water bills could rise by £156 a year to stop sewage discharge

Water bills could rise by £156 a year in a new plan to stop sewage discharges into Britain's seas and rivers.

Water companies have come up with a five-year plan to stop the 140,000 sewage overflow spills that currently happen every year.

While providers will invest £96 billion to upgrade systems, consumers will also be forced to pay more for the improvements.

Water UK, which represents the UK water industry, said companies are proposing the average water bill to be £7 a month more by 2025 compared with 2023 prices - or £84 a year.

That will rise to £13 a month more by 2030 - a total of £156 more per year.

The news could face a backlash from consumers who first discovered the number of sewage spills last year.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said she had been "very clear" with regulator Ofwat that "customers should not pay the price for poor performance".

Ofwat said it would "forensically scrutinise" the five-year plan to ensure the price rise is "justified".

It said it was "vital" customers are only paying for new investment, and not paying for past failings.

Under the plans, the number of households to receive financial support will more than double to 3.2 million - a rise of 2m.

Its £96bn investment for 2025-2030 is almost double the current amount. It will fund 10 new reservoirs, cut leaks and stop sewage spillage which is currently the equivalent of 6,800 Olympic swimming pools.

Ofwat’s CEO David Black said: “The water industry needs to deliver a step change in investment and performance to clean up our rivers and seas, while also helping to ensure that we can meet the challenge of climate change.

"Ofwat’s role is to forensically scrutinise their proposals, to ensure any increase in bills is justified, efficient and delivers significant improvements in river and bathing water quality. We will assess how companies are helping customers to afford any bill increase."

Water bill discount

More than 5.7 million people are eligible for a discount on their water bills, NimbleFins previously reported.

Social water tariffs could cut bills by up to 90 percent and have been known to slash up to £492 off some charges.

But only 17 percent of those eligible are actually on a social water tariff, according to Policy in Practice.

Each water company has different eligibility criteria. To find out more, click here.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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