Water bills in St Albans district set to fall by 11 per cent

AVERAGE bills for customers of Three Valleys Water Company are set to go down by 11 per cent by 2015. Ofwat, the water industry regulator, has rejected aspects of the water company s final business plans submitted in April. In its published draft proposal

AVERAGE bills for customers of Three Valleys Water Company are set to go down by 11 per cent by 2015.

Ofwat, the water industry regulator, has rejected aspects of the water company's final business plans submitted in April.

In its published draft proposals, Ofwat wants to see a reduction in the average bill for household customers receiving their water services from Three Valleys of around �18 or 11 per cent.

But Three Valleys, which has now changed its name to Veolia Water, will be able to invest extensively with around �330 million pumped into helping maintain and improve services to consumers.


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Regina Finn, chief executive officer of Ofwat, said: "We understand times are hard and we have listened to what customers have told us. They want safe, reliable water supplies at a reasonable cost.

"Our proposals will reduce bills while allowing Three Valleys to invest around �330 million. Customers will see real benefits as a result. It will help continue to improve drinking water quality in the area and ensure customers carrying on receiving a safe and reliable water supply."

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She added: "We've challenged Three Valleys' plans hard. We believe our proposals will allow efficient, well-run companies to invest in the right time for the right price."

Three Valleys supply water in the St Albans district but sewerage services come from Thames Water.

Ofwat's challenge should see the Three Valleys section of the bill fall by around 18 per cent or �32 less than the water company wanted.

But service improvements will include investing to renew 126km of mains per year, investing around �7.3 million to clean and treat 850km of distribution mains in order to reduce discolouration of water and reduce leakage and investing around �8.9million on installing 50,000 meters.

In response to Ofwat's draft determination, the water company's managing director Andy Smith said: "We understand and support the need to keep water bills to the minimum but without compromising the service we provide.

"We will be reviewing the figures proposed by Ofwat to ensure that a safe and reliable supply of drinking water can be maintained at the investment levels proposed.

"Most of the investment planned for the coming five years was on replacing and maintaining existing pipes and assets and we need to consider the effect to customers on deferring some of this expenditure to a later date.

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