As reported in last week’s news, Water UK has apologised on behalf of English water companies for sewage in rivers and announced a plan to:

  • Triple investment to £10bn in the next five year period (subject to regulatory approval) to cut sewage overflows by up to 140,000 each year compared to the level in 2020.
  • Create within a year a new National Environment Data Hub to provide the public with near live information on the operation of all 15,000 sewage overflows in England.
  • Support up to 100 communities to apply for new river swimming areas

However, not everyone is impressed, particularly once it became clear that customers rather than shareholders would pick up the £10bn bill. The Express highlighted how water bills could ‘rise for 100 years’, going up by £90 per year to clean UK’s sewage system, whilst the Guardian said the promise “should not be taken on trust”.

According to the Lib Dems, “the whole thing stinks” and analysis shows customers will not only foot the bill, but also pay £624 more by 2030 to fund investor payouts.

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