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UK Water Companies Grrrrr

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UK Water Companies Grrrrr

Old 28th Oct 2010, 12:53
  #1 (permalink)  
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UK Water Companies Grrrrr

Here in the leafy Surrey Hills we have been threatened with legal action if we don't stop our leaking pipes. Having just had a 4,000+ bill because a leak had sprung undetected within a copse of about 40 trees and our property is sand, sand, sand so the water leak did not show itself and wasn't heard by us [pipes had been botched by previous owners and there was a mixture of metal and blue plastic ] and a water man appeared - quite rude and only able to give an AM or PM arrival!

Anyway eventually the pipe [to the swimming pool] was replaced and we thought that was the end but no! At their manhole out in the road they have fitted a water meter of incredible sensitivity. It can measure a few drips per hour! As a result we have had a plumber - costing a tidy sum - checking every bathroom, loo, sinks, garden taps, cold/hot water tanks etc.

The final result is that until one of the cold water tanks in the roof has finished filling [ and the last pint takes about 1 hour of slow dripping due to a less than perfect ballcock valve, it shows on the wretched roadside water meter as a leak [miniscule!!!!].

I lost it when the idiot who came to check said we had a duty to maintain our water intake and refused to acknowledge the fact that between us and the local village [about three miles] there are at least 4 watery roadside mains leaks that have been unattended for at least two years and one which turns the road into a skating rink in winter must surely need more attention than we have had in the past month. We are a soft target and all it needs is one old company fart to keep nagging, whereas digging up roads requires some youthful muscle and traffic lights and money etc.

Rant over.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 13:06
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Here in the leafy Surrey Hills
Stop watering and it will be less leafy.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 13:10
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Are you on a water meter (apart from their hyper sensitive one)? If so then tell them to b##### off as it's non of their business what you do with the water you've bought. Otherwise replace the water tank ballcock or move to a direct system without a water tank.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 13:12
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The reason why the road will not be dug up, is that will cost money which is better used giving a profit to a bunch of faceless merchant bankers, who got it on the cheap with no risk.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 14:15
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I lost it when the idiot who came to check said we had a duty to maintain our water intake and refused to acknowledge the fact that between us and the local village [about three miles] there are at least 4 watery roadside mains leaks that have been unattended for at least two years

yep, house holders are an easy target, its more revenue...

where does the fine go to ?


physician, heal thyself !
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 07:05
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I lost it when the idiot who came to check said we had a duty to maintain our water intake....
What "duty"??

Tell him to f**k off.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 08:06
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What "duty"??

Tell him to f**k off
Hah !

for those in drier climes, who partake in Ppruning, this little rain soaked island, in which one can never be more than some 120 miles form the sea, we often, in times when it's not peeing down with rain or drizzle, get, you'll love this hose pipe bans because of water shortages.

a couple of years ago, in our area it was announced that during such a ban the water companies would be using heli's to spot people using hosepipes in order to fine them.

now this got me to thinking... how many industries are there in which you can charge a customer for your product, then fine them for using it.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 10:38
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it's worse than just preventing folk from using the water they have paid for.

Our property benefits from soak aways for the surface drainage but this has not stopped bloody thames water from charging for the taking away of the surface water, for nearly 50 years, When it came to my notice, after the hole at the bottom of the downpipe stopped taking water away, I called them and gave them a piece of my mind and they removed the surface drainage charge from future bills. They are under no obligation to repay the fraudulent charges made for the last 48 years, OFWAT has confirmed this! Bastards!

How can they "assume" that they are providing a service and bill us (every house on this estate is in the same situation) and get away with it, even when caught out? They are quick enough to send a summons if I get a bit late paying the water rates.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 11:20
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My house originally got its water from the pipeline laid by the Great Western Railway in 1910 from Kemble to Swindon railway works. Thames Water wanted the borehole when BR didn't want it anymore, but claimed too many customer pipes were too near the surface of the ground and would be freezing in winter, thus causing problems for Thames Water. the fact that BR hadn't ever had a problem escaped them......So eventually, we had Thames Water telling us we would now pay them. OK, they fitted a water meter, and tried to bill me for sewage and surface water disposal. We then had an argument. They said that they wanted a copy of the original builder's bill for the septic tank. I told them that as the place was built in 1961, that wasn't on. I said 'Send a duly qualified individual at an agreed time, and I'll show him or her'. Alternatively, is your knowledge of your system so poor that you cannot determine that you haven't got a sewage pipe within 5 miles of this property?

They ask me every so often if I have been connected to main drainage. Dim tw**s. Plus, since they took responsibility for water supply, it has been far more unreliable than when it was British Rail. I b et they pay their CEO and his hangers on disgusting amounts of money, too - and they aren't really worth much at all.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 11:52
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Originally Posted by aviate1138
The final result is that until one of the cold water tanks in the roof has finished filling [ and the last pint takes about 1 hour of slow dripping due to a less than perfect ballcock valve, it shows on the wretched roadside water meter as a leak [miniscule!!!!].
Eh? I don't get it.

If the meter is a meter in the usual sense in that it records consumption, then it's only measuring the water which ends up in the tank, albeit slowly, anyway and you'll be billed for the same.

If it's a meter which is supposed to somehow detect leaks I'd like to know how it can detect the difference between a genuine leak from which the water is going to waste and, say, a tap being run intentionally very slowly for the water to be used.

It all sounds rather queer to me.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 11:52
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cattletruck said - I hear they got Londoners drinking recycled water. I could be wrong.



All water is recycled. It pleases me no end to think I might be drinking Jesus' recycled pee!

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Old 29th Oct 2010, 12:07
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The water in London has been recycled since at least 1961 when Mrs C, as a trainee nurse, was taken round the sewers and treatment plants to see how it was done. Their proud boast then was that the water you drink has recently been through at least 7 people.

And it's still, in 2010, much better quality with fewer impurities than most if not all bottled water, much of which comes from the tap in reality, as opposed to "a mountain spring, up in the clear blue yonder, pure water blessed by Nature trickling into our plastic bottle....blah blah etc usw."

God laughs every time an aircraft lumbers down a strip of concrete for 2 kilometers to get airborne, and every time someone pays a fortune for a litre of tap water in a plastic bottle with a fancy label.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 14:23
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Hmmm interestingly Scottish Water has been sending me quotes for supply pipe insurance even being kind enough to "have covered the last two months" for free.

As the house is 7 years old I have other things that need resuscitating than a buried blue water supply pipe.

I recon it's another wee scam to scare folk into buying the policy.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 15:52
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glad rag: it is a rip-off. I had Scottish Water blokes round to deal with a common drain, and they advised me not to touch the insurance. However, when shredded, the documents provide useful dry material in the compost bins.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 16:02
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Get the same thing here, but from Anglian Water.

Three months free, once a year. Wouldn't touch it.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 16:24
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Plymouth water is recycled at least 6 times. This gave problems for semiconductor manufacture, because in it, you could get quite large unicellular creatures which are quite benign for humans, but which were big enough to cause problems when they got on to chips - some of them were bigger that the transistor, around 2 microns. Plessey Semiconductors (as it then was) had to fit some quite sophisticated water filters.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 17:29
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Capot
"......and every time someone pays a fortune for a litre of tap water in a plastic bottle with a fancy label."

Yes isn't it bizarre that people will complain about the price of petrol and then pay far more for water in a bottle!
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:35
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rans6andrew - re the Thames Water rip-off, they have been charging us since we moved into our current house for taking sewage (i.e. foul water rather than surface water) away despite us having a septic tank. We've written to them, and got the letting agent to confirm we're on a septic, but they won't accept anythig other than a bill for emptying, or house plans. We don't need the tank emptied (it's been working very nicely now for five years undisturbed) so I'm not paying for it to be done just to provide a bill, and the letting agent can't or won't get the house plans. I asked Thames Water to check their drainage system plans but they said they wouldn't.

Maybe I ought to call them out for a blocked sewer, and see what the engineer says. .
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:50
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I took out that Anglian Water insurance - 80 or so a year. Six months later, our drains started backing up. They sent their man round. He tried to tell me blocked drains aren't covered, but that was soon sorted.

In the end, they sent a local bloke round to fix it. He had to do a lot of digging and tree root removal, and charged them about 700. We still have the insurance, and they're getting close to breakeven on it now.

Our friendly local plumber told us to keep it up, because getting someone out in a hurry to fix a blocked drain or a leak can be a bit of a nightmare, whereas they guarantee to get one quickly.

I had some nonsense from the water co about metering the water (for some fine technical reason it would have cost them a fortune to fit a meter). They told me I'd have to pay the "no meter" high charge ... I told them to fit a meter.... they said it would cost too much to be viable ... I said "then reduce the charge". That went round in circles a couple of times. A firm line was taken, and it was resolved. They charged me my estimated use as if I had a meter, all happy.

If they don't know what drains are connected to your house, then they should find out. I'd refuse to pay and let them argue the other way. Maybe make the MP earn his keep - they are very good at sorting such things quite swiftly.

We have foul sewer here, but the surface water goes into the separate "village drain" that feeds into the river and is nowt to do with the water co. We get a reduction in the metered charge for that.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 02:10
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Thames Water drain insurance !!!

I also received the letter from ThamesWater urging me to take up the "private sewers and external drainage cover" yesterday (29 Oct). For once I read the small print and guess what it said;
"The private sewer element of cover is not required if your property is served by a sewer built before 1 Oct 1937 as these are classified as public sewers"
My house is 1928 !

Also another paragraph states;
"At some point in 2011 it is the intention of DEFRA to transfer ownership and responsibility for private sewers and lateral drains from homeowners to the water and waste water companies"

So are they just trying to get about 50 per person before they have to take on responsibility themselves?
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