Price rise in the pipeline for county water rates

HOMEOWNERS in the county are facing a 2.2 per cent increase in their water bills from April 1.

Northumbrian Water revealed the price rise on Tuesday – although the company said the charges for drinking water and sewerage services will be amongst the cheapest in the country.

The charges, outlined by water regulator Ofwat in 2009, will mean the average bill for 2013-14 will be £359.42, up from £351.61.

The average increase will be around 15p a week.

Officials say they are working to maintain and improve drinking water through its 16,000kms of water pipes and protect the environment, investing £875m from 2010 to 2015.

Work is also taking place to protect and improve the environment, including reducing the risk of homes being flooded.

Chief executive Heidi Mottram said: “Although appreciating that any increase in charges will not be welcomed, our household customers will still pay an average of less than £1 per day for all their drinking water and sewerage services, which represents great value for money.

“We are pleased that this on-going investment programme not only delivers improvements for our customers, but is also helping to provide much needed job security in the regions we supply.”

She added: “We are very aware that some people have difficulty managing the family budget and the affordability of our services is always a concern.

“We offer schemes to assist people in meeting the charges and would urge any customers who think they may experience difficulty to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”