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No Hosepipe Then?

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Percy Verance18/07/2018 18:59:39
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Here in the North West we have United Utilities as our water supplier. They have approximately 170 reservoirs and other water catchment areas. They have stated that, unless we get substantial rainfall within the next 2 weeks, they will be imposing a hosepipe ban. The North West of England statistically has the second highest level of rainfall in the UK annually. If a hosepipe ban goes ahead on August 5th, United Utilities will be the only water company on the UK mainland to impose a ban. They say a ban will be necessary to reduce overall water usage by 10%. All fine and dandy until you discover that United Utilities lose 400 million litres of water daily through leaks in their network. Of recent times they've also received several substantial fines for breaches of environmental regulations.

Why then do they place such a high priority on profits and dividends for shareholders rather than fixing those leaks? United Utilities are near the bottom of the league when it comes to overall water company performance. They keep claiming they're getting better, but unfortunately for them so are their competitors.

So, how long might it be before the water industry gets an almighty shake-up, meaning we can switch our water suppliers in the same way as gas and electricity suppliers? Performance such as this simply isn't good enough in todays market. The fat cats get ever fatter. It just isn't good enough........we need the opportunity to walk away from lame ducks like United Utilities and go buy our water elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:14:56

john stones 118/07/2018 19:02:37
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Don't tempt me to answer, would get messy very quickly. wink

Percy Verance18/07/2018 19:05:24
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I can guess John........

And given the plans to build thousands more houses up and down the land, one wonders what provision is going to be made to procure sufficient supplies of water for those houses? Or has nobody thought of that one yet?

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:08:14

Tom Sharp 218/07/2018 19:20:01
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In my part of the North West they have reduced the water pressure so much I doubt if it would power a hosepipe to the end of the garden.

Don Fry18/07/2018 19:21:56
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Actually, they don't make much profit. The company is loaded with debt by the owners. Saves paying taxes.

You get what you deserve, as the old saying goes.

Percy Verance18/07/2018 19:27:50
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Deserve Don? We've had zero choice. There are no other suppliers in the area!

Until legislation frees up the market, 7 million water customers in the North West have no choice but to put up with it. United Utilities have the complete monopoly........

Loaded with debt but still able to pay fairly healthy dividends to shareholders? 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:32:50

SIMON CRAGG18/07/2018 19:31:13
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Here in sunny Dorzet Wessex Water tell us that we have 90% of our reserves left. They were good last time when virtually the whole country had a hosepipe ban. Must go, car needs cleaning and baskets watering!.

john stones 118/07/2018 19:32:03
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We elect who governs, they make the rules. Don is correct.

Percy Verance18/07/2018 19:35:19
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So John, things might magically change if I vote for another political party? Why might that be? How might it change?

Will a change of Government reduce United Utilities leakages to substantially less than 400 million litres a day? Will my water bills be reduced accordingly?  MIght it mean United Utilities are more careful about complying with their environmental obligations, consequently paying out less in fines, which they have presumably sought to recoup in the past by adding surcharges to consumers bills?

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:43:55

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:44:44

john stones 118/07/2018 19:44:31
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No, the political parties have nowt for you, they're not much cop. No party political soap box here. wink

Percy Verance18/07/2018 19:45:17
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Just as I thought then John........

 

Don, pm on it's way......

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/07/2018 19:51:05

john stones 118/07/2018 20:00:39
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I dunno Percy, I don't know what you think, got no baskets to water myself, lawns scorched to straw, cars mucky, hosepipes uncoupled, loving this good weather. It'll rain soon enough then we can get back to moaning about it. wink

Peter Miller18/07/2018 21:05:14
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They say that our East Anglian reserviors are pretty full and this is the dryest part of the country.

Cuban818/07/2018 21:08:28
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All the companies that I've ever worked for have always pushed out the mantra to their workforce something along the lines of
"shareholder value first, customer second". Two were large global concerns and two were smaller British companies. Shareholders and profit will always win out over the needs of customers and even more so when that customer base has very little in the way of choice. It's a fine line to draw but business knows that customers will generally put up with less than ideal service for much longer than investors will put up with losing money or simply not getting a big enough return.

Edited By Cuban8 on 18/07/2018 21:11:50

Gary Manuel18/07/2018 21:18:26
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I'm with Percy on this one.

Wettest part of the country with the Penines with all those reservoirs to the East. The sun hardly ever shines over there, so they can't blame evaporation. I'm not sure whether the leakage problem lies with United Utilities or whether the private sector inherited it after privatisation. Either way, they've had plenty of time to get the leaks sorted.

I'd be angry if I was supplied by United Utilities.

Gordon Whitehead 118/07/2018 21:31:02
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As we're to be fined £1000 for breaking the hosepipe ban, and as there are no other water companies in England likely to need to impose a ban, it seems only fair that United Utilities should be fined a healthy amount for every day the hosepipe ban is in place.

If moving to another company would guarantee Percy and me an unrestricted water supply, that would imply that pipework exists to supply water from other areas into the northwest. In which case United Utilities could obtain water from other areas and not impose a ban. It seems to me that the necessary pipework doesn't currently exist, and that the Govt needs to get the water companies to do something about that.

Geoff Sleath18/07/2018 21:47:14
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Don't worry, Percy, you can always take a bucket and dip into Thirlmere or Haweswater I suspect the water use from the Lakes reservoirs is primarily by people living south of you in greater Manchester.

I don't think we in Severn Trent have a hosepipe ban but I don't use one anyway except occasionally to fill the water tank in our campervan. The last time we had a drought you could see the remains of the village flooded when the Derwent reservoir was built.

Geoff

Percy Verance19/07/2018 05:38:04
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Hi Geoff

It's my understanding Thirlmere is United Utilities primary source of water for customers in the Lakes area Geoff, with Haweswater primariliy supplying the Manchester area and other parts of Cheshire. There is the facility to draw off water from Windermere, although I'm told this is rarely used. There is not, as far as I'm aware, any facility to draw off water from other well known lakes in the area for domestic use.

Odd you mention flooded villages Geoff. The village at the bottom of Haweswater - Mardale - is now partially exposed once more. The old roads, stone walls and the foundations of houses are once again visible. I think it's also now possible to see the tennis court over the road from what was the Dun Bull Inn....... I may go and take a look tomorrow morning, as the last time it was possible to see it was over 30 years ago.

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 19/07/2018 05:51:23

Tom Sharp 219/07/2018 07:26:02
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There was a popular film around when I was a lad 40s/50s, called 'The Last Days of Dolwyn' about the building of a new reservoir and the flooding of the said village.

Thirlmere, last time the water was low, they found a woman's body, who had been murdered and then dropped from a plane in a weighted sack by her husband.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 19/07/2018 07:27:39

john stones 119/07/2018 09:07:04
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Been reading about the number foundations of buildings long forgotten, that have reappeared during the dry spell, our field looks like a time teams dream.

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