Cut Water Bills in Half

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
8 replies 2.2K views
Little_EttchyLittle_Ettchy Forumite
24 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
I was paying £26 per month to Anglian Water. I was given a tip, which I followed, and now my water rates are £8.00 per month.
So what was the tip?

Buy a large water butt and connect all the guttering round your house together and lead it to one down pipe which goes into the water butt. When it rains, all the water landing on your roof is fed via the connected guttering into the water butt and NOT down any drain.
Inform your water company of what you have done, saying the water butt is for watering plants, lawn etc. They will look at it - in my case they had a look on Google Earth whilst I was talking to them on the phone - and, because there is no longer any soak away down a drain, your bill will be reduced accordingly. In my case, I saved £18 per month.

Replies

  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    You don't get charged £216 a year for surface water , its £38 a year so your figures don't add up
  • st999st999 Forumite
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    They will look at it - in my case they had a look on Google Earth whilst I was talking to them on the phone

    Does Google earth have a live feed from the satellite then?
    75 years old and still here.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Agree with the post above.

    Firstly Surface Water Drainage(SWD) is only a part of your drainage charge - normally a small amount and as stated above for Anglian it is £38 a year for both metered and unmetered customers. See:

    http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/your-account/tariffs/standard-rates/

    Secondly Water Butts are not accepted as a method to waive the charge for SWD, not only could they overflow, be removed etc, SWD is not just for water off the roof gutters.
  • We're with United Utilities and the reduction for surface water drainage not going into the public sewer system is £37 per year.

    Not much of a discount and not one that would pay for itself very quickly if you had to re-route the rainwater drainage, unless you were already doing some remedial work on your drains (as we are).

    http://www.unitedutilities.com/Our-charges-2012-2013.aspx

    "If premises are not connected to the public sewer system for surface water drainage, either directly or indirectly, the sewerage charge for each type of premises will be reduced by £37.00."
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    Full marks for cutting the water bill - You must be a very keen gardener

    Your water meter measures & charges for every litre of water you run through a Tap, Toilet, Bath & Shower, then you get charged for those same litres, (less 10%), at a higher price as they go down the drain - Fill a Water Can from a tap for the garden and you still pay the Drain charge - The 10% reduction is supposed to cover this

    Every litre you take from that rain-fed Water Butt is FREE water, and for you a lot of it - Well Done
  • RobisereRobisere Forumite
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    I live in a Sheltered Housing complex of 23 bungalows. None of the homes has drainage for the roof runoff, it goes into 'Soakaways' which is basically a hole in the ground with sand & stones to drain it into the actual ground. This is quite common in Lincolnshire. All the toilet/shower/ sink water, goes into a 'proper' drain and to the sewer system.

    When I lived in another area and used a different Water Company, I discovered the facts that the OP found. I installed water butts at my father-in-law's house and my own, and received the annual reduction in both bills.

    On moving here, I looked into it, and discovered that the Soakaways entitled us to a reduction, as the runoff was not dealt with by the Water company. (Anglian) I downloaded 23 forms and helped everyone here to obtain a reduction in the bills, became an overnight Hero!

    Later I installed water butts, I only have 2 downpipes but this saves water too and it all helps, as we live in what is officially the driest area of the country, although last year and at the start of 2013, no one would have believed it!

    The reduction was initially £32, but this goes up proportionally with charge increases. It is applied as a discount to each month's bill and the amount is set nationally.

    So: if you have a soakaway system for your roof runoff, you can also claim this reduction, whether or not you have water butts. The system is usually confined to rural areas. Check out this site for info: -

    http://www.buildingsheriff.com/extensions/extension-soakaways.html
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Robisere wrote: »
    I live in a Sheltered Housing complex of 23 bungalows. None of the homes has drainage for the roof runoff, it goes into 'Soakaways' which is basically a hole in the ground with sand & stones to drain it into the actual ground. This is quite common in Lincolnshire. All the toilet/shower/ sink water, goes into a 'proper' drain and to the sewer system.

    When I lived in another area and used a different Water Company, I discovered the facts that the OP found. I installed water butts at my father-in-law's house and my own, and received the annual reduction in both bills.

    On moving here, I looked into it, and discovered that the Soakaways entitled us to a reduction, as the runoff was not dealt with by the Water company. (Anglian) I downloaded 23 forms and helped everyone here to obtain a reduction in the bills, became an overnight Hero!

    Later I installed water butts, I only have 2 downpipes but this saves water too and it all helps, as we live in what is officially the driest area of the country, although last year and at the start of 2013, no one would have believed it!

    The reduction was initially £32, but this goes up proportionally with charge increases. It is applied as a discount to each month's bill and the amount is set nationally.

    So: if you have a soakaway system for your roof runoff, you can also claim this reduction, whether or not you have water butts. The system is usually confined to rural areas. Check out this site for info: -

    http://www.buildingsheriff.com/extensions/extension-soakaways.html

    Over the past few years there are literally hundreds of posts on MSE stating that if all your surface water goes into soakaways you can claim relief from the Surface Water Drainage(SWD) charge. Martin has also written an article on this subject.

    I am not certain why you bring water butts into a thread about relief from SWD charges. Water butts do not affect your entitlement for relief for SWD.


    When you’re not entitled to a water bill reduction

    Unfortunately, you’re not entitled to a water bill reduction if:

    • Any proportion of your surface water drains to a public sewer.
    • Only part of your surface water goes to a soakaway, with some surface water still draining to the public sewer.
    • You have re-directed your roof drainage into water butts.
    • You drain to a watercourse, brook or stream via a public sewer.

    It is also pertinent to add that if any of your water runs off your land and into the road(and hence sewers) you cannot claim relief. This often applies to properties where the front garden has been made into hardstanding for car parking.
  • As the OP hasn't returned, I don't feel so bad about slightly hijacking this thread with a dilemma I'd like to share. We have a parcel of land that we use as an allotment which the previous owner of our house bought. The land included a cesspit that provides sewage treatment for local cottages but not our house, and our only provision is to provide access, we don't get charged for any maintenance.

    I was worried about the smells and whether it was the right size for the number of residents emptying into it. I am also worried that the run off goes into a local river. I contacted Environmental Health and a ratehr dissmissive bloke came out, peered into it and went, eah that's fine. I pointed out the culvert that emptied into the river and he peered down the 6 feet to the surface of the black water and said "yep, that looks clean, the pit is doing its job". He also said that you don't ever need to empty it and that it will just take care of itself. Off he went.

    Now the question is whether I put away my principles (I'm convinced this pit will be polluting local rivers) and connect my own sewage to it and have totally free disposal of black and grey water. This would knock £400 of our water bills. The installation of a rainwater recovery system would also knock £200 off our annual bills, permanently reducing our annual costs from around £800 to £200 (and bills are only going to go up).

    Should I do it?
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