Serious question re surface water :)

OK don't mock as this has bugged me for a while and I'm sure there's a blindingly obvious answer. On water bills, we pay for "surface water" charges ("rain or melted snow that drains from the roof of your property and other impermeable areas such as driveways")

Do people who live in blocks of flats, ie sharing a roof with (in my case 8) other properties, pay less than one house? And do bigger houses with bigger roofs/rooves pay more than smaller properties?

If not, why not? :think:

Comments

  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    Qu1ncey wrote: »
    OK don't mock as this has bugged me for a while and I'm sure there's a blindingly obvious answer. On water bills, we pay for "surface water" charges ("rain or melted snow that drains from the roof of your property and other impermeable areas such as driveways")

    Do people who live in blocks of flats, ie sharing a roof with (in my case 8) other properties, pay less than one house? And do bigger houses with bigger roofs/rooves pay more than smaller properties?

    If not, why not? :think:

    I've no idea, but the obvious answer is that there is no way to accurately measure the generation of surface water from a property.

    Even if we take area, the amount generated in the South East would be much less than in say, the West Country. Also, to be truly accurate, you'd have to take altitude into account.

    There again getting rid of surface water is usually a lot easier and cheaper in the countryside than it is in town.

    Surface water is a problem. There are people like me who plant trees, which, when they grow a bit, will help to slow that down. Should I then be allowed to apply for a subsidy to offset the horrendous cost of having acres of land, all of it producing surface water? I'd think it only fair. :)

    In a nutshell, an administrative nightmare, but no doubt there are those who'd love to administer it!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    Amongst the many stupidities of the Water Act, Surface Water Drainage(SWD) is the worse.


    To answer your question first, yes all flats in a 40 storey block pay SWD.(if no soakaway.


    Different companies have completely different ways of charging for SWD and it can be a small almost token charge to a hefty sum.


    My company - Severn Trent - have 3 bands: terrace/flat, semi-det and detached paying £33/£57/£81 respectively. Near us we have some huge terraced houses with 4 or 5 storeys; these pay the lowest rate.(£33) However some have been split into several flats, and each of these flats(some tiny) pay the same £33.


    When water was privatised in 1990 the companies were given 10 years to sort out the SWD problems; subsequent amendments to The Water Act shelved this requirement and 26 years later the same nonsense situation still exists.


    The reason why nothing has been done is that the water companies have no incentive to solve the issues. The revenue they can raise is strictly controlled by the Regulator and if SWD charges were reduced or raised, other charges would be adjusted to ensure the same revenue would be collected.
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