Surface water

in Water bills
2 replies 1.8K views
barbedhookbarbedhook Forumite
166 Posts
Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
I recently found out my surface water drained into a soakaway I've lived here for 12 years but could only claim for the last six years so basically I have paid Yorkshire water £250 for nothing.i live in a block of four terraced houses and we all claimed at the same time and all had a separate survey what a waste of money. I wonder if it was the other way round wether they could only claim 6 years redress


  • CardewCardew Forumite
    29K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    Agreed the whole subject of Surface Water Drainage(SWD) is a farce.

    Until recently you could only claim to the beginning of the financial year(i.e. April) of the year you made the claim. A friend of mine has lived in her house since it was built 20 years ago. Other occupants of the estate have not paid for SWD for many years, yet Severn Trent refused point blank to backdate the claim.

    In fact that is still the case for many claims. The ruling by Ofwat is that you only got a 6 year rebate if the company should have known that your surface water did not enter the sewerage system. They don't define how they 'should have known'.

    The problem is caused by yet another stupidity of the Water Privatisation Act in that the Act mandated that the default position was all properties would pay SWD and the occupant would have to claim exemption from the charge. Thus we can have the situation where all occupants of a 40 storey block of flats would pay SWD.

    It is also pertinent to point out that it is not just water from the gutters that is considered, if water from your drive/front garden runs into the road you can be denied exemption from SWD charges.

    Ofwat, in refusing to backdate more than a year, made the point that any multi-year rebate is paid by an increased charge for all water customers. Thus if loads of people got a rebate for 6 years, that in some cases would mean someone new to paying water charges(e.g. new owner/tenant) would be paying a 'penalty' for a period when they were not customers.

    The 6 year back claim is the standard statute period for any claim. If you had not paid any water charges for 12 years, they could only reclaim for 6 years.
  • barbedhookbarbedhook Forumite
    166 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    I think when new houses are built the builder should let the buyer know and also the water company know if surface water goes into soakaway.theres probably thousands of people who don't even know about surface water drainage.
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