Damaged water meter

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
7 replies 2.5K views
bap98189bap98189 Forumite
3.8K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
✭✭✭✭
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
This may be a daft question, but can you demand that a water supplier fix a damaged water meter?

One of the women who works in our office recently she received an astronomical water bill, and queried this with the water company. She lives on her own in a flat and has a water meter. They sent out an engineer who found that there was a leak coming from somewhere around the meter. They have acknowledged the leak, reduced the bill, and that is all sorted.

But now she has received a letter stating that because of the position of the water meter (under a car park), it is not feasible to repair or replace it, so they will be switching her to a non-metered tariff. All very well but as she lives alone, she uses very little water and so this will mean her bills almost treble.

Is there anything she can do, or does she just have to accept this?

Replies

  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    bap98189 wrote: »
    This may be a daft question, but can you demand that a water supplier fix a damaged water meter?

    One of the women who works in our office recently she received an astronomical water bill, and queried this with the water company. She lives on her own in a flat and has a water meter. They sent out an engineer who found that there was a leak coming from somewhere around the meter. They have acknowledged the leak, reduced the bill, and that is all sorted.

    But now she has received a letter stating that because of the position of the water meter (under a car park), it is not feasible to repair or replace it, so they will be switching her to a non-metered tariff. All very well but as she lives alone, she uses very little water and so this will mean her bills almost treble.

    Is there anything she can do, or does she just have to accept this?

    I don't fully understand why there is any problem accessing the meter.

    They have obviously accessed it recently to (a) read the meter and (b) identify that water is escaping from the meter.

    More details please.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why will her bills treble? She cannot be placed back on the old Rateable Value tariff.

    She will be placed on an assessed tariff for a single person - you can look up the rate for her water company.

    For instance with Severn Trent Water for both water and sewerage it is £151 pa.
    https://www.stwater.co.uk/content/dam/stw_businesses/our-charges-2017/svt-hh-charges-scheme-2017-18-first-draft-v8.pdf
  • bap98189bap98189 Forumite
    3.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    footyguy wrote: »
    I don't fully understand why there is any problem accessing the meter.

    They have obviously accessed it recently to (a) read the meter and (b) identify that water is escaping from the meter.

    More details please.

    It is located under a car park. There is a small cover that you lift to read it and the pipe and meter are about 2 feet down. I assume they think it is not economically viable for them to dig up the car park to get at it.
  • bap98189bap98189 Forumite
    3.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Cardew wrote: »
    Why will her bills treble? She cannot be placed back on the old Rateable Value tariff.

    She will be placed on an assessed tariff for a single person - you can look up the rate for her water company.

    For instance with Severn Trent Water for both water and sewerage it is £151 pa.
    https://www.stwater.co.uk/content/dam/stw_businesses/our-charges-2017/svt-hh-charges-scheme-2017-18-first-draft-v8.pdf

    The supplier is Severn Trent and the text of the letter is:

    To replace your water meter, we raised a job to our contractor Amey and they reported that it's not possible to exchange your meter and its not possible to relocate the meter elsewhere.

    We'd prefer to keep billing you on a water meter but if we cannot take regular readings we'll be unable to do this. If we do not hear from you within the next 14 days we intend to switch your account to our unmeasured assessed charge tarrif.

    In 2017/2018 the annual charges were £315.14 (flat / terraced), £355.97 (semi-detached) and £427.43 (detached) based on your property type. These charges represent the average measured bill for properties of a similar type and cannot be altered based on individual circumstances.
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    What I don't fully understand is you say the water is "coming from somewhere around the meter"

    Now if the leak is before the meter, then the meter will not be recording the consumption,

    But you say the owner was alerted to tyhe fact due to a high bill, presumably because of a high meter reading. That would mean the leak is after the meter.

    Ofwat say that water suppliers are only required to fix leaks if it is cost effective to do so. i.ee the cost of fixing the leak is not more than the leak is costing them

    However, as the leak appears to be after the meter, it is probably the owners respoinsibilty to effect the repair. If not repaired, the water supplier may do the work and charge the owner accordingly.

    https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/supply-and-standards/leakage/

    As this appears to be a flat and so is presumably leasehold, and the leak is in presumably a communal parking area, it may be the responsibility of the landlord/managing agent to repair - check the terms of the lease.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    bap98189 wrote: »
    The supplier is Severn Trent and the text of the letter is:

    To replace your water meter, we raised a job to our contractor Amey and they reported that it's not possible to exchange your meter and its not possible to relocate the meter elsewhere.

    We'd prefer to keep billing you on a water meter but if we cannot take regular readings we'll be unable to do this. If we do not hear from you within the next 14 days we intend to switch your account to our unmeasured assessed charge tarrif.

    In 2017/2018 the annual charges were £315.14 (flat / terraced), £355.97 (semi-detached) and £427.43 (detached) based on your property type. These charges represent the average measured bill for properties of a similar type and cannot be altered based on individual circumstances.

    The above is true - however as I stated in my post above it is £151 pa for a single person - look at Table 7 on page 40 on the link I gave.

    https://www.stwater.co.uk/content/dam/stw_businesses/our-charges-2017/svt-hh-charges-scheme-2017-18-first-draft-v8.pdf
  • RaxielRaxiel Forumite
    967 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    bap98189 wrote: »
    The supplier is Severn Trent and the text of the letter is:

    To replace your water meter, we raised a job to our contractor Amey and they reported that it's not possible to exchange your meter and its not possible to relocate the meter elsewhere.

    We'd prefer to keep billing you on a water meter but if we cannot take regular readings we'll be unable to do this. If we do not hear from you within the next 14 days we intend to switch your account to our unmeasured assessed charge tarrif.

    In 2017/2018 the annual charges were £315.14 (flat / terraced), £355.97 (semi-detached) and £427.43 (detached) based on your property type. These charges represent the average measured bill for properties of a similar type and cannot be altered based on individual circumstances.

    Amey...

    Tell them there is a perfectly healthy tree nearby, and they'll be round with a bulldozer faster than you can say "We shall not be moved"

    FG, it sounds like it's the pipework that is considered part of the meter itself that's leaking on the consumer side, which would make it Severn Trent's responsibility.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Ultrafast broadband upgrades

Being made available to more English counties

MSE News

30+ ways to stop scams

Incl tips to spot 'em & what to do if you're scammed

MSE Guides

£37 of No7 beauty products for £12

Available online and in stores

MSE Deals