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Huge surface water charges

in Water bills
2 replies 2.9K views
I'm hoping someone can advise me on this.

We moved to this house last January, from a house of a similar size, but this one has a larger garden. Our last house was only a few years old so was metred. This one was built on 1960's but the previous owners had a metre installed. Our water usage is about the same as with the last house as are so the water bill for water usage is broadly comparable.

However, we are billed separately for the surface water and this bill is much bigger. I've been told (by Severn Trent) that this element of the bill is "assessed" in relation to the ratable value for the property which was set by Inland Revenue in 1991 and this cannot be appealed or changed. The annual bill for "Unmeasured Surface Water is £151. This was called "measured drainage" on the bill in our last house and the previous 12 months this element of the bill came to £66 - a huge increase! Any ideas?


  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    I am with Severn Trent.(ST)

    Firstly you are sure that your sewerage is the responsibility of Severn Trent and and not another company? Some areas have another company provide the sewers and Severn Trent collect on their behalf.

    The 2007 position with ST is that you pay a sewerage charge of 78.99p for each cubic metre of water you use(Water is 115.07 per cubic metre)There is a standing charge for sewerage of £11.05(£20.95 for water)

    However if you are liable for Surface water drainage charges(I assume you have checked that your water doesn't go into a soakaway?) there are two methods of paying.

    1. A charge for Surface water drainage based on the Rateable Value(RV) of your property.
    There are 8 charging zones within the ST area and the charge varies between 24p and 33p per £1 of RV. So if your RV was, say, £300 you would pay between £72 (300 x 24p) and £99(300 x 33p) depending on your charging zone.

    2. You can pay a flat rate charge depending on your type of property. This is £25.77/£51.66/£77.43 depending if your property is a flat or Tce/semi/det.

    You can opt for whichever suits you best.

    If you post exact details of your bills(including RV) I might be able to give you more information.
  • Hi

    I work for STW and basically properties that had a meter installed prior to 1994 (I think) were still charged surface water drainage based on rateable value (unmeasured drainage). Therefore you receive 2 separate bills.

    STW brought in property type based swd charges for ALL metered customers in about 2000 I think. However, not all the pre 1994 accounts were changed as for some it was cheaper to be billed for swd based on rv rather than property type.

    However as it's cheaper for you to change just call them up and give them your property type and then you will be billed for surface water based on your property type, known as measured drainage (like you were at your old property).

    It is detailed on the back of bills under "Do you receive two separate bills?". Do it ASAP as it's only amended from the date you request the change and don't let the call centre fob you off saying they don't do it. HTH
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