Households warned water bills may rise by 40% to £680 per year to meet the cost of pollution targets
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Water price hikes, to be announced next year, could see annual bills rise from £450 to £680, an increase of 40%. Under a process run by water regulator Ofwat, England’s water firms have been asked to submit plans by October to tackle pollution from sewage, which include improving storm overflows discharging in or near designated bathing spots and improving 75% of overflows discharging to high-priority nature sites.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will raise the issue of bill hikes at a meeting today with Ofwat. The price of water previously increased by 11% in April this year.
Sky News reports the government is drawing up contingency plans for the collapse of the water supplier, with the possibility of taking it into public ownership, similar to the collapse of the Bulb energy firm, at the cost of billions to the tax-payer.
Thames Water serves around 15 million customers across London and the south-east of England. It has come under intense pressure in recent years because of its poor record on leaks, sewage contamination, executive pay and shareholder dividends.