South West Water to offer compensation for failing sewers as Residents offered sewage discount

    Thursday, November 25th, 2021 10:39am

    By Joe Ives, Local Democracy Reporter

    Clyst St Mary has been flooded with sewage 11 times this year with some residents left unable to use toilets for as long as 60 hours at a time due to South West Water’s failing sewage system.  The solution offered by the company – portable loos for the worst affected homes – was criticised by some residents.  Following a campaign by local councillors and East Devon’s MP, it has promised  residents impacted by sewage problems a payment equivalent to 25 per cent of their annual sewage charges.

    East Devon residents offered portable loos after being left without functioning toilets will be given a discount by South West Water.
    Clyst St Mary has been flooded with sewage 11 times this year with some residents left unable to use toilets for as long as 60 hours at a time due to South West Water’s failing sewage system. 
    The solution offered by the company – portable loos for the worst affected homes – was criticised by some residents. 
    Following a campaign by local councillors and East Devon’s MP, it has promised  residents impacted by sewage problems a payment equivalent to 25 per cent of their annual sewage charges.
    In a statement, South West Water said it believes the move “is the right thing to do.”
    It added: “We have also identified one property who experienced external flooding and we’ve also arranged for 50 per cent of their annual sewerage charge to be refunded in line with our customer promise.”
    East Devon MP Simon Jupp (Conservative) has asked South West Water to provide an average payment figure for compensation per household affected. Using South West Water’s own example for sewage bills for a family of four, the 25 per cent discount would result in a saving of just over £154.
    Responding to the news, Mr Jupp said: “It is totally unacceptable to leave people without proper toilet facilities in 2021. I asked South West Water to provide compensation to customers in Clyst St Mary and I’m pleased they have rightly reviewed company policy and agreed to offer compensation. 
    “It is the least they can do in the circumstances and I’ll continue to closely monitor progress to install new piping for properties and increasing the capacity at nearby pumping stations. We pay the highest water bills in the country, we deserve investment to improve water quality and services.”
    Speaking on the issue recently, East Devon District councillor for Clyst Valley Mike Howe (Conservative) said the state of the company’s sewage system was “hard to believe in a modern society…If it was the 1800s you’d sort of understand it. I struggle to understand it in this day and age.” 
    Cllr Howe has also asked for all development in the West End of East Devon, which includes Cranbrook, to be halted until South West Water sorts out the sewage problems.

    The figures referenced for an example of sewage bills for a family of four can be found here:
    https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/bills/how-is-my-metered-bill-calculated/

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