Water watchdog’s latest report ‘Delving in to Water’ published

A new report by CC Water shows water companies in a favourable light compared to other utilities in terms of customer satisfaction.

Key findings of the Delving into Water report into water companies’ performance show:

• Consumers have high levels of satisfaction with many aspects of their water and sewerage services.
• Most companies are performing well in many key areas, including increasing assistance for customers struggling to pay, metering, drinking water quality and tackling sewer flooding.
• Overall written complaints from customers fell for an eighth successive year – but ten water companies bucked the trend and reported a rise. Some of these increases were very substantial.
• The amount of time consumers were without a water supply due to a burst supply pipe or maintenance work decreased. But only just over half of water companies in England and Wales made an improvement in this area.

But the consumer watchdog says some water companies can still do much more to plug leakage. The amount of water lost through leaky supply pipes in England and Wales has fallen for the first time in five years, but CCWater says some water companies can still do much better to reduce the 121 litres of water that is wasted on average per household each day – enough to fill a large bath and washing machine.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of CCWater, said: “Water compares very favourably to most other utilities when you see consumer satisfaction with value for money at a five year high and complaints at their lowest level for eight years.”

“But leakage remains an important issue for consumers and it can dampen their own motivation to save water if they think their water company is not pulling its weight. With pressure continuing to mount on our water resources, some water companies need to show more ambition in beating – not just meeting – their leakage targets.”

Ben Newby, Bristol Water’s Customer Services and IT Director, said: “Overall this report shows a very positive trend in customer satisfaction, performance and service and Bristol Water is following this upward curve. Water compares very favourably to most other utilities so this is something we should be proud of, but not complacent about.”

“Leakage is highlighted negatively in this report and I am able to counter this on Bristol Water’s behalf. Our proactive and innovative approach to leakage is demonstrated by our enduring top five status in the industry. On a daily basis we are focused on pressure optimisation and active leakage control and we are at the forefront of innovation in advanced network management and leakage control using techniques such as helium gas to detect leaks.”