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Price limits are acceptable


I am writing in reply to your article on the report written for Water UK by Chris Binnie (NCE 29 June).

We reviewed Mr Binnie's report and were not convinced by his analysis. It is uneconomic to replace any asset before it is necessary to do so.

Over the last five years, the 10 sewerage companies have spent less on sewer renewal than we assumed in the 1994 price settlement. There has been no increase in the amount of sewers in the poorest condition.

Our price limit assessment does not 'seriously underestimate investment needs'. All of the sewerage companies have decided to accept their new price limits for the next five years, therefore committing themselves to maintaining the serviceability of the sewerage network.

Bill Emery, director of costs and performance division and chief engineer, Office of Water Services

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