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Water bills set to soar as spending plans go in

WATER COMPANIES want to spend at least £34.2bn on water quality, supply and environmental improvements between 2005 and 2010, a report published by the water regulator said last week.

The water companies have told Ofwat that they want to spend a minimum of £19.5bn and a maximum of £26.4bn on capital projects.

They have also said that operating existing water and sewerage services will cost £14.9bn between 2005-10.

Combined capital investment and maintenance works would result in average household bills soaring from £234 to £306 a year, assuming lower spending estimates are approved by Ofwat.

Companies' base estimates indicate that:

l £6.9bn would be spent on 'quality improvements' - water treatment, supply plus sewage disposal and treatment l £4.7bn would go on environmental improvements, including improving river and bathing water quality.

l £1.6bn on preventing floods caused by lack of capacity in sewerage network.

And companies have warned that maintenance bills will cost £1.7bn more over the next five year period than under the current asset management programme.

INFOPLUS www. nceplus.co.uk/magazine

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