Above-inflation water bill rises feared

Households were today warned of water bill hikes after firms submitted their draft business plans to regulator Ofwat.

The UK's largest water and wastewater services company, Thames Water, announced it expects to raise bills by around 3 per cent, excluding annual inflation, each year between 2010 and 2015.

United Utilities, which manages water and wastewater distribution in the North West of England, said customers were set to see their average bills increase by just over 2 per cent a year during the five year period, with inflation also stripped out.

Thames Water and United Utilities revealed the bill increases as they outlined aims for multi-billion pound investments in water and sewerage services, as well as cost cutting schemes to drive efficiency.

All of the UK's water companies are required to submit their draft investment plans for Ofwat's scrutiny by midday, including how much they expect customers to pay.