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Water complaints show 40% rise

Complaints about water companies jumped by almost 40 per cent last year to 14,795, according to the industry watchdog, Ofwat. Two-thirds of the complaints were over prices and the way customers were billed, adding to Ofwat's concerns over soaring charges for water and sewerage services.

Ian Byatt, the director-general of Ofwat, will ask the Government this summer to decide whether higher standards of water quality are worth the cost to consumers.