Letter: Life without water

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The Independent Online
Sir: When a water supply is disconnected, the residents in the house are unable to wash, flush the toilet, prepare food or ensure the house is clean. Within a very short space of time, conditions become intolerable.

Janet Langdon (Letters, 4 February) claims that water companies can distinguish between customers who 'won't pay' and those who can't. In the circumstances this is remarkable. What is less remarkable is that customers find the money to ensure reconnection; they may go without food, they may not pay the rent, the children may go without new shoes, or they may borrow from friends or, worse, from loan sharks.

The water companies cannot possibly make judgements about the source of payment in cases of disconnection. Water is a basic public health need and all disconnections should be banned.

Yours faithfully,

PETER ARCHER

Chair

Housing Committee

Institution of Environmental

Health Officers

London, SE1

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