Letter: Saving water: meters, permits, tankers and shared baths

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Bardega

Sir: I must be one of the few people who has some sympathy for the water companies which continue to maintain supplies as this prolonged period of hot weather, together with minimal rainfall, draws to a close.

The sprinkler, or garden irrigation system, can consume water at the rate of one cubic metre (approximately 220 gallons) per hour. Where the customer is unmetered, the water company may make an additional fixed charge for the use of a sprinkler, irrespective of any change in normal weather conditions. My own experience to date, within the Thames Water area, suggests that a significant proportion of all customers make no disclosure with regard to the use of sprinklers and are therefore not being charged for this element of service. Unmetered customers who are paying the sprinkler charge may be paying only a fraction of the true cost for this service.

I would suggest that talk of compensation is misplaced and that the present sorry state of affairs arises from the many anomalies thrown up by a system of charging for a service which, for the most part, is unrelated to consumption.

Yours faithfully,

David Bardega

London, NW1

30 August