Southern Water bill increase will pay for new projects

MORE than 330 environmental projects will feature in Southern Water’s spending programme this year.

The £1.8bn programme of service and environmental improvements will be paid for by an average increase of £31 to people’s water bills for 2012-2013.

This will bring the average bill for customers receiving water and wastewater services to £416.

Among the improvements is the £300m Cleaner Seas for Sussex project in the Brighton and Hove area, as well as schemes to upgrade treatment works, including at Overton in Hampshire, Lidsey in Sussex and Lydd in Kent.

Sixty kilometres of water mains and sewers will be renewed as well as schemes to safeguard water supplies, improve water quality, reduce leakage and help prevent flooding.

Between 2010 and 2015, the company will also be installing more than 500,000 water meters for customers as part of its 25-year plan to manage resources. Chief executive Matthew Wright said: “This investment is the equivalent of spending almost £1,000 for every property in the Southern Water region, giving a big boost to the local economy at a time of economic downturn.

“By ensuring investment in our communities we are able to support thousands of jobs, while delivering improved services and a wide range of environmental improvements, such as cleaner seas and rivers.”