Andrew Murrison MP has written to Robbie Moore MP, the Minister for Water and Rural Growth, asking him to explore the possibility of transferring the ownership of sewage treatment works from housing associations to statutory water and sewage companies. Having received correspondence from constituents concerned about the high prices housing associations charge them for sewerage maintenance, Andrew is looking at this option as one which may lower customers’ bills.
A similar transfer was enacted in 2011 when the government passed The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011. These transferred ownership and responsibility of privately owned sewers to the ten statutory water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. These new regulations were introduced with the aims of paying for sewer repairs in a fairer and simpler way and removing the threat of customers being hit with huge repair bills for sewers that may not even have been on their property.
In the past, there have been instances of Wiltshire residents being charged large sums for major one-off maintenance works. In 2012, as the Wiltshire Times reported at the time, Selwood Housing charged Codford villagers almost £6,000 per household to replace two sewage treatment works. Andrew hopes that such costs can be avoided in the future.
‘Many housing associations have a poor record at keeping sewage charges low for customers whereas statutory water companies seem to have done a better job. I want to help push down bills and prevent financial shocks for my constituents. I’m keen to explore with the minister how transfer of ownership might help.’