Southern Water has pledged to fix a leak that has reportedly been gushing water opposite Monkton Nature Reserve for more than a year
Motorist Sue Smith says she has contacted the water company numerous times after spotting the leak many months ago while taking her grandchildren home.
She said: “I am still awaiting replies to a leak that has been running down A253 heading towards Sarre, almost opposite Monkton Nature Reserve, approaching Millers Lane for many months, probably over a year.
“It is continually flowing water from the manhole down the drain. Yet we will be expected to pay the predicted substantially increased bill next year. I dread to think how much water has been wasted, presumably clean drinking water.”
Following a query for The Isle of Thanet News, Southern Water says an investigator has been sent out to the site.
A Southern Water spokesperson said, “We went to the site at the weekend where the leak was reported, on the A253 near Miller Lane. Due to the nature of the work, we will arrange for traffic management to be organised, so our team of engineers can work safely, investigate further and work towards fixing the leak.
“Tackling leaks and bursts is a major priority for us, last year we repaired 20,000 leaks alone. If any of our customers see a leak, we’d urge them to report it to us as soon as they can by calling our Leakline on freephone 0800 820 999 or 0330 303 0146.”
A Southern Water leaflet outlining possible bill rises for customers of more than 70% between now and 2030 are not set, says the water company, but options being explored as part of a wider programme of research.
The rises, set out on a focus group leaflet, show an option of rises from £439 for the 2023/24 year increasing up to £759 by 2030. That figure includes £187 for investment required by regulators in Southern Water infrastructure and an additional £10 for further investments plus £82 factored in for inflation.
The leaflet does not show the minimum discount of at least 45% which would still be applied to customers on the Essentials Tariff, supporting those in financial hardship.
In March this year Southern Water director Tim McMahon told Thanet councillors that price review plans that include future investment will be submitted with the water regulator by this Autumn and those proposals will be confirmed by 2024. He said it is likely that work will include a mains replacement programme, plans for water recycling systems as well as the pledge to cut discharges by 2030.
Southern Water will submit a proposal for its 2025-2030 business plan to regulator Ofwat in October this year, before a final plan is agreed in December 2024.
Regulator Ofwat says water companies in England and Wales lost an average of 2,923.8m litres of water a day in 2021-22, equating to 1.06tn litres over the year.