Monday, September 24, 2018

Nationalise the water industry? That's right up our street

The Opposition’s conference could be forgiven for thinking that water companies haven't really made a great job of taking over water distribution to we seven million or so Brits, and industry.
I experienced the grab from councils and wouldn't exactly describe it as slick, which Google’s
dictionary defines as ‘done or operating in an impressively smooth and efficient way.’
The recent experience of the water takeover in my street offers a picture that doesn't really suggest competence.
The water supply for we social housing folk was handled by our very able council, then for some reason – probably best known to politicians – the task was handed over to a water company.

A flat, not-negotiable rate

The water company promptly told us what to pay and how to pay, and it seemed – well, I do say seemed – to be rather higher than before. And it was a flat, non-negotiable rate.
I asked what about when we are away: surely we don't still pay for the water we don't use?
Yes, came the answer. I added that I don’t bathe, I shower, and I buy spring water for all consumption. I definitely don’t drink or cook with water from the tap.
The price stays the same, they said. To be certain they understood what I understood, I asked: If my neighbour uses one hundred gallons of water and I use ten, we’ll both pay the same?
You’ll both pay the same.

No, not possible

In that case, may I have a meter installed? A company engineer arrived, looked, found that the communal block has a communal hot water system, and said no. No meter for Paul, not for these flats.
I argued. A meter could go on the communal hot water system as well as the normal inlet, and then the exact amount of water used would be known.
No. Not possible. Why? No explanation. I moaned a little to a neighbour who seemed surprised.
‘Why can’t you have a meter?’ neighbour Tony asked.
‘For the same reason you can’t.’
‘But I can. I've got one. I phoned and said I’d like one and the engineer came they and installed it.’ And sure enough, there it was in a cupboard doing its water meter metering. Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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