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HomeNewsLiars, liars everywhere – my water meter battle

Liars, liars everywhere – my water meter battle


MANY water companies are insisting on installing meters. Unlike those installed by energy firms, on which TCW has reported, these aren’t smart inasmuch as they don’t transmit all the time; they simply allow the meter be read by passing operatives. However the water companies may put them in only if they have permission or instruction so to do from the Secretary of State for the Environment. One hopes the Secretary of State is well informed. I fear he/she is not.

When my supplier, Affinity Water, approached me demanding they install a meter I asked them who had advised the Secretary of  State as to their present water supply situation. Their answer was ‘We [Affinity Water] did.’

In the letter they sent with their meter threat, following some vague waffle about climate change producing hotter, drier summers (wrong) and hence less water being available for all, they warn: ‘Just three dry winters in a row could cause a record-breaking drought!’

That is obvious and the clue is in the ‘record-breaking’ bit. By inference there is little evidence of us ever having three such dry winters. The Met Office themselves (and remember they tend to use the alarmist side as the default position) clearly state that rainfall in the central parts of the UK has been pretty constant for the last two hundred or so years, any fluctuations being towards slightly wetter if anything. So my water supplier’s literature is a lie, deliberately to mislead and frighten their customers. To what end? To increase their profits, despite their own colossal wastage in leaks (how many Olympic pools a day is it?).

To heighten the illusion they attach this ludicrous graphic. A plunging graph of water supply which if extrapolated would suggest soon we will have none at all.

I have asked them to correct their literature. They won’t. I have now asked the Community Council for Water (‘Here to fight your corner – the voice for water consumers’) to tell Affinity to amend their literature. They confirmed receipt of my complaint and explained due to pressure of work (no surprise there) it would be 45 days before a caseworker could be assigned. That was three months ago and despite numerous reminder emails there has been no further action.

With just two of us in the house I calculated that it would probably be a saving to have a meter. (They came, dug the hole in my drive, fitted their meter and in doing so partially blocked my supply. Tried to tell me that it was my fault. Got defensive and stormed off when I got angry and left me with reduced pressure for a couple of days. They even refused to come back when it looked like rain. Eventually a team of eight operatives in four separate vehicles turned up and repaired and replaced the fittings in my supply line that they had blocked with residue and restored full pressure but not before damaging a rather old and frail retaining wall. Fortunately I had taken the precaution of photographing the area before they started work, and they compensated me to the tune of £110.

Be warned: always photograph the area extensively before anything starts, but best of all don’t let them start.

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Dave Hipperson
Dave Hipperson
Dave Hipperson is an engineer, photographer and journalist from Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire.

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