Mixed views on Eastern’s water companies level of service, says local water watchdog

The organisation representing water and sewerage customers in the Eastern region has mixed views about the performance of water companies in the East following the publication of Ofwat’s report – Levels of Service for the Water Industry in England and Wales 2005-06.

The Consumer Council for Water Eastern (CCWater Eastern) is pleased that the water only companies Cambridge Water, Essex and Suffolk Water and Tendring Hundred Water have all gained top marks (five stars) for  their performance against the levels of service assessed by the water industry regulator.

CCWater Eastern is aware that the measure of performance resulting in these ratings does not cover all aspects of customer service, but includes areas which we believe are important to customers.  For example, interruptions to supply, drinking water quality, water pressure and complaint handling.  We are also pleased to note the improvement from ‘acceptable’ to a ‘good’ rating for Anglian Water’s performance on the number of properties that receive adequate water pressure.

However, Catherine Harvey, Chairman of CCWater Eastern, said “We believe that customers should receive the highest possible levels of service and we are disappointed that the report illustrates that Anglian Water’s overall service performance fell in 2005-6.  The company provides sewerage services as well as water and has achieved six stars out of a possible seven.

“We are aware that the company shares our disappointment in its performance relating to unplanned water supply interruptions and deterioration in sewage treatment works compliance.  We are reassured that the company has acknowledged publicly that its performance in these areas is unacceptable and that it has plans in place to improve.  We will be reviewing with Anglian Water its performance in these areas in the coming months particularly as research indicates security of water supply is customers’ highest priority.”