Lessons from ‘Beast from the East’ revealed in water company action plans

Water companies will today (28 September) publish action plans outlining how they will avoid future service failures such as those experienced during March’s severe cold weather, when a rapid change in temperature following the ‘Beast from the East’ caused pipes to burst, leaving 200,000 households without water.

Research conducted by the Consumer Council for Water following this incident revealed that consumers felt let down by poor communication, a lack of emergency water supplies and a failure to provide adequate support for consumers in vulnerable circumstances.

Following the incident, regulator Ofwat required all water companies to submit action plans demonstrating how future service failures will be avoided.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Water companies need to prove that they have listened to consumers and really learned lessons from the service failures we witnessed in March. Customers will want to know that these plans are tested and ready, and we’ll be expecting a tough response from Ofwat should any of the company plans fail, or further problems occur in future.”

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