Domestic Customers’ Views on the Loss of Water Supply and Compensation

On 22 July 2007 Severn Trent’s Mythe treatment works was submerged by rising flood water and subsequently shut down early the next day, cutting off mains water supply to around 140,000 households in Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester. Supplies to all 140,000 households were not fully restored until Thursday 2 August.

401 telephone interviews were carried out with people who had no tap water supply for at least three days, in order  to establish their views on the company response, communications and compensation.

Key findings were that the vast majority, 89% of respondents said they had sufficient access to temporary water supplies.

Company communication were less successful and generally thought to be poor; during the loss of water supply, the main information sources for respondents were local radio (53%) followed by television (45%).

The overwhelming view among all respondents was that money would be better spent on ensuring that such an incident never happens again rather than providing compensation.