Thousand of homes have been left without water for days due to problems caused by extreme weather. Can affected customers claim compensation from their water supplier?
Around 20,000 homes supplied by Thames Water were left with no running water, and a host of other water companies across England and Wales have reported problems.
Thames Water, South East Water, Southern Water, Affinity Water and Staffordshire Water have all urged customers to limit water use to essentials.
CAN I CLAIM COMPENSATION?
Yes. Water companies abide by rules regarding service and compensation set by Ofwat, the regulator in England and Wales.
It is possible to claim compensation for a number of problems including extended periods of time spent without water, multiple periods of low water pressure, complaints not being dealt with in a certain time frame and appointments not being kept.
WHAT CAN I CLAIM FOR EXACTLY?
Water companies must give 48 hours notice for planned outages of more than four hours.
However, when there are emergency interruptions – as is happening now – due to burst pipes or other factors, different rules apply.
If a burst water main causes the outage, the supply must be restored within 12 hours of the company becoming aware of the problem. If it’s a “strategic” main pipe that has burst, it must restore the supply within 48 hours.
According to Citizens Advice, the water company must also take reasonable steps to let you know where to get an alternative supply and when it plans to restore the supply. It must also provide a phone number where you can get more information.