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Water audit experts H²O Building Services calls for stringent regulation of the Canal and River Trust.

Author: Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert.

I am seeing some very worrying developments within the water industry over recent weeks, British Waterways now know as Canal and River Trust who are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of our Rivers and Canals are reviewing their fees levied to businesses that discharge surface water. That is the rain water from roofs, drives and pathways into either the adjacent river or canal.

In some areas the fees levied to businesses are already quite substantial, however I have been approached by an increasing number of businesses where the fees levied by the trust are increasing by between 100% and 10,000% due to it seems in part to reduced Government funding.

One particular customer is expected to accept an increase from £ 62 per year to over £ 6,000.

Having researched further there are a great many other businesses that will see huge increases in annual charges and here is the annoying bit, it appears that the Canal and River Trust are unregulated and can increase charges “as they see fit” I wonder just how many businesses will accept this? and those who do not may well seek costly legal advise.

In one of our cases in particular the Canal and River Trust are calculating what a businesses may be charged for surface water drainage based on site area via the local water company and then imposing an increased charge a little below that figure and attempting to justify the 100%  increase by stating “it is more than fair and reasonable” and this is “current market price” .

During the last few weeks our water audit experts here at H²O Building Services have checked the water ways licence agreements and in some instances any increases are restricted and the increased charges demands simply should not even have been claimed. Certainly many 100’s of businesses will be receiving demands for totally unreasonable increases, it is my opinion regulation is needed in order to kerb excessive demands for increased surface water fees.

* Is your business next to a River or Canal?

* Does your sites surface water drainage pas into a waterway?

* If your business has a licence to discharge into a River or Canal what is the annual fee?