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WATCHDOG RECOMMENDS MORE INFORMATION ON SEWERAGE TO HELP HOME BUYERS

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WaterVoice has pressed the government to expand the range of ...
WaterVoice has pressed the government to expand the range of

enquiries proposed on water and drainage as part of the 'Home

Information Pack', the subject of a current consultation by the

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

While welcoming the proposed inclusion of a water and drainage

enquiries form as part of standard search information, WaterVoice

called for changes to the proposed pack, which will help buyers in

their decision whether to purchase a property. They recommended

further enquiries on:

- sewer flooding history;

- the presence of lead in company water pipes;

- water pressure;

- water meters and other aspects of paying for water and sewerage

services;

- responsibility for maintaining water pipes, drains and sewers.

Maurice Terry, WaterVoice chairman, said: 'The range of proposed

enquiries is limited in scope and could be more helpful to customers.

It is also unacceptable that there is no mention of sewer flooding

risk in the proposed pack.

'Sewer flooding is extremely distressing and it should not be

possible to discover, only when becoming involved in the buying and

selling process, that your home might be subject to this domestic and

environmental blight. It is important that customers know what

remedial action is planned to remove any risk. The relevant

information is available and should be used to inform both the buyer

and the seller.'

WaterVoice said that customers were often uncertain about aspects of

water and sewerage provision, and home buyers were sometimes

surprised to find that their new property received a metered supply

of water.

Notes

1. WaterVoice provides a strong and independent voice for all

customers of the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales.

2. WaterVoice operates through nine regional committees in England

and a committee for Wales. They represent the interests of customers

in respect of price, servic e and value for money; they also

investigate complaints from customers about their water company.

3. The ten WaterVoice committee chairmen form the WaterVoice council.

The WaterVoice council and its sub-groups deal with issues at

national and European level.

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