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
- 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
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.