Anglian Water is putting the wheels in motion on almost half a billion pounds of investment for the coming financial year. 

The funds will be ploughed into the areas customers say matter most to them after views were gathered during the company’s biggest ever public consultation, which shaped its £5billion Business Plan to 2020. These include continuing with a £60million war on leakage; providing top quality drinking water; protecting against severe weather such as drought and flooding; and tackling the impacts of climate change.

This year’s investment will be paid for by average bills of just £1.15 per day for an entire household. Bills remain lower than they were four years ago following Anglian Water’s price cuts in 2015.

This investment will also underpin great service for companies entering into the market to sell water and water recycling services to non-household customers, such as businesses, schools, prisons, churches and charities. Anglian Water has launched a new division to look after these water retailers, now that all non-household customers can chose who they buy from, following a change in the law at the start of April.

Anglian Water will supply the same water and sewerage services through the same pipes, but independent retailers will manage all non-household customers’ billing and account enquiries, such as meter reading.

Ian Rule, Anglian Water’s Director of Customer Services, said: “This is a massive investment in the region. It’s based on what our customers tell us really matters to them. We aim to act on those priorities, while keeping bills as low as possible for as long as we can.

“This month also sees really significant changes for businesses in England and Wales, now all non domestic customers can choose their water supplier. While we won’t typically deal directly with these businesses anymore, we need to provide first class service to the retailers who will look after them. We’ve set ourselves up to do just that.”

Anglian Water is now three years into its business plan which runs from 2015 to 2020. Later this year the company will again ask customers to have their say, sharing how they want their bills to be invested, as a plan for 2020–2025 is developed.

Ian continued: “In 2015 we committed to invest £5billion in five years to maintain and improve water and water recycling services across the region. But looking after the vast network is a never-ending job, so we’re looking beyond 2020.

“We already spend around half a million pounds every day running our business and operating the vast water and sewer networks. When this is added to the £425million that we will invest to improve our infrastructure by April 2018, it brings the total to around £1billion.

“This investment helps accommodate growth in the region, protects our rivers and streams, benefits the environment, and continues to improve customer services.”

A picture of 2017

Over the coming year, around 540billion litres of water will be treated and supplied to customers to be made into cups of tea, used to do the laundry, to wash, to flush toilets, and to keep business and industry working. It is then taken away and treated before we safely returning it to the environment.

This vast, often unseen, operation also makes a huge contribution to the economy, creating or securing thousands of jobs each year.

  • Investment projects will be starting right across over the next 12 months, including:
  • £17million to keep leakage levels at industry-leading lows. By 2020 Anglian will have invested an extra £60million in a war on leakage, bringing the five-year total spent fighting leaks to a colossal £128million.
  • £48million maintaining, refurbishing and renewing parts of the 37,000km water pipe network.
  • £36million at Heigham Water Treatment works in Norwich to protect the environment along the River Wensum, and secure supplies for the growing city of Norwich.
  • £18million to maintain and upgrade our water recycling centres to accommodate the growing population in our region, including £2million in Essex, £3.2million in Lincolnshire, £4.7million in Northamptonshire and £5.2million in Suffolk.
  • £10million to install additional back-up generators at Grafham Water Treatment Works to make it more resilient to power cuts, and make sure we can continue pumping treated water to customers’ homes as far away as Milton Keynes. £1.5million will be also invested there to remove chlorine gas equipment from Grafham, on the outskirts of the village of Perry. Once the scheme is complete there will no risk of gas leaks and no need for a chlorine gas alarm in the village.
  • £36million maintaining, refurbishing and replacing parts of the 70,000km sewer network. £3million of this will be used to survey and cleverly refurbish kilometres of sewers in places like Southend, Ipswich, Beccles, Caister, Runton and Long Bennington.
  • £15million keeping sewers clear of fatbergs and wipes. We’ll clear 43,000 sewer blockages each year – that’s one every 15 minutes – most of which are caused by people putting the wrong things down the loo and sink.
  • £9.5million to connect rural homes in Burston, Suffolk and rural villages across Norfolk to the mains sewerage network for the first time. By 2020 Anglian will have invested £70million on rural schemes like these.
  • Around £10million to adopt and refurbish private pumping stations that are now the water company’s responsibility
  • £8million to reduce flooding from sewers as part of a £45million focus that will protect hundreds of properties from flooding by 2020. In addition, £1.5million this year will be used to jointly fund flood schemes with partners, getting more flood protection work off the ground.
  • £1million will be invested in innovation to create the water network of the future. The initiative will centre on Newmarket, and will become Anglian Water’s ‘Shop Window’ for pioneering new technology before rolling it out to the wider region. Already the project has generated millions of pounds of efficiency savings which will help keep future bills as low as possible.
  • £1.3million to protect the region’s coastal waters by investigating sources of agricultural and urban pollution, and working with the farming community to protect the rivers and boreholes that provide raw drinking water. We’re also extending our BeachCare and RiverCare initiatives to cover more miles of coastline and rivers than ever before.
  • £1million for vulnerable customers in real hardship, plus continuing support through tariffs such as LITE and AquaCare Plus for those struggling to pay.

More information on Anglian Water’s investment programme and work taking place in their local area can be found at www.anglianwater.co.uk/inyourarea.