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Grantham man's shock over £49,288 water bill

A Grantham man was shocked to receive a water bill for almost £50,000.

Paul Duller says when his meter was read on April 13 it generated a bill of £34,830.19. But because the bill was so large, rather than send out a bill,Anglian Water contacted a leak detection team.

They posted a card through his letter box on May 1 to say there was a leak in the area, which was followed up by an envelope sent to him on May 17 telling him he had a leak from his private water supply and should contact them.

By then, Paul had contacted his insurance company which then sought planning permission for the leak to be fixed. Though under his house, the work involved digging up part of the road outside. The consent was sought in June and given three weeks later on July 6.

It was only on July 9, when a company called UKDN Waterflow inspected the leak, they discovered it was so big.

“When they looked into the sewer, it flooded the ground around it. Water was coming out at half-a-litre a second.”

However, Paul accuses Anglian Water of “pussyfooting around”, since the leak was known about in April but not fixed until July.

“There was no sense of urgency. It was not until they sent me a notice saying I had a leak almost a month later when we started the processes to fix it.”

During this time,Paul’s bill increased from £34,830 to £49,288 as some 4.7 million extra litres led to a total bill for 11.245 million litres, compared to his annual use of 100,000 litres- more than 100 times his usual usage.

“My household insurance has paid and Anglian Water has given me a credit for the full amount. I could not afford to pay £49,000.”

Mr Duller has since received an apology from Anglian Water who admits there are lessons to be learnt.

It said: “When we carry out leak tests we do monitor the amount lost in litres per second and of course it’s very important to give our customers all the information so that they can act accordingly.I contacted our leakage team who were very surprised you hadn’t been contacted directly about this in the beginning.Our motto is ‘Love Every Drop’ and it should be at the forefront of our minds across the business.”

Anglian Water Spokesperson Regan Harris told the Journal that Anglian Water called four to five times to see Mr Duller before leaving an information kit on what to do. Any leakages within the curtilage of a private property is the owner’s responsibility.

Because Anglian Water weren’t able to get hold of him, an earlier ‘hold’ expired, but Mr Duller handled matters through his insurance company. The bill has since been ‘voided’, with him having no extra to pay and the leak is now fixed.

She added Anglian Water takes leaks very seriously and had one of the best records in the country in dealing with leaks.

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