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Leaky external drain pipe. Can it be ignored?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Jotch Bob, 9 Jul 2021.

  1. boringoldcodger

    boringoldcodger

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    Seems to be saying that Southern Water deliberately discharged raw sewage, it wasn't a case of torrential rain causing an overflow.
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Southern Water are notorious for repeated offences.

    Sewage is discharged into rivers and the sea. This is in an area of bathing beaches, windsurfers, anglers and other water sports.

    It is owned by a tax-dodging offshore investment company, and has been loaded up with debt, at a high interest rate, paid to another company owned by the same investors. The borrowed money was used to pay dividends to the owners. The interest on the debt is paid by the water customers.

    This is common practice by privatised water companies.

    The law permits it.

    Hurrah for the Tories!
     
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  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    www.ft.com

    "Southern Water has been fined a record £90m for deliberately dumping billions of litres of untreated sewage into the sea near popular beaches and rivers over several years. The fine is more than four times the previous record of £20.3m in 2017 when Thames Water admitted to tipping 1.4bn litres of raw sewage into the river Thames in a case the judge ruled was “borderline deliberate”.

    Southern Water, which supplies water and treats sewage for 4.7m people in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, had pleaded guilty to 6,971 illegal spills lasting 61,704 hours from 17 different sewage plants between 2010 and 2015. Between 16bn and 21bn litres of raw sewage, the equivalent of 7,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, was dumped near popular Sittingbourne, Herne Bay and Whitstable beaches and the Beaulieu river in the New Forest, causing damage to shellfish and risking human health and the environment.

    Handing down the penalty at Canterbury Crown Court, Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson said that Southern had shown “a shocking and wholesale disregard for the environment, for the precious and delicate ecosystems along the North Kent and Solent coastlines, for human health, and for the fisheries and other legitimate businesses that depend on the vitality of the coastal waters”. He said the offences could not be viewed in isolation as the company had a record of “criminality”. “That is because the offences are aggravated by its previous persistent pollution of the environment over very many years,” he added."
     
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  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Water bills increased 40% in the 25 years after privatisation. Over the last ten years, the English water companies have paid out more than £18 billion in dividends to shareholders.

    The UK water and sewage business organisation campaigns strongly against renationalisation.

    They would, wouldn't they?
     
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  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    English water companies have built up £51bn in debt (from zero at privatisation), a staggering sum that customers will have to service and pay off over many years.

    Wessex Water is entirely owned by YTL Corporation of Malaysia, while Northumbrian Water is owned by CK Hutchison Holdings and the Li Ka Shing Foundation of Hong Kong. Another three UK water companies are wholly owned in Jersey and another is a UK-owned private company with offshore subsidiaries.

    Source: FT
     
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  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    We will need a different government to tackle these abuses.

    But

    www.ft.com

    MARCH 1 2018 21

    "In a speech delivered to industry executives in the City, Mr Gove pointed out that the chief executive of United Utilities is paid £2.8m per annum; Severn Trent’s chief executive takes home £2.42m, and the chief executives at Anglian Water and Yorkshire Water get £1.2m a year.

    “The chief executive of Thames Water gets £960,000 a year — five times the prime minister’s salary,” he added.

    “One might hope,” he said “that companies making such massive profits, paying out such big dividends and supporting such generous executive salaries, would be big contributors to the Exchequer through their tax bill.”

    Instead, he pointed out, Anglian, Southern and Thames paid no corporation tax last year, while Thames “has paid no corporation tax for a decade”.

    “Ten years of shareholders getting millions, the chief executive getting hundreds of thousands, and the public purse getting nothing,” he said. Mr Gove added that the nine large water companies paid out £18.1bn in dividends between 2007 and 2016, even though the total profit after tax was £18.8bn over the same period.
     
  8. lostinthelight

    lostinthelight

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  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Water privatisation has been a disaster for the country.
     
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  11. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Firstly, it should be very difficult to deliberately discharge Raw Sewage, in order for a Treatment Works to do so would need substantial interference from Site Personnel, or an abject failure in the operation of the site. Treatment Works are usually designed to retain and recirculate any possible contaminated spillage on site, with only treated effluent being able to leave the works. Without knowing the logistics of the sites in question ist is difficult to comment further.

    Secondly, whilst I dont disagree with the abhorrent amount of money paid to Shareholders and Senior Management, (whilst those on the Front Line are denied pay rises as the company claim they cant afford it....), what is the option? Re Nationalisation is a Non Starter, the cost would cripple the country for years to come just to buy the companies back into State Ownership, then add the sheer amount of investment required to upgrade the network, if you really want zero discharges, then that cost is going to be billions.

    Many of the complaints about discharges now are simply due to the sewer network being unable to cope in wet weather, there is no miracle cure for this! Population increases have put more demand on sewers and sewage treatment, Investment is going in across the country, and despite media claims, rivers and bathing waters are cleaner now than they have been for many years.

    We need an effective opposition to hold the incumbent Government to task, and the British political system relies on such. Sadly, we haven't got anyone up to the task, effectively guaranteeing the Tories power for the foreseeable future.
     
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  12. JohnD

    JohnD

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    No it isn't.
     
  13. ninjacat

    ninjacat

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    Reading the reports on the court case it seems like this was done at a corporate level as cheaper than maintaining or repaing the works.

    When EA staff went in, some employees of Southern Water actively interfered with the investigation by locking documents away from the investigation.

    So the problem was that it was not an accident but a financial decision by a private company, so, environmentally, can we not afford to nationalise the water companies again ?
     
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  14. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    How do you propose we pay for it then?
     
  15. JohnD

    JohnD

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    The net value of the water co's is surprisingly low, since they have been loaded up with debt at high interest rates by the current owners.

    Governments can borrow at near-zero interest rates, in some cases negative rates, at present.

    At present, the customers (composed of the nation's citizens and businesses) can "afford to" (is being forced to) pay this high interest, and the cost of running the system, and the cost of maintenance and improvement, and the cost of dividends and directors.

    A country that can afford to pizz £32billion down the drain to Dido's consultancy buddies, on a track and trace system that doesn't work, can afford to buy some clapped-out water companies.
     
  16. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Well, Re Nationalisation was one of Jeremy Corbyn's flagship policies if I remember correctly. (It was also possible Diane Abbott had done the Maths in which case Corbyn probably thought he could buy the Water Industry back for about £25 and a couple of seats at, (not in the), Lords).

    Fortunately though, the British Public didn't agree with him on this, (and a whole host of other issues), and gave Labour the biggest drubbing in living memory.
     
  17. JohnD

    JohnD

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    You are mistaken.
     
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