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Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Floods 'alarm call' to utilities
The Mythe water treatment works (pic courtesy of Lyndon Griffith)
Clean-up costs are estimated to be between 50m and 55m
Severn Trent Water has said July's flooding in Gloucestershire should be an "alarm call" to water firms and other utility companies.

It comes after a Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) survey suggested many residents were angry about inadequate contingency planning.

It also showed residents wanted assurances it would not happen again rather than financial compensation.

More than 140,000 homes were without water after a treatment centre failed.

Independent research

Andrew Marsh, from Severn Trent, said the company welcomed the outline findings and it was looking forward to the full report in September.

"Valuable independent research is needed in the aftermath of the floods. We have already responded by reviewing the situation in Gloucestershire and are taking steps to boost resilience," he said.

"Severn Trent needs to look at how to prevent a loss of water services if climate change makes this more frequent."

The CCWater study found that Gloucestershire residents accepted the flooding was "unprecedented" and the majority did not want compensation for the disruption caused.

But many of the residents said they were angry about inadequate contingency planning.

They told CCWater that many were forced to rely on word of mouth and radio reports for information and that communication with Severn Trent Water was "patchy and inconsistent".

Dame Yve Buckland, chair of CCWater, said: "Those people who lost their water supply following the floods suffered severe disruption.

'Clean-up bill'

"One person we spoke to said that he and his family had eventually moved out of the area to stay with his mother because they had run out of fresh water for his baby.

"Many also felt that the bowsers were inappropriately positioned, not kept topped up and that the communication from Severn Trent Water was insufficient," she said

The county has been left with a 50-55m clean-up bill following the deluge with many schools, roads, homes and businesses suffering severe damage.

The Gloucestershire Flood Relief Fund was set up in the aftermath of the flooding to give people across the county a helping hand.

On Sunday, The Prince of Wales, who has his country home in the county, was confirmed to have made an undisclosed donation to the fund whose total currently stands at around 650,000.

CCWater said it would now be making its research available to Ofwat and Severn Trent Water.




SEE ALSO
Prince makes flood fund donation
26 Aug 07 |  Gloucestershire
No compensation for flood victims
08 Aug 07 |  Gloucestershire
Floods to cost Severn Trent 35m
08 Aug 07 |  Business
Company admits gap in flood plan
03 Aug 07 |  Gloucestershire
Water treatment works repaired
29 Jul 07 |  Gloucestershire

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