What Happened to York Water?

Vision investigates the water shortage that plagued the city

ON THE EVENING of the 24th of February 2023, homes across York were left with little or no water. The water pressure was low and restaurants, businesses and clubs throughout the city were left struggling. PLAGUED THE CITY LAST MONTH

The cause of the outage was a pumping station being hit by a power outage. This led to anyone in a YO postcode area being desperate for water. 

There were reports of shops being left with no bottled water as people began to panic. A student told Vision that as a house they started to fill containers with water just in case it was out all night. “As a house of six, we just couldn’t afford to not have any water”. 

Yorkshire Water quickly set teams out with standby generators to get pumps working again and most of  York had their water back within a few hours. 

Luke Charters, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for York Outer, has written to Yorkshire Water requesting compensation for everyone affected by a loss of water. 

Under Ofwat’s (the water services regulation authority) no compensation is obligated. In order for compulsory compensation, water pressure must have fallen for an hour or more on at least two occasions in a 28 day period. 

Speaking to York Press, Charters said “they’ve made enough profit and it’s causing disruption to York families, so they should just get on and automatically compensate everyone.”

However, it doesn’t look like Yorkshire Water will be compensating any time soon. 

The incident was resolved within a few hours and therefore does not meet criteria, they said in response. 

Yorkshire Water is already facing public criticism at the moment as many residents take to Twitter to complain about an increase in their water bill. 

On Twitter, one angry Yorkshire resident said, “just received my new bill. 8.9% increase! How can you justify this?” 

Another angry customer said in response, “same, I’m absolutely disgusted. I’ll be rinsing all the water I can this year.”

In response to this complaint, Yorkshire Water said that “there can be many factors as to why a bill can increase.” 

As a brief explanation for the increase, they replied on Twitter saying “a reduction of £25m in respect of the penalty has been made to the overall revenue that we are allowed to collect in the charging year April 2023- March 2024.

This means that the penalty has been taken into account when calculating the individual tariffs for the new charging year together with the other adjustments that we need to apply.” 

With the current cost of living crisis, an increase in energy and water bills is unfortunately becoming the norm. 

However, Yorkshire Water are coming under attack from local residents who can’t work out why the increase has been so dramatic.