Water Rates – Reduction

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

A few months ago (at our 2nd Residents Association meeting), Adrian Hughes mentioned that he had claimed a refund/reduction in his water rates from Severn Trent Water, due to the fact that his surface water doesn’t drain into the main sewage system.

He said that he thought this might apply to many Kingsway Village Residents.

Since then he has furnished me with much information and advice to allow me to pass it on to you all.

At the time of writing, Severn Trent Water’s website had an article about surface water drainage which said:

Surface water drainage:

For most of you, the rain that falls on your roofs, yards and other parts of your property drains away to the public sewers. This is called surface water.

We include the cost of removing this surface water in the sewerage charges on your bill. For some customers, surface water or groundwater may not drain into the public sewer. If you are in this category you may be able to claim for a reduction in your sewerage charges of around 36%.

The page included a link to download a surface water drainage leaflet (which still exists) which includes an application form, and they also say that you can "call us on 08457 500 500 (local rate) to request a printed copy of the leaflet if you would prefer it."

The leaflet (which you can download and print) covers such subjects as:
Claiming lower sewerage charges
How will I know if I am eligible to claim?
How can I claim a lower sewerage charge?
How will my bills be affected?

Their contact details are:
Severn Trent Water Ltd
2297 Coventry Road
Birmingham B26 3PU
08457 500 500

As a leaflet it looks quite daunting, requiring a house plan etc, but Adrian says:
"They seem to want a lot from the application form but it’s really simple as to what’s required! Draw up a plan of the property, scale not important, and highlight all the positions of down pipes and drains that are soak aways including any on the drive, which I had!
Don’t be to concerned about all the waffle, just draw up your property and submit the application!"

HeΒ added "Severn Trent are not very quick in responding but I found withholding payment focuses their attention, just something to make the applicants be aware of!"

So get your copy today and claim your 2008/2009 water rates reduction.

…and finally Adrian said "Unfortunately I cannot claim any praise for this as my neighbour was the one who put me on to it…
His name is Mr Ken Mumford and he lives atΒ 75, Thatcham Ave"

Sorry it’s taken me so long to publish this information, (I won’t bore you with the reasons why excuses) πŸ˜†

Many thanks to Adrian for all your help, and also to Ken for passing this on.

14 Responses to “Water Rates – Reduction”

    Hi PD,

    I did think (back in 2009) that Severn Trent had started applying the reduction to Kingsway residents automatically (see comments from chumly and ceejaytee1979) but it seems that’s not the case.

    I’m pretty sure it IS still relevant (see flumpers comment from January this year).

    As for how to tell…

    I’m no expert (I asked our builders) but if I recall correctly, ‘Surface Water Drainage’ was itemised on our water bill, so you could start there. You could also ask the builders, or check with immediate neighbours and see if any of them have enquired.

    There is information on the leaflet linked in the original post, and more on the Severn Trent website. There’s also a contact number in the post above.

    Good luck with your enquiries… Do please come back and let us know how you get on :)


    So is this still a thing? I live on Goose Bay Drive – have done for a few years – is it a general thing that houses here are connected to soak aways and not mains drainage on Kingsway?

    How do you tell?

    Were the original rebates just because nothing was adopted at that point?

    Hi flumper,

    Thanks for that. πŸ˜†

    It’s bit disconcerting that they weren’t aware of it already 😐 …and typical of British bureaucracy that they don’t talk between departments :roll:

    I wonder what happened in 2013 to change things!
    We will have to keep an eye on things and make sure they don’t do it to us.

    We are in one of the first phases built in Kingsway – so 8 years and have only been charged for surface water drainage since November 2013.

    In the summer we started experience a blockage in our surface water drainage – the water was backing up and flooding our utility room, coming under the threshold. We called Dynorod – who were fab, checked all pipes and eventually narrowed it down to an issue off our boundary, but consequently passed the blame to Severn Trent. Severn Trent sent out a couple of guys, who again did similar tests and pretty much found the same…. However, during one test, they disturbed some gravel and concluded that we were actually connected to a soak away and not to the storm drains.

    So I phoned up and they sent me a form to fill in. I did this and attached the report completed during the previous investigation, stating the soakaways… I received a letter – they were sending someone round to carry out some tests and confirm that we weren’t connected to the drains. I phoned them up and reiterated what was found during the previous visit, but apparently because that was a different department, it didn’t count!

    So a couple of different guys came, I was out at the time and came home mid-investigation… They were struggling, so I ran through the findings (quite a drain expert now), the layout of our sewerage pipes and surface drain pipes… They stood there and said well yes I guess you’re right?!? They put some dye down our drainpipes and checked the drains – but nothing, they also queried our boiler drain – we have an outlet from our boiler which drains into a soak away drain (we’d initially queried it with the builder) – I told them there was no outlet, they overfilled it and confirmed I was correct (it’s taken my husband 10 years to learn I usually am, took them a morning) πŸ˜‰

    And that was it – we are no longer charged for surface water… Bit long winded, but hope it helps!

    Hi aston69,

    Thanks for posting. The refund/reduction you mention was discussed here, so I moved your question/comment here (I hope that’s OK). :)

    Looking at the comments posted above, it seems that Severn Trent did eventually hand out some refunds locally without waiting for claims, so I’m guessing they realised that houses in Kingsway were entitled to a lower tariff and acted accordingly; which makes me think they should have started to charge the correct tariff since then.

    I guess you may be able to see from your bills whether there is a charge for “Surface Water Drainage”, but if you’re not sure I would recommend you call them on: 03457 500 500 (Mon’ to Fri’, 8am-8pm & Sat’ 8am-1pm)

    Good luck and please do let us know what you find, I’m sure there will be other local people interested in finding out about this (now and in the future).


    I have read about the water rebate that people used to get. Can you still apply for it with Severn Trent?

    πŸ˜› Guess they are visiting me too as I note the wife has posted on here saying so πŸ˜†
    Just think… A reduction in water rates πŸ˜€

    Hi misslc,

    Thanks for joining and contributing :)

    Oooh err… that does sound ominous πŸ˜†

    Please let us know how it turns out …and good luck :)

    I submitted a claim a few weeks ago and had a letter back this week saying they are going to visit my property!
    Hmmm doesn’t look like anyone else has had a visit though!
    Oh well, I’ll keep you posted!! <3

    July 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    We had a letter from STW stating that we had been overcharged and they credited our account.
    It was nice to get a letter saying “we are giving you money” as opposed to taking it :)

    We downloaded the leaflet last week but haven’t sent it yet… But we had a letter today (from their audit department) notifying us of a refund of Β£120 (for surface water drainage overcharge) so it seems like they may have finally sorted out their act and stopped overcharging in Kingsway now (nice)!

    You said

    Anyway, last week I got a reply from STW saying that I was due a refund of Β£170, as the local roads have not been adopted.

    Are you sure it mentioned “Roads not adopted”? I can’t think why that would make a difference (AFAIK you pay rates even if you’re on totally private property, so I don’t see why non-adopted roads would make a difference)!

    Anyway… I assume the difference in value is due to the size of the house you live in and the length of time since you started paying your water rates in Kingsway.

    If anybody hasn’t heard yet, I recommend you contact Severn Trent.

    I haven’t contacted STW but got a 50 quid rebate from them for this issue last week; wonder if I should be asking for more?

    Hi HM,

    Thanks for the post.

    As you can see… this was raised some time ago; so I appended your comment to the relevant article.

    I strongly suggest that every Kingsway Resident take note and contact STW about this; they won’t volunteer the refunds unless you claim for them!

    holbeach miserable
    May 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Water Drainage Rebate

    I don’t know if this has been raised before…

    I recently submitted a claim to Severn Trent Water for a water drainage service charge. (I didnt know if i was entitled to it or not!)

    Anyway, last week I got a reply from STW saying that I was due a refund of Β£170, as the local roads have not been adopted.

    So people, get on and contact STW for your early Christmas Prezzie.

    All the best,

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