Water Meters In The New Forest

Southern Water's five-year programme to install water meters for the majority of its customers is coming to the New Forest.

In a work programme which will last until 2015, the company is installing more than 500,000 water meters across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent as part of its long-term plans to secure water resources for customers in the region. 

The programme is due to move into Ashurst, Marchwood, Dibden and Hythe in the coming weeks, with a total of more than 15,000 new meters being put in for households across the New Forest area. 

Meter installation teams will not begin work in Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu until at least the Autumn to avoid the busy tourist season. 

Water resources in the South East are under pressure and the region has been classified as one of serious water stress by the Government. 

Southern Water is introducing water meters for 92 per cent of its customers because people on a water meter tend to use 10 per cent less water. Currently about 40 per cent of households in the region pay for the water they use on metered charges. 

Furthermore, following the second driest 12 months on record, the South East is currently in drought. Metering is helping to make the most of water resources for customers at this time. 

Darren Bentham, Director of Metering at Southern Water, said: "Our metering programme began in Southampton in late 2010, with more than 50,000 meters installed across the city to date, out of a South East wide total in excess of 150,000. 

"Water metering is an important part of our long term plans to manage water resources across the South East, alongside tackling leakage and developing new water resources. 

"We also believe that households paying for the water they use is the fairest way to charge and puts people in control of their bills. We are providing our customers with lots of information and advice on ways they can save water, save energy and save money as we install water meters. We have also introduced new tariffs to support customers whose bills may go up as they move to metered charges."