United Utilities

Ticker UU.

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Price Pence
As of 19:42 06 Aug 2020
Market cap. Pound sterling
6,147.91 million
As of 19:42 06 Aug 2020

Latest updates

Water firm says sorry to B&B owners after flood

The owners of a Keswick bed and breakfast say they want compensation from their water supplier, after a flush valve exploded in a top floor bathroom, flooding the entire building and bringing down at least one ceiling.

James and Ruth Lamb, at Cumbria House, say United Utilites have confirmed there was a spike in water pressure in Keswick at the time.

Ruth and James Lamb with debris outside house

Unitied Utilities has apologised and says it is investigating what happened.

The Cumbria House owners say they are unlikely to be able to welcome back guests until October, and James Lamb says it's been a terrible ordeal.

The water came all the way down dripping through into the dining room four storeys below, two weeks after we'd just successfully reopened to the public after all the Covid lockdown and now we're closed again."

James Lamb

It does sound absolutely horrendous and my sympathies absolutely with them, we are still investigating it and as you'd expect we do need to investigate it thoroughly."

Helen AppsUnited Utilities

Police brace for more visitors on weekend before reopening

Cumbria's police are stressing that although the impending reopening of tourism accommodation and some attractions has been announced, it's happening next weekend, not this one.

Many more facilities such as public toilets are now open, but guest houses and campsites are still closed, and officers and other Lake District staff have spent the last couple of weeks trying to deter wild camping, and clear up after some visitors have abandoned refuse and equipment such as tents.

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Assistant chief constable Andy Slattery, who chairs the group overseeing Cumbria's response to the lockdown, says the government has timed the relaxing of rules about overnight stays to reflect what is hoped to be the continuing decline in infection.

If they think it's safe next weekend, it doesn't mean it's safe now ... all the restrictions remain in place this weekend, no camping, no overnight stays."

Andy Slattery

And please, don't light fires, don't light barbeques and don't leave the mess that we've seen in recent weekends."

United Utilities makes charity offer to reduce use

Cumbria's water company, United Utilities, is trying to encourage consumers to use less water, by offering to give money to charity.

Running tap
PA Media

The company says the warm and dry weather has meant people using more water, but with less rain to top it up.

So they have told customers in Copeland and Allerdale that if they reduce consumption by 150m litres of water by the end of July the company will donate £25,000 to Hospice at Home West Cumbria.

The company says people need to save about 15 litres a day each, and a person uses nine litres less just by not letting the tap run while brushing their teeth.

With no significant rain forecast any time soon, these conditions are taking a heavy toll on the water sources we share with the environment and our reservoir levels are lower than normal.”

Lou Beardmorecustomer director, United Utilities

Neatly packed into bags for life, a dreadful mess

Anger continues in parts of the Lake District over the mess left by an influx of visitors at the weekend.

Haweswater, although popular, is not a real Lake District tourist spot such as Bowness or Keswick, having very limited parking and a lack of facilities such as public toilets, or cafes, even before Covid-19 arrived.

Wild Haweswater is run by the RSPB and United Utilities look after the wildlife and landscape around the six-mile long reservoir.

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Water firm tells consumers water is safe to drink

United Utilities says its engineers are testing water in the Brampton and Irthington areas near Carlisle after complaints of discoloured water and sickness from local people.

Sludge in pan
Annie Gray

One local resident said the water, when boiled, left sludge in the bottom of a pan (pictured).

The company said the discolouration was after repairs to a burst main, but this was unlikely to be be causing sickness, and people feeling unwell should contact their GP.

A spokeswoman said: "We are currently carrying out proactive sampling in this area as well as localised investigations to reassure our customers."

Lockdown blamed as water use increases

The water firm United Utilities says the numbers of people at home and spending more time gardening could be partly to blame for increased demand which has led to some areas seeing pressure dropping.

The company said extra supplies were being pumped into the mains system as required.

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Reservoir levels are below the average for the time of year, although not yet at the point where supplies are threatened.

The main Cumbrian reservoirs, at Haweswater and Thirlmere, are just under two-thirds full, compared with a long term average of 80% at the end of May, and just under 70% this time last year.

Water inspectors stress Egremont supply 'will remain safe'

Katy Booth

Reporter, BBC Cumbria

People in west Cumbria are being assured their water will continue to meet safety standards, even though the mix is changing to include more water from boreholes.

There is already a history of complaints in the area after the water company, United Utilities, started mixing water from underground sources in with the traditional supplies from Ennerdale, to protect that valley's environment while a new pipeline was built.

The water company, United Utilities, says the new changes are temporary to protect flows in the River Ehen, during the dry weather.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate says more borehole supplies may increase the hardness of the drinking water, and people may also notice a change in the taste, but it remains safe to drink.

Stock picture of person filling kettle
Getty Images

City's long-running roadworks finally near completion

The water company, United Utilities, says work to renew pipes under Warwick Road, in Carlisle, which has been taking place over the past 18 months, is now 90% complete.

United Utilities

The work is part of a £40m project to replumb much of the city's watermains and has caused sometimes lengthy delays on the main road into Carlisle from the east.

The construction team says the lighter traffic of the lockdown, and fine weather, has helped push the project through.

The company says temporary traffic lights should be removed by the end of this month, and final testing by the end of June.