SEVERN Trent Water says its customers will continue to have the lowest average combined household water bills in England and Wales over the coming year and still enjoy the benefits of improvements to drinking water and wastewater services.

Combined water and sewage bills will rise by an average of around £7 - according to Ofwat figures released today - lower than the three per cent rate of inflation.

At £335 - or 92p a day - Severn Trent’s average bill for 2013/14 remains the lowest, says the company, thanks to a package of cost-saving improvements at the company, which supplies more than eight million customers from mid-Wales to Rutland and from the Bristol Channel to the Humber.

The company says the rise will help to fund an ongoing investment programme of £1.3 million a day, including work to renew more than 145,000 metres of water pipes in Worcestershire.

The company is also investing £3 million in Droitwich sewage treatment works, to help it to continue to deliver a sewerage service to the area for years to come.

Simon Mullan, credit manager at Severn Trent Water, said: “Any price rise, however small, is unwelcome in the current economic climate but we have worked hard to keep bills as affordable as possible for our customers.

“In fact, our customers will be paying an average of 92p a day - that’s less than the average cost for a litre of bottled water.

“In addition, we want to make sure that our customers continue to receive a high-quality, cost-effective service through our investment programme.

“As a result, over the last 12 months we have invested more than £500 million in renewing and replacing our network of water to reduce leaks and bursts and sewer pipes to prevent sewer flooding.

“At the same time, we appreciate that everyone has had to tighten their belts during the recent economic downturn and there is help available for our customers.”