This policy statement outlines our approach to claims for compensation for customers’ loss of profits from businesses affected when we obstruct the public highway to carry out works on our water mains and sewers using our statutory powers.
This statement does not deal with the rules relating to the payment of compensation that apply when water supplies or wastewater services are interrupted.
We are working hard to ensure that all our customers receive the best service we can provide. This means that from time to time, it is necessary to carry out works in the public highway to construct new pipelines and to maintain, repair and renew our water mains and sewers.
Sometimes it is necessary, for health and safety reasons, to close the road that we are working in and to divert traffic.
While we do all we can to minimise disruption throughout our region, we recognise that these works may cause disturbance and inconvenience to people in the area.
We will consider claims for compensation for loss of profit from businesses directly affected by works that we carry out in the public highway.
The factors used to determine whether compensation is payable to a business include the nature and impact of the works being carried out, and their duration and proximity to the particular business claiming compensation.
Whether a business is able to claim compensation will depend on the circumstances of each case and the applicable legal rules.
We do not normally pay compensation if the only impact of our works is that potential customers had to follow a diversion to get to your business or if customers are temporarily unable to park near a business on a street that normally has parking restrictions.
Process of making and settling a claim
Referral to an independent arbitrator
If there is any dispute either as to whether we are liable to pay compensation or as to the amount of the claim, there is a procedure under the Water Industry Act 1991 to refer the dispute to an independent arbitrator to be resolved.
There are three routes to appointing an arbitrator, namely:
- If you are dealing with us via a professional agent. In this case we would expect the agent to provide us with the following details of at least three suitable arbitrators: CV’s, terms of conditions of business, basis of charging and proposed rules of arbitration. The appointment of an arbitrator will be subject to any conflicts of interest that the selected arbitrator may have being brought to the parties’ attention and addressed in a timely manner.
- If you are dealing with us directly. In this case we will respond to your request for an arbitrator to be appointed within four weeks, and we will propose alternative arbitrators to seek to agree an appointment.
- If all parties have made a reasonable but unsuccessful attempt to appoint an arbitrator, then either party may ask Ofwat to make an appointment.