London: Water companies in England and Wales on Monday announced plans to nearly double infrastructure investment as they seek to reduce leaks and cut river sewage, triggering higher bills for customers.
Companies will together spend £96 billion ($117 billion) on water and sewage infrastructure between 2025 and 2030, a 90 percent increase on the current five-year period, industry body Water UK said in a statement.
"This investment is essential to maintain the highest quality drinking water for a growing population, ensure the security of our water supply in the future and significantly reduce the amount of sewage," it said.
To fund the investment, the average bill in England is expected to rise by £156 per year by 2030, Water UK said.
UK regulators last week ordered water companies in England and Wales to return a combined £114 million to customers for failing to meet performance targets, including over river pollution.
The UK's biggest supplier Thames Water, which recently secured a cash injection from shareholders as it struggles to stay afloat, was ordered to return the highest amount at £101 million.
The British government announced in July that any company or individual polluting the country's rivers and other ecosystems would be liable for unlimited fines.