It has been reported that water companies are considering charging for waste not just by volume as it is at the moment but by how solid the waste it since it takes more to break it down and is therefore more costly.
Fluid can easily flow and is easily broken down by the treatment process but thicker substances like faeces or blocks of soap which are often flushed down the toilet cost more to break down.
There is a new piece of equipment which operates like a mill with water and runny fluids passing through easily but thicker substances which mechanically 'knocks' the flaps which are then metered and customers are charged accordingly. Like water meters these devices can be installed by the waste outlet by being fastened to the cover where a reading can be taken by sliding a panel without having to remove the cover.
The water companies were accused of talking wet but after seeing how much longer it took thicker waste to be processed, the sewage minister, Ivor Crapp accepted the measures and said that a study will be conducted to see how pricing can be justified for this additional cost to the water companies.
Sewage was not the only issue being discussed this weekend but with all the heavy rain there was talk on how to offset the huge cost of flooding which has been devastating communities for the past few years in parts of the country.
The chancellor Mr. Darling suggested that while flooded communities were burdened with these extra costs as well as the trauma of losing their valuable possessions to the floodwater, it was only fair to impose higher council taxes on households which are least likely to be flooded and this was seen as another stealth tax on those who make the effort to get their facts right and do things properly without being caught out.
This idea didn't get very far though and went down the pan, but it was easily broken down into details and therefore didn't cost much to dispose of but was still considered to be a 'waste' of taxpayers' money.