A Mary Tavy couple have complained to their MP about South West Water calling on householders to check their loos for leaks while ‘allowing’ the supply network to leak and not upgrading reservoirs.

Amanda and Michael Willats say the SWW campaign telling bill payers to save water is a ‘waste of money’, while the company allows supply pipes to leak and neglects an inadequate number of outdated reservoirs.

The pair have written to SWW (copied to Torridge and West Devon MP Sir Geoffrey Cox), saying: “We cannot believe that you are wasting consumers’ money on such a campaign. Surely this money would be better used to contribute to the many leaky pipes that are the water company’s responsibility?

“We know you are preparing us all for water shortages during the summer as this letter has come from the drought and resilience director. Please do not deny it. The public is not stupid!

“If all water companies had invested money in new reservoirs instead of paying big, fat salaries (with benefits) to top dogs and good dividends to shareholders and had instead built a substantial amount of reservoirs throughout Britain, the public, would not have to be diving into our lavatory pans seeing if we had a minor leak.”

They accuse SWW of wasting the increasing rainfall needed for a growing population, because there are not enough reservoirs.

Amanda and Michael write: “Your letter is headed in great big letters – ‘Water is Precious’ – so why have the water boards done very little about harvesting it?”

The water company says major new reservoirs are not being built because of opposition to using land and concern about harm to wildlife. However, the couple argue this is not a long-term reason and that it boils down to water company’s ‘greed overtaking sensibility’.

“There will most certainly be  damaging effects to wildlife (and man) if we do not harvest what we are so freely given as rain. At least wildlife benefits from water. This situation is appalling and truly shocking.  

“How very angry we will all be in the summer when you tell us that there is a hose pipe ban or worse.”

SWW said: “We are doing more than ever to tackle leaks and are finding and fixing around 2,000 leaks a month. We are investing record amounts to increase resources in Devon by 30% and in Cornwall by 45%. All of the plans for Devon have now been completed and are in use, with 70% completed in Cornwall as the business works towards delivering desalination in Par and a new water treatment works in Porth.”

SWW has transformed four quarries into reservoirs which are being used to increase water resources, it added: “We’re supporting customers, businesses and tourists to reduce water use. Through the Water is Precious campaign we’re supporting customers to make changes to conserve water, save money and protect the environment.”