Pubs in Gloucestershire that were affected by the loss of running water due to the floods will not be able to claim compensation from Severn Trent Water.
Customers are entitled by law to payments for failure in service from water companies, except when it is due to extreme weather. Business customers are usually entitled to £50 plus a further £25 for each 24-hour period the supply remains off. Some pubs were without clean, running water for up to 17 days.
However, the company has donated £3.5m to support the communities in Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Cheltenham. "This whole incident has been unprecedented," said Severn Trent Water managing director Tony Wray. "The scale of this operation went far beyond our previous experience or indeed that of any other water company."
Severn Trent estimates that the cost of dealing with the incident, where its Mythe water treatment works was flooded, will cost between £25m and £35m, partially offset by insurance of between £10m and £20m.
Marston's Inns & Taverns managing director Derek Andrew said that three of its pubs in Gloucestershire, although able to re-open, had been unable to serve food because of the lack of drinking water. "If you can't wash a salad, you can't serve food," he said. "We had to provide flasks of hot water for customers and staff to wash their hands with and clean the beer pipes."
He added: "We are still counting the cost of the flooding and the shock wave will be felt in affected areas for weeks and probably months ahead. People won't revert to their daily pattern of life as they, themselves, have reparations to make."
l The Licensed Trade Charity is still offering assistance with paying bills, items not covered by insurance or even rehousing. Call the LTC on 01344 884440.