Homeowners have been warned their water bills are likely to rise to cover the cost of a super sewer in London.
Thames Water has distributed leaflets to customers across the area warning of an estimated £70-80 hike in fees to pay for the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The company, which provides wastewater services, said the bill increase will not come into effect before 2014 when work on the £4.1bn project is due to start.
The £70-80 hike is said to be the 'maximum bill impact' which is 'likely to come a few years later' and will be paid as part of customers' overall water bills.
A spokeswoman said: "We previously made it clear that bills need to rise to pay for the cost of the Thames Tideway Tunnel and are now able to give our customers advance warning of the likely increase and the timing.
"Ofwat sets limits on water bills in line with the work that water companies need to do, and will scrutinise the Thames Tideway Tunnel costs to ensure they are kept as low as possible."
The company said the new tunnel is needed to stop increasing amounts of untreated waste being flushed into the Thames.
An estimated 39 tonnes of raw sewage discharges from London's Victorian sewers every year after as little as 2mm of rainfall.
The development will run for 20 miles from west to east London, connecting 34 of the most polluting sewer overflows.
COMMENT: Will you be affected by the price hike? Tell us in the box below.
Top Ten Articles