By Andy Hargreaves

The Buzza Reservoir on St Mary's

The Buzza Reservoir on St Mary’s

If you pay for the Council-run water supply on Bryher and St Mary’s you could soon face a much bigger bill.

The Authority expects its water reserves to be over £700,000 in the red by March 2019. And they say any deficit will need to be paid for by water customers and not Council Tax payers.

Last month, councillors voted to raise water charges by 12% and sewage fees by 5% after overspending by around £100,000 on replacement filters for the faulty desalination plant.

That will increase bills for each home by £43 from April.

But Finance papers presented at last week’s Full Council meeting show the water reserves are expected to be almost depleted by the end of March next year, and dip into the red by £237,000 by the end of the following year.

And the Council says that money will need to come from customers, unless they can access grants or other funding opportunities.

With 1,065 residential properties paying for water on St Mary’s and Bryher, that could mean an extra £200 on bills in 2016/17.

The Council says it will “continue to look for efficiencies, however, the provision of drinking water on the islands is costly due to issues of scale and the limits on supply.”

They added that they expect to increase water service fees and charges each year, at least by the rate of inflation.

Islanders paid £464 for their water and sewage this year.

According to data published by water industry regulator Ofwat, the average UK bill in the same period was £396.