Do you feel that your water pressure has dropped over the last year? Have you noticed that your shower goes to a trickle when a toilet is flushed, or that sinks and toilets are suddenly slow to fill? You are not alone.

When Fairfield was being designed back at the turn of the century, a decision was made, based on the recommendation of most water supply companies, to install modern high-pressure water supply systems, making it unnecessary for houses to have water storage tanks in the loft.

All new dwellings were to benefit from good water pressure to run the baths, showers, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines that we all have as standard in modern homes. Modern heating systems, needing a high-pressure water supply (a minimum of 1.5 bar) to run safely, were also installed. A new water main was laid specifically for the Fairfield development, which now also supplies the new development in Stotfold.

The first residents received water pressure of about 10 bar. They had to fit pressure limiters to their water systems to protect water softeners when fitted. However, these pressure gauges, we hear, have recently been showing less than 2 bar pressure.

That fall in pressure is the consequence of Affinity Water fitting pressure limiting valves to the mains to reduce water losses caused by leaks in their supply system. When contacted, they initially stated that they are only obliged by law to provide pressure of 0.7 bar. Technically, this is correct, but the 0.7 bar standard prescribed by legislation was set on the assumption that water storage tanks would provide sufficient ‘head’ of pressure to operate water appliances properly in case of lower than optimal mains pressure. That legislation has been overtaken by technology and is not relevant to high-pressure water installations, where houses do not have their own tanks. Once that fact was pointed out to them, Affinity agreed to increase the water pressure in Fairfield, gradually, to 4 bar.

Affinity Water are now arranging for some residents to be visited to survey their opinion about the water pressure. If you have noticed a problem, it is important that you contact them direct by telephone on 0345 357 2401.