WATER bills are set to rise by around £13 a year from April according to United Utilities.

The Great Sankey based company blames the increase on rising inflation rates and says the average annual water bill will be up to around £406.

Gary Dixon, United Utilities' customer services director said: "The small increase in prices this year is due largely to the rise in inflation.

“Even so, customers in the north west will still be paying around £1 per day, about the same as a loaf of bread, for all their water and sewerage services.

"We'll be putting that money to good use, by ensuring the region's water network, treatment works and sewer systems get the investment needed to deliver the service our customers expect."

Bosses say some £90m will be spent improving water services in the next 12 months.

United Utilities says it is spending the money on engineering schemes which will reduce water leaks and sewer flooding, safeguard future water supplies and help protect rivers and bathing waters.

Projects will include £8m to improve waste water treatment at sewage works across Cheshire and £23m improving processes at key water treatment works in the county.